What to Look for When Your Sink or Tub is Clogged

Oh my clog.

Most humans shed between 50 and 100 strands of hair every single day—and people with thick hair can lose up to 200 strands just while shampooing. That’s a real problem for the bathroom plumbing, since those hairs can form clogs or even wrap around the crossbars of the drain itself—making a woolly net that catches minerals from the water or soap scum. Lovely. Here are some options for dealing with the grimy gremlin clogging up your drain.

Works in Minutes

This product uses chemistry to whisk away hair and oils gumming up the pipes—and comes packaged for two pre-measured applications. Green Gobbler

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Liquid uncloggers work because they are heavier than water, so the product sinks into the plumbing and shifts the water’s pH to become more basic. This change triggers chemical reactions that actually dissolve the hair and oils clogging up the works. The best part? Since the clog completely dissolves and washes down the pipe, you don’t have to actually see it. Whew.

Reusable Device

This one clears plumbing manually and includes disposable ends to streamline cleanup. FlexiSnake

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Manual uncloggers don’t use chemicals at all, which is a bonus for users concerned about their pipes or the environment. Instead, they rely on a long, flexible wand designed to slide down the initial curves of the plumbing and grab onto shallow clogs using tiny teeth or hooks. Then, the user simply pulls out the clog for disposal. Look for devices with handles or loops at the end for easy operation.

Easy Storage

Very long, flexible steel cable designed to clear problems deep in the sanitary line. Drain Auger

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Professional plumbers use an auger, sometimes called a snake. It works by unwinding a very long, flexible steel cable that can “snake” through up to 25 feet of plumbing to reach deep clogs. There, the tool manually breaks up the clog and pushes the pieces through the plumbing so the drain can function normally again.