Zip-It is a Better Solution for Slow Shower and Tub Drains Than Drain Opener

I want to share one of the ways I quickly resolve slow shower and tub drains at my house.

For the last few years, I've been doing a lot of the household maintenance for my family. One of the pain points we run into when my wife lets her hair grow a bit longer is that hair has a tendency to collect in the drain of the tub in our master bathroom.

I used to think that the way to solve this problem was to use a liquid drain opener. I searched for one that could completely clear any drain obstructions in one application. I never found the right magic liquid despite trying several different brands, so I decided to search for solutions that involved using a physical appliance like a plunger or an auger.

In the course of talking to friends who are handier than I am, one friend asked, "is the problem mainly hair getting stuck in the drain?" I had no idea, so he said, "Maybe you should get a Zip-It, then see if it brings up anything when you use it."

I had no idea what a Zip-It was, so I bought one next time I was at my local hardware store. Zip-It is an inexpensive plastic wand with a loop where you insert your index finger at the top, and a series of plastic barbs on both sides of the length of the wand. In order to use the Zip-It, you insert it as deeply into the tub drain as possible, then pull the wand completely out of the drain.

I tried this, and it immediately pulled up a hand-sized ball of hair along with some soap scum that had collected on it. I found that this sort of hair ball develops in our tub drain about once a month, so I put a recurring task in Todoist to use Zip-It to clear the drain. The result is water freely-flowing through our tub drain on a consistent basis.

Zip-It and its competitors are advertised as disposable, but I reuse the original one I purchased by simply removing the hair from the wand, throwing the hair in the garbage, washing the Zip-It under the faucet, and hanging the Zip-It up to dry. From my experience of a few years, this Zip-It might last a lifetime. It's among the best $7 I've ever spent in terms of value for my money.