Over the weekend we hosted my granddaughter's fifth birthday party. We had a lot of cleaning to do to get ready for this event, and cleaning the bathroom was one of those chores I kept putting off until the very last.

Before scrubbing out the tub, I like to clean out the drain by using a cheap little tool you've probably seen in stores and wondered if it worked. The one I have is called Zip It but I've seen a few other makes of this same device and they all look about the same. It's basically a long, skinny plastic strip with barbs along the length of its shaft and a small handle on the end. I first discovered this tool several years ago after becoming frustrated with the inability of drain cleaners to thoroughly remove hair from the drain. With a household full of girls with long hair, a clogged drain is a common thing if you don't stay on top of drain cleaning, especially in the bathtub.

The way this tool works is, you slip the end of the shaft into the drain and feed it in as far as you can, then you pull it back out. It's usually got quite a clot of hair hooked to it when it's pulled out. Pull the hair off and throw it away then re-insert the device back into the drain until it's no longer pulling any hair out. You might have to run a little drain cleaner down the drain afterward just to get a thorough cleaning, but this little device does a pretty good job on its own.

I'll admit that I was pretty skeptical when I first saw this drain cleaning tool, but it was only a couple of bucks at the time, so I thought I'd give it a try. It's never let me down. I've had to replace it a few times over the years and, as you can see in the pictures, this one is about due to be replaced. If you're having drain issues, I recommend giving this a try first.

Mike Eiler/Townsquare Media