How to Unclog a Sink Cleanzen Infographic


Both kitchen and bathroom sinks are prone to clogging. Clogs often develop slowly, and water may drain out of the sink more slowly than usual when this happens. However, some clogs seemingly develop instantaneously.


Both are problematic as they interfere with your ability to use the sink for hygiene, cooking, cleaning or other purposes. The best time to deal with a clogged sink is as the clog develops rather than when the drain is fully clogged.

Why Is My Sink Clogged?


If your sink functioned perfectly until recently, there is a good chance that something relatively large is lodged in the drain pipe.


How to Unclog a Sink Cleanzen Image of a Clogged a Sink with Standing Water


On the other hand, if you’ve noticed an increasing amount of standing water after using the sink over the last several weeks, your clog is likely caused by an accumulation of small pieces of matter. When items like strands of hair, grease, soap residue and other things build up, they will eventually cause a full blockage.


Before the sink is completely clogged, you may notice that the water takes longer to pass through the drain.


What Causes Sink Clogs?


The pipe that carries water out of the sink and through to the main wastewater line is fairly narrow. While many things can fit through the drain, they may not make it all the way to the sewer line. This may be because they cannot round a bend in the pipe.


Perhaps there is already accumulated matter that catches the various things trying to pass through the pipe. These elements that can’t pass through the pipe add to the blockage.


What’s the Best Way to Unclog a Sink?


There are several ways to unclog a sink. These include using a snake, a plunger, baking soda or pliers.


Using a Snake Device


How to Unclog a Sink Cleanzen Image of a Flexible Spring Drain Cleaner


You can pick up a plumbing snake at a local hardware or home supply store. This is a narrow piece of piping that may be up to 10 or 15 feet long. It is designed to latch onto clogged matter so that the clog can be extracted.


Working with a Plunger


The plunger uses suction power to pull the clog out of the pipe. You must remove the sink’s stopper or strainer as a first step. Then, cover the sink’s overflow opening with a moist washcloth. Add enough water so that up to three inches of water is standing in the sink.


Use the plunger to add pressure to the pipe, pushing up and down on the plunger for about 30 seconds. You may need to repeat this process several times until the water can pass freely down the drain.


Cleaning with Baking Soda


You can use warm water, white vinegar and baking soda to loosen the clog. Start by removing the stopper or strainer, and cover the sink’s overflow hole with a wet washcloth.


Then, funnel a half-cup of baking soda into the drain. Add a half-cup of white vinegar into the drain. Let this sit for 15 minutes, and then rinse the drain clean with hot water.


Extracting with Pliers


If you remove the drain cover or stopper and see a gunky mess, you can use long-nosed pliers to pull the clog out. In many cases, this will fix the problem.


However, if the problem lingers, this indicates that there is another clog deeper in the pipe. You will then need to use one of the other methods described above to remove the deeper clog.


Check the P-trap


Examining the P-trap is essential when dealing with a clogged sink. This curved pipe beneath the sink often collects debris causing blockages. By inspecting the P-trap, you can locate and remove any obstructions, restoring proper drainage.


Here’s detailed tutorial on how you can properly dismantle, clean, and put back your P-trap for better sink drainage:



How to Prevent Your Sinks From Clogging


You can prevent a clogged kitchen sink by chopping only small pieces of food in the garbage disposal. In addition, do not pour grease, coffee grounds or oil into the sink. In the bathroom, use a hair catcher to capture debris before it runs into the pipe.


You also should thoroughly clean the drain and pipe as part of your regular cleaning routine. After each use, run hot water through the drain. Periodically, clean the pipe with a combination of baking soda and vinegar.




How Do You Unclog a Sink with Standing Water?


Unclogging a sink with standing water should be done with care as the water may overflow onto the floor and create damage. If the sink has more than a few inches of standing water, use a cup to scoop the excess water out.


Then, remove the drain stopper so that you have full access to the pipe. Cover the overflow hole with a wet washcloth. Then, use a snake or plunger to extract the clog.


Is It Better to Use a Chemical Drain Cleaner to Unclog My Sink?


Sink Drain GIF - Sink Drain Unclog GIFs


While it may seem easier to simply pour a chemical drain cleaner into your sink, these products should be avoided. They are caustic and can lead to pipe damage.


In addition, these chemicals can cause various health effects when you come in contact with them.


When Should I Call a Professional to Unclog My Sink?


In many cases, you’ll be able to unclog your drain through these methods. However, if you cannot remove the clog despite your best efforts, it is time to call a professional. A professional can use other methods, such as hydro jetting, to clear the matter out.


House cleaning is never a fun chore, and the good news is that you do not need to do the mopping, scrubbing and vacuuming on your own. With cleaning services from Cleanzen, our professionals will give your home top-to-bottom attention and leave you with a clean, healthier home. Learn more about our cleaning services by contacting us today.


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