When your bathroom sink is clogged, things can get messy. While not quite as gross as an overflowing toilet, clogged sinks are not pleasant at all.
When you have a blockage that is stopping your bathroom sink from draining properly, it can back up quickly. The only fix is to find and remove the clog. So, how do you unclog a bathroom sink?
The best method for clearing a clogged bathroom sink depends on what’s clogging it. Figuring out why your drain is clogged is the best way to figure out how to unclog it. You can flush soap scum clogs with vinegar and baking soda, but tweezing or plunging works better for hair clogs.
Here we outline strategies for unclogging a blocked bathroom sink. If you need help, never hesitate to call in the experts! At Plumbers 911, we are here to serve our clients in Fresno, Tracy, Modesto, Stockton and the rest of the Central Valley.
There are four common reasons behind most clogged bathroom sinks; clumps of hair, soap scum, blockage in the p-trap and damaged pipes. The fix for each of these depends on the cause, so it’s best to begin by figuring out which of these problems you have.
Hair clogging drain
When hair enters your sink drain it clumps together and gets stuck on the walls or the drain’s components. To remove a blockage caused by clumps of hair, try using tweezers or a zip-it tool.
Tweeze or pull out hair
- Remove the stopper.
- Use a flashlight to look down the drain.
- If you can see hair, use long-nosed tweezers to remove it.
- If you can’t see hair, use a zip-it tool or bend and insert a wire hanger to remove it.
- Slide the tool up and down the drain as far as it will go naturally. Do not attempt to force it.
- Use the tool at different angles. Try moving it around the drain to catch more hair.
- Repeat the process several times, rinsing with hot water as necessary.
Soap scum blocking drain
Soap scum can build up in your pipes over time, eventually creating a blockage. Try pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain, or using baking soda followed by vinegar. This will usually do the trick. If it doesn’t, try plunging with warm water.
Fix your drain with baking soda and vinegar
- Unscrew the drain cover and remove the sink stopper.
- Measure a half cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar.
- Pour the half cup of baking soda into the drain.
- Pour the cup of vinegar down the drain.
- Let the mixture sit in the drain for several minutes, until the fizzing stops.
- Rinse hot water into the drain.
- Repeat the process up to three times.
Fix your drain by plunging with warm water
- Use a cup plunger.
- Remove the stopper.
- Seal the sink overflow outlet with tape or a rag.
- Put down some towels or rags on the floor around the sink.
- Fill the sink with warm water.
- Use the plunger’s cup to create an airtight seal over the drain.
- Pump the plunger’s seal up and down several times with quick, sharp movements.
- Test the drain to see if you have cleared the clog.
- Repeat a few times if necessary.
Is something stuck in the p-trap?
The p-trap is the curved pipe beneath your bathroom sink that connects to the wall pipe. If something falls down your drain, it may get stuck in your p-trap. Removing and cleaning the p-trap can solve the blockage.
How to clean your p-trap
- Put a bucket under your p-trap and wear rubber gloves.
- Loosen the slip nuts by hand or with pliers if necessary.
- Remove the p-trap by hand and dump the water into the bucket.
- Look for and remove objects in the water or lodged in the trap.
- Clean the p-trap with a bristle brush.
- Put the p-trap back together and test the drain.
Do you have damaged pipes?
Drains can slow or clog over time due to rust, corrosion and other common pipe damage. If you have rusty pipes they should be replaced as soon as possible. If you are searching for a temporary fix, plunging or snaking them may help.
How to snake a drain
- Use automated drain snakes (plumber snakes or plumber augers) if possible.
- Lay towels or rags around the sink.
- Remove the p-trap.
- Remove the stopper.
- Thread the snake into the drain manually.
- Uncoil the snake using the handle.
- When you reach the clog, rotate the head up-and-down and back-and-forth.
- Pull the snake out and reassemble the sink components.
- Check the drain.
Please be aware that this method is not always easy to execute. Do not hesitate to call Plumbers 911. We can refer you to a local professional who will take care of it for you.
If you have tried the above methods we recommend and still can’t clear your clogged bathroom sink, you may need to disassemble the whole drain. Plumbers 911 can help! You may have a bigger problem, and the pros at Plumbers 911 can diagnose and fix your drain clog problem quickly and effectively.
Plumbers 911 is a network of professional, experienced plumbers who have all undergone thorough background checks. We can help you with any of your plumbing needs; whether it is a clogged bathroom sink, a routine plumbing call or an emergency. No matter what, you can rely on Plumbers 911.