$6 hair clog tool for drain cleaning

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/13/6-hair-clog-tool-for-drain-cl.html

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Mark - put the Krazy Straw back in the kitchen drawer where you found it.


I agree that the Flexisnake does an amazing job. But do you have any advice on how to clean one after use? Or do you just throw it out and buy a new one?

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If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, you can accomplish the same thing by taking apart the P-trap under the sink and cleaning it out.

This also works well for clogs that are slightly past the trap.

Pro tip, you are going to want a bucket under the trap when you take it apart, it will have water in it.

Also, turn off the anglestops suppling water to the sink faucet, so it can’t be accidentally turned on when you have the P-trap apart.


If it’s gnarly, toss it. They sell refills for a reason. If it’s mostly hair, you can just pull it off and set it to dry (perhaps outside?) and then stuff it next to the toilet bowl cleaner wand.

I picked a refill pack up and didn’t realize it needed the handle. I was happy to find that it doesn’t really need the handle!


If you’re in a rush: Just straighten out a metal hangar and make one end look like a corkscrew by wrapping it around a pencil a few times… But then clean out the trap ASAP.

Here it is:

Yes, it works well, but $5.43 is pricy. A three-pack of Vastars goes for $5.99.

Procedure as follows:

  1. Long-Haired Family Member: “The bathtub isn’t draining again.”
  2. Short-To-No-Haired Family Member: (audible sigh) “Okay, I’ll take care of it,” (deploys Cobra-Products-Zip-It Cleaning Tool).
  3. STNHFM: “Wow, look at what I got out of there.”
  4. LHFM: “NO, EWW!”

Instructions say to dispose of it after use, but that was written by someone who never changed a diaper.


If I had amazing hair like @frauenfelder, the extra cleaning supplies would be well worth it. But I am a lazy cue-ball.

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Tried the Zip-it, which came with a bottle of drain cleaner, and was less than impressed. I know there was hair in that drain, but only a few strands came out with the tool (used tool before deploying drain cleaner).

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I guess 20 years of “#2 guard on the sides and back, finger length on top” has made me forget that sink and tub drains get clogged.


As someone who used to make hairballs for Liquid-Plumr commercials for a living, I can attest that it is possible to clog drains with short hair. The demos were made with soap and short barbershop hair trimmings. You may need to take a wad of your hair, coat it thoroughly with soap, remove the trap and then compact it like you are loading a curved musket, but it’s possible. You will then be able to marvel at how a little bottle of overpriced toxins can clear it up in a jiffy. Give it a shot some Friday night when everybody else is out on the town and you are home watching Streets of San Francisco

PS: I’ve used a 3/8" spacer on hair clippers for several decades. :wink:



Also: I’m a Zip-It guy, but who can’t appreciate a name like Drain Weasel? Why settle for a snake when you can unleash a weasel?


I clean the drains. (Actually, I do all the plumbing, because if I do it, it gets done. If Spouse does it, we spend the afternoon and evening at Urgent Care and I still get to do it the next day. Proprioception issues and DIY are a BAAAAAAAD combination.) I keep my hair between 10 and 26 inches long; Spouse gets a high and tight every 90-120 days, when his high and tight gets shaggy. We use separate bathrooms, because he really likes a steamroom bathroom, and the little bathroom is better for that.

I much prefer cleaning the long hair drain. Short hair may take a little longer to block, but it is like cement when it gets there. I hate beard hair more than I hate head hair. If full body depilation ever becomes a thing, I will think deeply about getting this household on that program.

Clean your drains.


You can get the throw-away spikey version on eBay shipped for under a buck: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kitchen-Plastic-Drain-Clogs-Cleaner-Sink-Plumbing-Cleaning-Tool-Clean-Hook-/122088608504?hash=item1c6d0c52f8:g:J~wAAOSwGIRXZ6~J

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I’ve only done it once, but it stank so bad I had to quarantine it from the house in a triple bag. While I’m all for reuse/recycle when available, when the stank permeates the entire floor it’s time to let go.

I’ve got hair past my shoulders these days, but those don’t cause much in the way of cloggage in the shower. Long enough that they tend to mat on top of the drain instead of inside it.

What does clog the drain is beard trimmings in the sink.

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Now that’s specialization.


$2.49 at HD!

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This needs all the likes.

Same, but to be fair, the same thing that causes me to cut my hair short also causes drains to clog like crazy.