Bathroom Sink Unclogging
Bathroom sinks can be tricky to clean. You have different things such as soap scum, toothpaste, hair, and other grooming chemicals forming an almost impenetrable clog. Before you call a plumber, there are a number of DIY methods you can explore first to get your sink unclogged.
These DIY methods are many, and your choice will depend on what is clogging the sink. For instance, you can remove soap scum clogs with vinegar and baking soda. Bigger clogs require a plunger or a drain snake. Therefore, finding out the reason behind your blocked drain is the first thing you need to do when you want to unclog your sink.
This article will guide you through some simple but effective ways to get your bathroom sinks unclogged and if, after trying them, you are not successful, call a plumber.
Different Ways To Unclog Your Bathroom Sink
If you happen to notice your drain is clogged, try any of the following methods:
Baking Soda and White Vinegar
Baking soda remains an effective way to clean bathroom sink drains. It is one of the best homemade drain cleaners. To use this method, follow the steps below:
- Remove the drain cover – Unscrew the drain cover and remove the sink stopper.
- Measure out vinegar and bicarb – Carefully measure out a cup of white vinegar and a half cup of baking soda.
- Pour the baking soda into the drain – Sprinkle the baking soda into your drain.
- Follow the bicarb with vinegar – Pour vinegar down the drain.
- Leave the solution to sit – Allow the cleaning mixture to sit in the drain for about 20 minutes until fizzing stops.
- Use boiling water to rinse – Rinse the drain with hot water.
- Repeat if necessary – Repeat this process two or three times to get the best result.
Wet and Dry Vacuum
The wet and dry vacuum is a great appliance that you can use to remove stubborn clogs. You have to make a seal for the hose to properly suction out the blockage. Set your vacuum to the highest liquid setting and allow the vacuum to do the rest. This vacuum is powerful enough to remove any type of clogging out of a bathroom sink.
Remove Hair Clogs
Sometimes, removing the hair trapped in your sink is all you need to get your bathroom sink flowing again. Follow the steps below to remove hair clogs:
- Remove the stopper.
- Use a torchlight to look into the drain.
- Use a long-nosed tweezer to remove any trapped hair in the drain.
- If you can see hair, use a zap-it tool or bend and insert a wire hanger to remove the hair.
- Slide the wire hanger up and down the drain but don’t force it in.
- Push the wire hanger to different angles. Move it around as much as you can to catch more hair.
- Repeat this process many times and rinse with hot water until all the hair is out.
Baking Soda and Salt
This is another effective combination that will unclog your bathroom sink. Follow the steps below:
- Mix a half cup of baking soda with a half cup of salt.
- Pour the mixture into the drain.
- Wait for 15 minutes and then pour boiling water into the drain.
When these three compounds react, they can unblock some of the tough bathroom sink clogs.
Use a Plunger
- Remove the stopper.
- Seal the sink overflow with either a rag or a tap.
- Spread rags or towels on the floor around the sink.
- Take some warm water from the water heater and pour it into the sink until it fills up.
- Use the cup of the plunger to create an airtight seal over the drain.
- Move the plunger’s seal in a fast up-down direction several times.
- Check to see if the drain clog has been cleared. If not, repeat the process until you achieve the desired result.
Use an Automated Drain Snake
Drain snakes are also called plumber’s auger or plumber’s snake. The steps involved are as follows:
- Spread rags or towels under the sink.
- Remove the P-trap and stopper.
- Insert the snake into the drain.
- Use the handle to uncoil the snake.
- When you reach the clog, rotate the head back and forth while also moving it up and down.
- Remove the snake and re-install the P-trap and stopper.
- Check if the sink has been unclogged.
If all the methods discussed above do not unclog your sink drain, a wire hanger should be able to remove even the toughest clogs. To do this, you need a wire hanger, pliers to bend the wire hanger, a container to trap excess water, and rubber gloves.
The steps involved are as follows:
- Switch off the water – Switch off the water and clear everything under the sink. Place a container to trap excess water and lock the stopper completely.
- Remove the stopper in the bathroom sink – This is done by getting under the sink and releasing the stopper by squeezing the attached spring clip. This removes the pivot rod from the clevis strap. The stopper will pop right up and out of your sink.
- Put on rubber gloves – Now that the stopper is loosened, you can remove it from the sink drain. Clean the stopper mechanism and get rid of all the trapped debris, dirt, and hair. Do not turn on the bathroom sink yet. If you need water, get some from other taps to clean the stopper. You can also add bleach and alcohol when drain cleaning.
- Bend the wire hanger into a hook – When you are done cleaning, take the wire hanger and bend it into a hook to trap globs of hair and gunk. The shape of a back stretcher or a fishing hoop will be great for this task. Lower the wire into the drain, and once you reach a clog, twist and move it to catch as much gunk as you can.
- Grab an old toothbrush – You can also use an old toothbrush to clean the interior side of the pipe. Some gunk and hair may also be pulled through the opening where the pivot rod was removed.
- Unscrew the P-bend if necessary – If you notice a big clog in the P-bend of the pipe where you can’t reach with the wire hanger, unscrew the P-bend.
- Reinstall every component – Boil water and pour into the drain to check if the exercise was successful and make sure there are no leaks afterwards.
What Causes Clogging In My Bathroom Sink?
There are many reasons why your bathroom sink clogs. The four common causes are:
This is common in areas where the water is hard. These scums build up over time in your pipe and can be a breeding ground for mould and mildew.
To remove soap scum from your bathroom sink, boil water and pour it into the drain or you can use baking soda and vinegar.
Clumps of Hair
When hair goes into the sink, it clumps together into a ball that gets trapped on the wall of the drain’s components. You can use a zip-it tool to remove the hair. If it doesn’t work, try disassembling the whole drain.
To disassemble the drain, you will need an adjustable wrench, flat-head screwdriver, standard pliers, plug wrench, and gloves. Then follow these steps:
- Locate the sink stopper – Remove the sink stopper.
- Grab a plug wrench – Put the plug wrench into the drain opening and fit it around the crossbar.
- Latch onto the crossbar – Use the plug wrench to grip the crossbar and turn it counterclockwise. This will loosen the threading of the drain.
- Grab a pair of needle-nose pliers – Once the drain is loosened, take out the plug wrench and put in needle-nose pliers.
- Lock the pliers in place – Lock the needle-nose pliers in place when you clamp them around the drain’s crossbar.
- Use pliers or a wrench to grip – With your pliers or wrench, grip the needle-nose pliers. Next, turn the locked needle-nose pliers slowly counterclockwise.
- Remove the drain unit – When the drain is loosened, use your hands and turn the entire drain until it comes off.
- Wash the drain unit – With the drain removed, wash it in the sink and remove any hair that is wrapped around it before you put it back. If the drain is bad, you can use the opportunity to install a new one.
An Object in the P-trap
The P-trap is the curving pipe that is found under your bathroom sink. It connects to the wall pipe and prevents harmful gasses from coming up through your sink drain. You deal with this problem by disconnecting your bathroom sink P-trap and cleaning out hair and other objects that are trapped in the system.
Rust and corrosion can also cause clogging of your bathroom sink. If you notice that this is the problem, replace the old, rusted pipe before they get blocked totally with debris. Alternatively, you can use a plunger to clear the sink, but this is a temporary intervention. The best thing is to change your piping.
Call A Plumber To Unclog Your Sink
Most people experience difficulty when trying to unclog their sink. This is because most plumbing problems are not as straightforward as they may look. If you have tried all the methods outlined in this article and you are unable to unclog the bathroom sink, it is best to call a professional plumber to look at the problem.