How to Clean a Clogged Bathroom Sink

Your bathroom sink is used every day so it is prone to a quick build up of soap scum, gunk and hair that can cause clogs. Having a bathroom sink full of dirty water will soon be a problem you face, so it’s good to have handy tips ready to know how to unclog it. Before doing any of the steps below, make sure to first empty your sink from any undrained water.

1. Remove and Clean the Stopper.

You might have to disengage the drain stopper from the pop-up drain assembly if you can’t remove it easily. You should raise the stopper, look for the pivot rod (a horizontal rod at the back of the drain pipe), and loosen the nut that holds the pivot rod. Pull the rod to free the stopper. Remove the hair, gunk, and soap scum, then wash the stopper. Place it aside, and reconnect it when you have successfully unclogged your sink.

2. Use a Mixture of Vinegar and Baking Soda.

This can clean the drain without damaging your plumbing system, sink, and the environment. Just use 1 cup of plain white vinegar and ¼ cup of baking soda. Pour the baking soda, then the vinegar into the drain opening, then let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. After that, pour hot water down the drain. Hopefully, this will be enough to wash out the buildup in the drainage system. If the water still won’t go down, proceed to the next step.

3. Use a Plunger.

When step 1 and 2 don’t work, this means the clog is located farther down the drain line. Leave a little water in the sink, then center the plunger cup over the drain. If you want to increase the pressure, you can place a rag in the overflow hole near the top of the sink. Grasp the plunger firmly, then push and pull until gunk comes out or until the sink begins to drain. As soon as gunk comes out, make sure to collect and throw it in the trash can so it doesn’t go back down the drain.

4. Snake the Drain.

If a plunger still won’t work, there could be some stubborn hair deeper down the drain pipe. You can get it out using a drain snake or snare. If you don’t have these tools, then you can use a coat hanger. Unwrap it so it becomes straight, but leave the hook at the end. On the opposite end, shape a handle into a ‘T’ so you have something to grip. Insert your tool into the drain as far as you can, then pull out any hair and gunk. Keep on doing this until you feel the passageway is clear, then use a plunger. Once the water is drained, do step 2.

Once you’re sure your bathroom sink is unclogged, make sure to clean it well before using it again.

Important Tips

If you’ve done the steps above and your bathroom sink still keeps on clogging and overflows, you already need to call a professional. Also, to avoid clogs, make sure to clean your sink regularly, including the drain stopper. You can use the vinegar and baking soda mixture each time you clean to keep the passageway clear. And at the first sign of a slowdown, use the hanger, snare, or drain snake to clean out the drain.

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