How does one efficiently clean-up hair from sink and counter area after shaving or trimming beard?

After shaving, but more so trimming my beard (using electric trimmer), mustache, or trimming my hair a bit their is inevitably leftover hair to be cleaned up after the fact despite best efforts to contain the mess, such as crouching down over the sink and other methods I am intentionally not listing.

The clean-up process can end up taking longer than the actual grooming. I would like to find a more efficient way to clean it up so I do not leave little hairs pieces remaining nor it take longer than shaving/trimming.

Taking into account I know hair is more stubborn around any residue (soap, toothpaste, etc) , calking, and angles to easily be cleaned up.

I already have tried the following:

  • Using baby wipes (work best of what I have tried, but not good enough)
  • Using Toilet Paper
  • Hot vs. Cold water doesn't seem to make a difference as far as getting the hair to bunch or attach to rag.
  • Microfiber rag (damp and dry)
  • Normal bathroom towel.
  • Vacuuming is not a practical option, nor did using a dust buster hand vac the one time I tried it both to noise, convenience, and some hair will be wet.

I really want to focus the answers on the cleaning aspect, not prevention. I did not list every prevention I do or try method on purpose and some of them being listed will will simply transfer the problem that would again create cleaning problems. So focus on the 'cleaning' aspect please.

  • Have you tried a kitchen sponge? – Mazura Mar 29 '15 at 5:12
  • Despite 101 reputation they don't let me write an answer here... Anyway: Fill the plugged sink with water (what's that plug called in English anyway?). The by far largest part of the hairs will float, so you can simply "skim" them off the water with a kitchen paper, baby wipe or anything that does not instantly fall apart when getting wet. I do it this way since years, but I don't know if it works with US sinks as well. – Patric Hartmann Mar 29 '15 at 14:38
  • Shave over a dry sink. And when you're done, pull the sink stopper and sweep all hair over the stopper. Then use a paper yowl or toilet paper to pick it up and throw away. Shaving over a wet sink (where the bowl has had water in it) causes the hair to stick and thus making it harder to clean up. – Blexy Mar 29 '15 at 19:33
  • Exact question I was looking for... My primary concern is related -- I don't want the drain to eventually get clogged with hair. The accepted answer will work for me, and I'm totally giving it a shot. – Scott Jul 22 '17 at 13:11
  • Use a shaving bib. They have suction cups that stick to the mirror. – Andrew MacFie Jun 12 at 22:40

12 Answers 12

up vote 44 down vote accepted

I use an electric beard trimmer so I end up shaving over the sink as well.

I line the sink with 2-3 paper towels(try to cover the whole surface area of the sink) and wet them. I shave over the sink as best I can although hairs inevitably get elsewhere. After I'm done I throw away the paper towels(along with most of the hair), and then take a wet paper towel and wipe away any remaining hairs. I'd guess the cleaning takes about 3 minutes and it's clean enough my girlfriend doesn't seem to notice or complain.

  • 4
    Welcome to Lifehacks S.E.! Excellent first post! – L.B. Mar 26 '15 at 17:37
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    I do the same, except with pages from the local weekly entertainment newspaper. And as long as the paper uses non-toxic inks (as most do nowadays) the paper and hair can be a valuable addition to your compost pile. – Kevin Krumwiede Mar 27 '15 at 21:16
  • @elel Thanks. While this doesn't completely address the cleaning problem I still found the information useful and gave you an UpVote. I tried it on 3 paper towels covers the latitudinal direction of the sink but not the longitudinal directions around the faucet and the top of the sink. Which has both odd angles, tacky caulking, and course tile grout on the back splash which a wet paper towel or any of the other items I previously always pry them the loose hairs away without also leaving a residue. – CRSouser Apr 1 '15 at 15:50
  • Good solution. Though not as environment friendly because papers can be recycled quickly to make good paper again from it. Decomposing is also good but that means cutting more trees again for paper. – IsmailS Apr 2 '15 at 7:08

This is just a guess since I am a female and don't shave my face, but I think it'd work if you put a towel in the sink before you shave, just lay it out on the surface and then shave, the hair will fall on the towel and you can still use the tap. Afterwards you can just fold the towel and put it in the laundry.

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    I think this would move the issue to 'How does one efficiently clean-up hair from a towel after shaving or trimming beard?'. I would rather be cleaning a sink of toothpaste and hair than a towel. – Terry Mar 26 '15 at 12:06
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    I use this method for shaving my legs, and the towel will be clean after doing laundry. No hair sticks to the towel in my case. I reckon this is the same for facial hair. – MissRarity Mar 26 '15 at 12:11
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    I would suggest paper towels instead, which works quite well if the sink isn't completely dry. – LiveWireBT Mar 26 '15 at 13:27
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    Instead of towel, use a piece of newspaper, so you don't have the problem of cleaning the towel (some hair will inevitably get stuck in the other items being washed with it). And for the OP, the only solution is prevention. – jamesqf Mar 26 '15 at 18:26
  • @LiveWireBT That's what I do when shaving my beard; works pretty well. – Linkyu Mar 27 '15 at 1:58

I have a piece of poster board that I cover my sink with. I have folded the board to rest easy on the faucet, as well as stop any hair from sliding off the paper.

The hair is still dry, so it slides right into the trash when I'm done ( or I put it outside for birdies to make nests out of ).

There are always a few hairs that manage to get on the sink, but I wash them down, as I feel it is less hair than one who shaves everyday would wash down.

poster board folded on sink

I've been using the same piece of poster board for about ten years now.

  • My fiancée thanks you. – Nathan Rice Mar 11 '16 at 6:38

I use a small rectangular plastic bag with:

  • The length side split approximately half way down.
  • Place it in the sink and all your trimmings fall into the open bag.
  • When you're done you simply lift the bag and give it a jiggle on an angle and all the trimmings fall into the bottom corner.
  • The small trimmings form a nice neat ball which rolls out of the bag and into the garbage.
  • Keep the bag for next time! No need to waste water, clog your pipes and make a mess with towels and the like!

TADA!

  • Proof positive that a bullet point list gets upvotes. ;) – L0j1k Apr 4 '15 at 5:16

Turn on the tap and then with your hand guide and/or throw the stream to the places where there are still hairs. Repeat until clean :)

You can use your moist hand to wipe up the loose hairs around the basin. Wash once after, done.

Advanced topic: aim for a spiral path for the splashes so they hit more sink surface before returning to the hole in the middle.

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    That flushes the hair down the drain, which isn't a good idea: hair is very good at providing structural support to create big balls of gunk that block drains. – Gilles Mar 26 '15 at 17:48
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    @Gilles Long hair is, but short hairs such as from trimming one's beard should not present any problem. – Adam Davis Mar 26 '15 at 18:36
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    @AdamDavis Except if you don't trim regularly. – Linkyu Mar 27 '15 at 1:59
  • @AdamDavis I thought so as well, up until I had to clean the drain... it adds up. – Scott Jul 22 '17 at 13:13

Try using the razor in the bath tube or in a shower. Afterwards you can rinse the whole tub easier using the hose. You can put one of these cosmetic mirrors with a suction cup on the wall if you need a mirror.

Also, if you use the trimmer on wet hair, it will stick together and it won't fly everywhere. You will unfortunately have more work to clean the trimmer.

I have been cutting my own hair for twenty years, shaving for that long as well, using electric clippers. This is a problem the first few times you perform this task, but it is something where "practice makes perfect". For cutting my hair, I use a plastic bag from the grocery store which fits almost perfectly into the bowl shape of most sinks, and then I shave my head above this plastic bag. For facial hair, I use the same Wahl brand clippers (absolutely the best brand by far) to trim my beard to stubble once every couple of weeks. I can see how a more significant beard would create a situation where you would plug the sink up while trying to wash the hairs down, so for this, I would go with the same plastic bag method. Otherwise, I simply shave with the clippers over the bare sink, and wash down any hair in the sink afterwards. I use a small amount of wet toilet paper to wipe up any stray hairs that inevitably end up outside of the sink itself. Wet is the key word here: It causes the stray hairs to stick to the toilet paper like a magnet, vastly increasing your cleaning efficiency.

Like I said, after a few messy experiences using this method (and frankly any and all other methods except perhaps one of those old school FlowBees), you'll get the hang of not making your wife/girlfriend angry when you perform maintenance. Good luck!

If the sink is completely dry beforehand, the dry hairs from your mustache & beard shouldn't stick, and a vacuum with a hose (and possibly a brush attachment) should work very effectively.

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    Or one of those little car vacuum cleaners. Work well around the house for all sorts of quick spot cleans, don't need to break out the big vac with all the hoses and electric cords. – fr13d May 14 '16 at 16:37

I shave with clippers every other week or so and it gets everywhere around the sink. What I use to clean the sink and surrounding counter area is a bit unique; you know how in a pack of, say, NyQuil capsules, there's an "empty" square in the middle? Save this piece and use it as a scraper to scrape everything into your sink. If stuff is sticking to the sink wall, this piece should be stiff enough to scrape it out. When you're done, just rinse it off and throw it back in your drawer.

Filling the sink halfway before doing your routine will prevent everything sticking so hard. Any thing left can be swilled with the glass you use when brushing your teeth.

I can understand your desire to focus on cleanup and not prevention! When I trim my beard I use a large round plastic bucket with a rope handle that completely covers not only the sink but a few inches (5 cm) on either side, and I still find hairs in the sink afterwards which must be cleaned up.

It sounds like the solutions you have tried involve getting the hairs out of the sink and surrounding areas. My solution is just the opposite - I simply wash the hairs down the drain. They are very short and not long enough to stick together and clog up the drain, and it is much quicker and cleaner than trying to keep them out of the drain. If you have a lot of hair in the sink you might be more reluctant about using this method, but it does work quite well if it's only a little hair.

It's not clear whether you're using something electrical which uses the power socket in the bathroom. If not, don't do it over the sink - obviously, wet shaving must be done at the sink, but any trimming can be done elsewhere. Put a towel across your lap and sit at a table with a mirror - that means you can use a dustpan and brush to clear the table and take the towel outside and shake it out.

Being female, I manage leg hair standing on a towel (if you're using an epilator, where the hair falls to the nearest flat surface) and shaking that out afterwards. Underarms, I use the electric shaver with a mirror placed behind the loo - I lift the loo seat, look in the mirror and use the shaver, and all the bits drop down the loo, and I just flush it, job done. If I didn't have a shelf behind the loo, I'd use the towel across the lap sitting at a table method instead.

protected by Mooseman Mar 27 '15 at 0:43

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