How to Unclog Your Bathroom Sink Drain

Do you ever think about all the household products and substances we put down our bathroom drain? Depending on who lives in the household and what their habits are, it can range from whiskers to shaving cream, and toothpaste to cleaning products! The combination of these products all can contribute to your bathroom sink becoming clogged. Once your sink backs up, you’ll need to get it cleared out and back in working order as soon as possible.

Have you ever checked the store shelves for a drain cleaning product? There are several different types you can choose from. Some are liquid, while others are in the form of foam or crystals. A word of warning here: you have to be very careful when you’re using a commercial product. Many of them list warnings on their labels because they contain lye and other caustic chemicals that will burn your skin if you have contact with them.

Myself, I prefer to try a safer home remedy first. Not only is it safer, but it’s less costly too. Often, one of these methods will clear my bathroom sink drain in no time at all!

The Baking Soda and Vinegar Method

Baking soda can actually help to whiten your teeth and vinegar makes a great dressing for your salad greens. But the two mixed together can actually clear the goop out of your drain too. To use these natural products, pour a half cup of baking soda into the bathroom drain. Then, pour one cup of vinegar into the drain on top of the soda. Allow the drain to sit undisturbed for thirty minutes. Once the time is up, carefully pour a kettle full of boiling water down the drain IF your plumbing is composed of metal piping. Otherwise, if your plumbing is made up of PVC piping,
skip the boiling water. Use hot tap water instead.

The Plunger Method

Okay, I know this is an age-old method to clear a drain, but many people don’t think if it, so I thought I would mention it here. Purchase a small-sized plunger that’s made to fit a sink at your local hardware. Then, if there’s no standing water in your bathroom sink, add an inch or two of tap water to it. (The water will help the plunger to create suction and work more effectively.)

Finally, place the plunger directly over the sink opening. Press it down, then quickly push the plunger up and down several times.

The “Last Chance” Method

So you’ve tried the baking soda and vinegar method and you’ve tried using a plunger, but your bathroom sink drain is still clogged. Your drain must have a major clog in it! Maybe the clog isn’t just a combination of whiskers, shaving cream, toothpaste, and cleaning products, et cetera. Maybe a small item has found its way into your sink drain.

Whatever is stopping up your drain, you’ll need to clear it out by using the ultimate method- by removing the drain pipe underneath the sink. To do this task, position a small bucket underneath the pipe first. The bucket will collect the water and gunk that comes out later. Then, loosen the pipe fitting by using a plumber’s wrench. After it’s loosened, you can finish unscrewing it with your hand. Dump the contents of the trap into the bucket; inspect it for any clogs. Use a bottle brush to clean out the pipe.

If that part of your plumbing is clear, then you’ll need to use a small auger. An auger is a thick, flexible pipe that’s rolled up into a handheld casing. There’s a handle on the side that allows you to unwind/wind the auger as you work it up and down in the drain pipe.

Once your bathroom sink drain pipe is cleared, replace the trap and tighten it back up securely. Finally, run some hot water down the drain to make sure it’s opened up. Check underneath the sink and make sure there are no leaks in the drain pipe.

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