When someone opens a hair salon, barbershop, or dog grooming salon, dealing with drain clogs was probably one of the last things on their minds – until one inevitably occurs. Hair is the number one cause of drain clogs in homes and can be a never-ending problem for businesses that deal with hair on a daily basis. Not only can clogged drains cause a hiccup in your daily operations, but if you wait too long to use a drain cleaner, hair clogs can lead to serious problems, from completely blocked drains to sewer backups. That is why it is important to know both how hair clogs form, how to prevent them, and what you can do to get rid of them before they cause big problems.
How do hair clogs form?
The average person loses about 50 hairs a day, which can add up when you’re shampooing dozens of customers every week. Hair washes easily down the drain if the openings in your grate are large enough for them to go through. While dog hairs may typically be much shorter than human ones, dogs have up to 15 times more hair per square inch of skin than people. Even non-shedding varieties of dogs still lose hair each day as a human would, and all of this hair can collect in your drains and cause a clog even faster than human hair does.
Once down the drain, hairs cling to soap scum that forms when hard water comes into contact with fat or grease components in soap or shampoo. Once a clog begins to form, it will only grow as more hair and more soap get washed down with every use of the sink or tub. While hair clogs will form most often in the plumbing immediately under your drain, they can sometimes get washed down further into your plumbing system. Once this happens, these clogs can then end up affecting other aspects of your plumbing, such as your toilets, which can eventually lead to sewer backups if the clog becomes tightly packed in the pipe.
What can you do to prevent hair clogs?
The only effective way to avoid getting hair clogs is to prevent the hair from going down your drains. The simplest way to do this is to install a drain screen in each sink or tub in your business. Available for purchase at your local hardware store, wire mesh drain screens simply fit right over your drain opening and catch hair with each shampoo service. Some extra fine drain screens can actually catch soap scum as well. There are also drain screens available that fit under your drain cover, making the screen invisible to customers and thus more aesthetically pleasing. These are a little more complex to install and should be done by a professional plumber.
For dog grooming salons, preventing clogs is a little bit more complex due to the fact that many dog breeds have very short hair. A very fine mesh drain screen is required in order to catch these short hairs. After every bath, clean out the drain cover and also be sure to wipe out any hair accumulated on the tub floor or walls rather than washing them down the drain.
How to Get Rid of Hair Clogs
No matter how diligent you are about trying to catch hair before it gets down your drain, some will likely always manage to get by and form a clog over time. That is why we offer our DISSOLVE Drain Opener, which is specially formulated to quickly dissolve hair and soap scum. Safer to use than corrosive sodium hydroxide or bleach, DISSOLVE will not damage your drains, pipes, or septic system. In addition, the ultra-dense formula can even clear drains with standing water, as it can sink through the water until it reaches the clog. If you’d like to buy in bulk in order to ensure you always have a drain cleaner on hand when clogs occur, we also have a larger 1-gallon jug of DISSOLVE for your convenience, which can be purchased either singly or in discounted bulk packs.
The next time you have a hair clog at your business, give our drain cleaner a try and see the difference it can make for you!