Though a toilet plunger is a virtual necessity in every home, a sink plunger is not, as there are many other ways to clear clogs in your sink, with items that you can just find around your house. Aside from the plunger and chemicals that can damage your pipes and the environment, here are other means of unclogging your sink:
Running Hot Water Down the Drain
Drain clogs are mostly caused by hardened soap or grease in the tailpiece, which is the straight pipe that is directly located below the sink, or in the P-trap, which is the U-shaped pipe after the tailpiece. Now, one of the easiest and quickest solutions to this problem is melting the clog under a stream of hot water, which you can run for about a minute or two. While this method offers a good chance to clear a drain that is slow-moving, it is unlikely to work on a serious one that is really stopping the water flow.
Pouring a Mixture of Baking Soda and Vinegar
Other causes of sink clogs are hair and waste from food, fruits and vegetables, which cannot be dissolved by hot water. However, this can be eliminated by the foaming action produced by mixing baking soda and vinegar. In this method, pour about half a cup of baking soda into the sink drain, to be followed by the same amount of vinegar. You will notice that the mixture will immediately foam. Put in the stopper to confine the mixture to the drain and let it eventually dislodge hair, food remains and other gunk in it. The produced foam can also deodorize your pipes.
Using a Sink Auger
A sink auger, which is also known as the snake, is often used by plumbers in fixing clogged drains. In using this device, remove the stopper from the opening of the drain. In case that it does not pull right out, find the stopper rod, loosen its nut and slide the rod out of the drain to free up the stopper. Now, feed the auger into the drain and start fishing out hair and gunk from the tailpiece. Replace and re-tighten the stopper, and then flush the drain with water. If you do not have an auger, you can create some kind of autotype out of a wire coat hanger. Cut a straight length of the wire and bend one end to form a small hook with the use of pliers.
Fixing the P-Trap
Before disassembling the P-trap, place a bucket under it to catch water. Unscrew the plug at the bottom of the bend and then get rid of the clog through the cleanout hole. If there is no cleanout hole, then disconnect both ends of trap to release it from the tailpiece. Then, remove obstructions inside it and wash it clean before you install it back in the drain system.
Now, do not worry if you do not have a plunger at hand, as there are more ways to clear a blocked sink without it!