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Did you grow up wet shaving in the sink, despite being told not to?
Sure, it’s easier to shave in the sink instead of taking a hot shower, but that convenience comes at the price of a clogged drain. You may not notice a problem for a while, until the water gurgles as it slowly bubbles down the drain – if it drains at all. Clogged drains aren’t always easy to fix – if the clog has been building up for some time, you might need to call a plumber.
The good news is, you can still shave in the sink without clogging the drain by using these tips:
Don’t fill the sink with water
You’re probably tempted to fill the sink halfway with water to rinse your blade. This bad habit is the fastest way to clog your drain. You’ll have to pull the plug eventually, and it’s impossible to prevent hair from going down the drain when it’s mixed with water.
Instead of filling the sink with water, fill a coffee mug or small bowl with hot water to rinse your razor. If the water gets too murky, dump it out and refill it from the bathtub or kitchen sink. Or, prepare two cups of hot water. Dunk your razor in the first cup of water to remove the majority of lather, and use the second cup to get a clean rinse.
Don’t rinse your lather down the drain
Both shaving cream and shaving soap can clog your drain. Just as you want to avoid letting hair go down the drain, avoid rinsing any lather down the drain.
When using shaving soap or cream, using a dedicated bowl of hot water to rinse your razor will prevent both hair and lather from clogging the drain.
Prepare your sink
Shaving is messy, especially when using an electric razor; the little hairs fly all over the place. Prepare your sink by covering it with a garbage bag or paper towels. Make sure the sink bowl is completely covered, and retains a concave shape to catch the hair.
If you’re fortunate enough to have a big mirror as opposed to a small mirrored cabinet, get a beard trimming mat that sticks to the mirror with suction cups.
Don’t bother cleaning your sink before shaving since you’ll need to wipe out stray hairs when you’re done. Instead of just wiping out your sink at the end, take the opportunity to clean it fully with the motto “no hair left behind!”
Use the right drain insert
Before shaving in the sink, remove the plug (it should easily unscrew) and use the sink shroom. The sink shroom is a unique filter insert that catches hair that manages to sneak past traditional drain catchers. This device also catches other items that fall down the drain like jewelry.
Use a drain auger after each shave
Using a drain auger after each shave is the best way to keep your bathroom drain free from clogs. No matter how careful you are to protect your sink, it’s always possible for some hair to slip down the drain. If you brush your hair over the sink in front of the bathroom mirror, your hair is going down the drain a few strands at a time. It’s only a matter of time before the drain will become clogged. Using a drain auger after each shave prevents hair from building up in your drain, regardless of where it came from.
Drain augers aren’t expensive, but they’re somewhat large. If you want something smaller, there are alternatives like these simple drain snakes. They’re small enough to stick under a clawfoot tub, or hide behind the toilet.
Remember not to use chemical drain cleaners. Although they’re popular and will bust up some clogs, the chemicals also eat through your pipes. If you’re renting your home, your lease might even prohibit you from using drain cleaners.
Avoid using baking soda and vinegar to clean your drain
Rumor has it, you can clean a drain with a solution of hot water, baking soda, and vinegar. Even some plumbers recommend this, but chemistry (and real-world experiments) prove this mixture is inefficient. Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid. The chemical reaction between the two produces water with a tiny bit of salt in the mixture. It doesn’t cut through grease, which is what most clogs are made of. Vinegar and baking soda aren’t surfactants, either, so they won’t carry oil and grease away like detergents will.
Clean your sink drain safely and simply
Instead of using ineffective mixtures or harsh chemicals that destroy your pipes and the environment, here’s a better way to clean your drain:
1. Create a mixture of dish detergent and hot water 2. Slowly pour it down the drain 3. Use your drain auger if necessary 4. Repeat
Run hot water for a few minutes after you shave
After each shave, run hot water for a few minutes to melt any greasy shaving lather that might have accumulated in your pipes. The idea is to dissolve and dilute it as much as possible.
Or… pretend you’re camping
If you really want a shaving adventure, just pretend you’re camping and you don’t have access to a sink or running water. Check out our shaving tips for camping trips for some ideas on how to get a clean, wet shave without running water.
Perhaps the best way to prevent clogging your sink is to shave regularly. The less hair you have to shave off of your face, the less hair there is to escape down your drain.
A monthly shaving subscription from Shave.net makes it easy to shave daily or every few days, regardless of the type of razor you use. While competitors generally offer just cartridge razors, we’ve got those plus safety razors, shaving tools, and a variety of replacement blades. With fresh, clean blades delivered to your door, you can shave every day and minimize the amount of hair you wash down the drain.