Oh no! Your bathroom sink is clogged. While not quite as disgusting as an overflowing toilet, clogged sinks are not pleasant, and they can be a major inconvenience. If your bathroom sink has a blockage that is stopping from draining properly, it can back up quickly, causing a big mess. So what do you do if your bathroom sink is clogged? The only fix is to find and remove the clog. Here we share some common causes and helpful fixes for a clogged bathroom sink, but if you need help, don’t hesitate to call Plumbers911!
There are four common causes behind most clogged bathroom sinks: clumps of hair, soap scum, blockage in the p-trap, and damaged pipes. The best method for clearing a clogged bathroom sink depends on the cause, so the first step is determining what is causing the blockage. Once you figure out why your drain is clogged, you can determine the best way to unclog it. For example, a soap scum clog can be cleared with vinegar and baking soda, but tweezing or plunging works better for hair clogs.
Cause: Hair Clump
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.
Fix: 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.
Cause: Soap Scum Blockage
Soap scum can build up in your pipes over time, eventually creating a blockage. These clogs can often be removed by flushing the drain with hot water, or baking soda and vinegar. If neither works, you can try plunging with warm water.
Fix #1: Flush with hot water
- Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.
- Repeat if necessary.
Fix #2: Flush 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 #3: Plunge with warm water
- 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.
- Using a cup plunger, create an airtight seal with the plunger’s cup to cover 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.
Cause: P-trap Blockage
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.
Fix: 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.
Cause: 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.
Short-term Fix: Snake the 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.
It’s important to know that this method is not always easy to execute. If you find yourself in this situation, do not hesitate to call in an expert plumber, such as a local Plumbers911 professional.
If you have tried the above fixes, and you still aren’t able to 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 professionals 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. At Plumbers 911, we are here to serve our clients in Fresno, Clovis, Modesto, Tracy, Stockton and the rest of the Central Valley. If you need help, don’t hesitate to call Plumbers 911.