Long hair and shower drain do not mix well. I found this out the hard way. I have long hair and enjoy long showers; therefore, I found myself purchasing a bottle of drain de-clogger at least once a month or so. I tried liquids, gels, foams, every product and brand available, it seemed. Nothing worked for long, even those most expensive products with MAXIMUM STRENGTH or PROFESSIONAL FORMULA splashed across the label on the bottle.
I’d find myself showering in ankle-deep water after just a few minutes under the spray. Finally, I spotted a product called the Zip-It Strip at my local hardware store. Desperate for anything to help me solve this recurring and most annoying problem, I decided to give it a try.
The Zip-It Strip is a flexible, flattened piece of coated plastic, about eighteen inches long and about the width of a small pencil. It has a loop at one end to use as a handle and serrated teeth all along the shaft that point upward toward the handle. Following the directions on the package, I held the loop and slowly inserted the other end into my clogged drain as far as I could. I wiggled it briefly, and then began to pull it back up slowly and carefully.
A few months ago, I received the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner, complete with shower caddy, from a marketing company to test. I practically ran to my shower to install it since cleaning the shower ranks up there with cleaning the toilet for me. I must confess, June Cleaver keeps a better house than I ever could. The idea of a set it and forget it mentality really appealed to me. Who doesn’t want to save time cleaning? The instructions were very simple: push the button after your shower, pull the curtain shut, and let the Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner do all of the work for you. A housewife’s dream come true!
The dream come true turned out to be dream gone bust. The Automatic Shower cleaner did not work as promised. Instead, it left a gritty, white residue on my shower walls, not to mention my shampoo bottles! Upon a cursory glance, the shower appeared clean with no sign of mold or rust stains. The white, gritty residue was not noticeable on the white walls unless you inspected closely and actually did a touch test. Unfortunately, the residue also adhered to the metal spigot and drain, leaving unsightly water marks. While I did save time “cleaning” my shower, it really wasn’t clean.
I decided to try Mean Green Bath, Tub & Tile Cleaner to see if it would be able to remove Shower Cleaner build up and return my shower to the smooth finish that it had before I began using the Scrubbing Bubbles product. The product instructions directed me to spray the shower, let it sit and work for 3 minutes, and then wipe it off. I sprayed my entire shower, fixtures and all, and waited three minutes before returning to clean it with a damp cloth.
The serrated teeth did their job well, and out came a hamster-sized wad of hair and slimy gunk! I threw the mess in the waste can and re-inserted the tool in my drain. This time the mess that came out was considerably smaller and less slimy. After three insertions, no more hair came out of the drain. Cleanup was very easy; I just squirted a little bit of liquid soap on the strip and held it under running hot water until all traces of gunk were gone.
Since then, I have had NO more problems with the shower drain clogging! I use the Zip-It Strip once every six weeks or so in my shower and sink as preventative maintenance, and I have never had another clogged drain. This handy little gizmo that cost less than the price of one bottle of drain cleaner (it was only $2.49!) has completely solved my problem. Storing it can be something of a minor challenge, since it is too long for most bathroom drawers. I have mine hanging on a hook inside the linen closet door. It is an indispensable tool that no household should be without!