ingenious design

The Plastic Mushroom That’s Saved Me Thousands in Plumbing Fees

Photo: Retailer

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on the Strategist in 2017, and three years later, it remains an example of a product that does what it’s supposed to do — exceptionally well. So we’re republishing it today, as part of Ingenious Design Week.

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.

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This Plastic Mushroom’s Saved Me Thousands in Plumbing Fees