In high school, my father was always threatening to make me pay for the stream of plumbers he constantly had to call to unclog giant clumps of my baby-fine, waist-length blonde hair from the bathtub drain. Now that I’m all grown up and paying for those plumbers myself, I see his point. Regular drain screens let way too much hair pass through — so after a bit of intensive research (4,500 five-star Amazon reviewers can’t be wrong), I found the best bathtub hair trap $13 can buy: the TubShroom.
You just pop the all-silicone TubShroom into your drain, then pop it out, and wipe off the hair coiled at the bottom with a tissue or paper towel to clean as needed. The hair slides right off without any disgusting picking or digging — and takes a grand total of five seconds. The advertisement says to clean it once per week, but I wind up cleaning mine every three days or so. Every time I wipe it off, there’s so much hair that I wonder how I’m not totally and completely bald.
The TubShroom is not the sexiest product there ever was, but it does what it says: allows water to drain while catching stray hairs in a (mercifully) out-of-sight place for easy disposal later. I can’t emphasize it enough. Nothing gets past this little guy — not my boyfriend’s tiny beard hairs (he shaves in the shower) nor the copious amounts of hair that comes off my husky when I bathe him at home. Most impressively, it also grabs the gunk that comes along with all that hair — otherwise known as dirt, body oil, and product buildup — before it has a chance to clog your pipes. This little piece of plastic has saved me (and the pipes in my 120-year-old house) at least a thousand bucks in emergency plumbing calls. (Showers never conveniently clog themselves during normal business hours.) The TubShroom beats every other hair catcher by a mile (I’ve tried them all), and you’ll never find yourself showering in standing water due to a drain clog ever again.
Plus: A few more bathtub accessories we love.
For $4 more, a durable steel upgrade
Strat editor Margaret Rhodes is a fan of a similar model: “The TubShroom works, and generally I was happy to have it. But after about six weeks, the TubShroom itself became really hard to clean — I think because the rubber material is so porous. It looked like it was covered in mold. After some Amazon sleuthing, I found this device, which has an identical design to the TubShroom, but is made out of steel and comes with some replaceable rubber rings. It’s already exponentially easier to clean.”
For lounging in the tub
For singing in the tub
“I am completely obsessed with my Sangean shower radio. It’s not especially cute, and it’s certainly not glamorous, but hand to God, it has changed my life — at least the part of my life that I spend in the shower, which is a not-insignificant chunk of time. The sound is good, it’s impervious to steam, and with ten presets, you can switch back and forth between NPR and Hot 97 with minimal frustration.” — Izzy Grinspan, senior editor, the Cut
For cleaning the tub
Last year the Environmental Protection Agency introduced the Safer Choice Label for cleaning products. Ecos was one of the early adopters of the label, and this fabric-freshening spray doesn’t use artificial smells, unlike Febreze.
Get the Strategist in your inbox.
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.