I have long hair. I've had long hair all my life, with the exception of that bad early 90s haircut + perm that left my hair looking like a frizzy pyramid on top of my shoulders. Oh yeah, and that one time my former sister-in-law got scissor-happy. Anyway, with the long hair comes an inevitable problem: clogged bathtub drains.
The clogged drains aren't entirely my fault. Between my long hair and my husband's post-haircut showers (since he cuts his own hair), it doesn't take too long before we notice the water draining slowly, which is followed by standing in a couple inches of tepid water. Ick. Never fun. To deal with the slow drains and back-up, we would routinely buy a jug of Drano every other month or so. At anywhere from $5-8 a bottle, it adds up.
I've never liked using Drano. Take a whiff of liquid drain cleaner and you know it's toxic. I became extra sensitive to this once we had our first son. I didn't want bottles of chemicals like that anywhere near him, nor did I want the fumes of it hanging in the air. It's scary stuff. But I figured I had to use it if I wanted a clear drain. Using a plunger for the bathtub drain worked pretty well, but sometimes that didn't even do the trick. We tried boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar and it still didn't completely fix the slow drain.
Then we learned about the Turbo Snake.
I'd heard about something like this from a comment in a previous post and finally bought one at Bed, Bath & Beyond not too long ago. Then one day, I walked into the bathroom and nearly screamed -- for a second, I honestly thought there was rodent on the lid of the toilet. Nope. It was a huge, digusting clump of hair and other miscellaneous gunk. My husband, who was bending over the drain in the bathtub with the drain snake in hand, laughed at me and then said, "This thing is awesome!"
The drain snake is really easy to use. It's basically just a kind of coated wire with Velcro-like thing on the end. You feed it down the drain and the Velcro end latches onto the clog. Don't be afraid to use a little force to get it really down in there. Pull it and out comes all the gunk slowing down your drain.
The package we bought came with two snakes, plus a little hook for them that you can hang on the inside of your cabinet. It cost around $10, if I remember correctly. That's about the cost of a bottle of liquid drain cleaner, so it pays for itself after a use or two.
We're never buying a bottle of Drano ever again.