When soap, hair, scum, toothpaste and other grooming byproducts accumulate in the drain, they can form clogs that block your bathroom sink. A clogged sink is very messy, and it disrupts your cleaning activities as well as basic grooming necessities.
Fortunately, there are various easy methods that you can use to unblock your sink. Note that the method you choose will depend on the amount and type of debris present. Here are various ways to unclog your bathroom sink brought to you by your friends at Sun City Mechanical. Remember, however, that if the chore is too difficult, you always reach out to us from anywhere in the Sun City area.
1. Use Boiling Water
The simplest way to unclog a bathroom sink is by pouring hot water into the drain. This method works perfectly for certain clog types like soap scum and grease. Boiling water dissolves the clogs to restore the normal flow of your drain.
To allow the water to work upon all the blockages, try pouring it in three to four times several minutes apart. This method is only appropriate for people with metal pipes. Don’t use boiling water if your plumbing system contains PVC since it can soften the pipes.
2. Try Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
A mixture of baking soda and vinegar can also help clear out soap scum from the sink. Measure half a cup of baking soda and a similar amount of vinegar. Pour the baking soda into the drain, followed by vinegar, cover the sink with a stopper and let the mixture sit for about fifteen minutes. You should hear some fizzing sounds that indicate the chemicals are eating away the clogs.
When the fizzing stops, pour in a jug of hot water to flush down the blockage along with the baking soda and vinegar residue. As you pour the water, watch to see how it’s draining to determine whether there could still be some remaining clogs.
If the sink still drains slowly, you can repeat the process once more. When the clog stays unattended for some time, the skin and hair particles rot, emitting some awful smells. If your bathroom sink emits an odor, squeeze some lemon juice into the drain to neutralize the smell.
3. Clean the Sink With Baking Soda and Salt
Alternatively, if you don’t have vinegar, you can use baking soda and salt. Measure equal portions of salt and baking soda, mix them and pour them down the drain. Give them around fifteen minutes, and then pour in hot water. The three components cause an aggressive chemical reaction that breaks down tougher clogs in the bathroom sink.
4. Use a Wire Hanger to Pull Out the Clogs
You can also try using a bent wire hanger to pull out hair clumps stuck in the bathroom sink. Take out the sink stopper and, using a flashlight, look down the drain. If you see hair, push the hooked side of a wire hanger past the obstruction and pull out the blockage. To catch more hair, move the wire up, down and around as far as it can go. Repeat the process several times until you fully clear the drain. Pour in hot water to rinse it out.
5. Use a Plunger
A cup plunger can help push down the clogs in your drain. First, seal the sink overflow, usually at the top part of the bowl just below the rim. Next, remove the sink stopper and let in a little water, enough to cover the drain. This allows the plunger cup to form a tight seal. Position the plunger directly over the drain and press it down until you feel that the rubber bottom has created a tight fit.
Using the plunger’s handle, pump down and up vigorously. The air pressure caused by the plunging motion should loosen the obstructions. Take out the plunger and, using a flashlight, look through the drain to see if you can see the any blockage.
If there is still some obstruction remaining, repeat the process. Turn on the faucet and let it run for a few minutes to flush down any loose debris. If the slow drain clears, remove the seal on the overflow outlet and fit back the stopper.
6. Snake the Pipes
If the clogs prove to be stubborn, you can use a plumber’s drain snake. Begin by placing a bucket under the P-trap, the curved section below the sink. The bucket’s purpose is to catch standing water that may spill out once you open the P-trap. Remove the P-trap by unscrewing the fasteners and turning it counterclockwise. Check through the P-trap to see if you can spot the blockage.
You can use the plumber’s snake or your hand to remove clogs. If the P-trap is clean, then the blockage could be coming from the pipes in the wall. For this case, you might need to seek assistance from a professional plumber.
If you can, insert the plumber’s snake into the pipe opening until you feel it bump up against the clog. Tighten the setscrews at the base of the snake. Twist the handle in a clockwise direction or an in-and-out motion while applying moderate pressure to break up the clog. Repeat the process until you no longer feel any resistance.
When you pull out the snake, it might have clogs stuck to it. Reattach the P-trap and tighten the screws to prevent leaks, but be careful not to damage the pipes. Turn on the sink faucet, and if the water flows at the regular speed, you have effectively removed the clog.
7. Use a Wet and Dry Vacuum
The wet and dry vacuum is also an effective tool that can help you remove clogs in your bathroom sink. Remove the P-trap and connect the wet and dry vacuum to the pipe running up into the sink. Set the unit to vacuum fluids and close the sink drain with a stopper to create a tight seal that will help in suction.
Turn the wet and dry vacuum on and off several times to loosen up any buildups. The powerful suction should dislodge the clogs and deposit them in the vacuum bag. Disconnect the shop vacuum from the pipes and return the P-trap. Open the sink stopper and run some water to test the results.
The above guide outlines some viable solutions that you can use to clear a blocked bathroom sink. While cleaning the drain, you will have to deal with some awful smells and unsightly debris. If you wish to avoid the hassle, you can have a professional clean it for you. An expert has the right tools to safely remove any residue in your pipe walls to prevent future clogs. If you try all the above methods and none of them seems to work, then it’s a sign there could be a significant problem within your plumbing system that requires a professional assessment.
You can always rely on Sun City Mechanical for any plumbing-related issues. Our company deals with drain cleaning and much more. We can handle water heater, sewer line, faucet, toilet and sink installation and repair. We also perform repair, installation and maintenance for heating and cooling systems in Sun City and the surrounding areas. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We’re ready to help.