Drain cleaning is a smelly process. First you notice that your drain does not clear all the way. Then you notice this funky, foul odor coming from the drain. It is piles of hair, soap and skin flakes rotting in the drain. Gross, right? Then you have to hire a plumber to come clear it out. A host of new drain cleaning products may help, the most interesting of which is the "drain wig." Here is how it works, or does not work, and whether you should invest in one.
The Product Itself
If somebody says "drain wig" to you, it probably conjures up an image of a large mass of wet hair sticking out of your drain. Not a pleasant image, nor a very encouraging way to market a product. However, it does make one curious about such a product.
These "drain wigs" are comprised of long chains and tightly coiled springs that drop into your drain. At the very top, there is a vinyl decoration that prevents the whole thing from dropping down the drain entirely. Once or twice a month, you pull up on the decorative part, and pull the whole product from your drain. With it comes the nasty mess of rotting hair (hence, "drain wig"). It helps get some of the mess out, but there is still a good chance that some more is still going all the way down the drain.
It works, to a degree. Your drain will still slow down and stop working if the drain wig is collecting a lot of hair. It does remove some of the mess that goes down your drain.
A drain wig cannot eliminate the stink in your drain from rotting organic matter. The vinyl top can snap off if you pull too hard trying to remove it from the drain to clean it. Your tub or shower will still clog up if too much hair is going down the drain and catching on the springs/coils of the drain wig. Finally, you have to touch the mess you pull out of the drain, a very nasty chore often best left to plumbers who are used to this kind of thing.
There are drain stoppers and covers that catch hair before they go down the drain. You only have to empty these into the garbage can and then replace them, never touching the mess they have collected. Otherwise you can call a plumber such as Cleary Plumbing for help a few times a year to thoroughly clean your drains.