How To Unblock Your Bathroom’s Sink: 6 Smart Ways

Is your bathroom sink blocked? Then call a plumber! Or…. better wait!

Before calling a plumber, why don’t you try to unclog it yourself? It’s not that difficult! You’ve got all the needed materials in your cupboards. Put aside the drain cleaners. We aren’t talking about products containing harsh chemicals or tools like a plunger. We mean using natural ingredients like vinegar or soda or water. 

Running water in bathroom's sink

Yeap! Don’t be surprised! Vinegar isn’t only for salads! Trust them and give them the chance to prove to you what they can do! Believe me! They do magic! You’ve worked so hard to make your bathroom look great, painting it, removing mould, even painting bathroom tiles!

If you’re worried that you won’t make it on this one, don’t worry; you aren’t alone! We’ve prepared a guide for you to help you unblock your sink easily and quickly!

How to unblock your bathroom’s sink without a plunger

1. Use Baking Soda & White Vinegar

If you mix baking soda and vinegar, you’ll get a fizzing action that will remove all the debris, grime, soap scum and hair from your clogged drain. 

Note: Before you start the cleaning process, make sure that the drain is completely dry. 

Materials you’re going to use:

  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda (you can also use bicarbonate soda)
  • A cup of white vinegar
  • Warm water

And now, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Add soda to the plughole and then pour the vinegar.
  2. When you see bubbles and hear fizzing noise, wait for about 20 minutes
  3. Then, flush through water
Boiling water in kettle

2. Use Boiling Water

This method doesn’t work with all bathroom clogs. It perfectly works when there’s a blockage due to scum buildup. You have to be sure that there isn’t much water sitting in the sink though before trying it. 

So, the steps here are really simple.

  1. You just need to boil water in a large pot or kettle
  2. Pour it into the drain. 
  3. Repeat three or four times, for better results.
Man's hands holding a U bend under a bathroom's sink

3. Remove the U Bend

If none of the above methods is effective, then it’s time to take some real action. 

You’ll have to unscrew the U-bend and clear the blocked drain by hand. It’s an easy method, but it might be a little messy. 

So, put on your old clothes, clear underneath the sink, remove anything that you don’t want to get dirty, and prepare the things you’re going to need to make your blocked sink work again!

You will need:

  • A pair of rubber gloves
  • Some old towels
  • A wrench
  • A bucket

And now what? Instructions: 

  1. Put the gloves on and place a towel under the sink.
  2. Take a picture of the U-bend to know how to put it back together. You‘ll thank me later for that!
  3. Place the bucket underneath the U-bend. This way you’ll collect any water and debris coming out of the pipe as you take it apart. 
  4. Use the wrench to unscrew every side of the U-bend. While unscrewing, water will run out into the bucket. Yes; that’s why you need the bucket!
  5. Remove the pipework and clear it from any residue that is inside into the bucket.
  6. Rinse all the dismantled parts thoroughly in the kitchen sink. If you’d like you can even wash them – that’s on you.
  7. Now, you’re ready to put together the U-bend. Look at the picture you took in the beginning, to be sure that you put it back together correctly.
  8. Finally, run water to check that the sink doesn’t leak. 

4. Use a Flexible Wire 

Another method to try is if none of the above natural methods works. Try using a flexible long wire or a wire coat hanger for unclogging the bathroom drain. It’s the most involved method of all. 

Let’s see the needed materials and the steps you should take:

  • A bucket
  • A towel
  • Protective gloves
  • A wrench or a screwdriver (depending on your bathroom basin)
  • Pliers  
  • A flexible wire or a wire coat hanger

Now that all your supplies are  by your side, you need to follow the below steps: 

  1. Turn off the water! It’s important.
  2. Put on your gloves and clear everything underneath the sink to give yourself some space to work.
  3. Place a towel and a bucket under the sink, to make sure you’ll get any water that might come off your sink. 
  4. Remove the stopper. To do so, go under the sink. There’s a spring clip. Squeeze it to remove the pivot rod from the clevis strap. Now,  the stopper will pop up. 
  5. Since you’ve loosened the stopper, clean it of any dirt and hair. Use the kitchen sink to rinse it very well. You can use some bleach or rubbing alcohol as well. 
  6. Get the wire or the hanger and shape it like a hook. Pliers will help. 
  7. Lower the hook into the sink-drain and start moving it to grab as much dirt as possible.
  8. Use the wrench or the screwdriver to loosen the conjunction of the waste trap and the basin. 
  9. Unscrew the other end of the trap and pull it from the sink. Be careful though, not to lose any rubber seals and washers. 
  10. Clean the blocking waste trap. Use the wire to break the clog. 
  11. Reassemble all the pieces.
  12. Run hot water to check if there are any leaks.
A hand purring baking soda in sink

5. Use Soda Crystals

Another method to clean the drains is using soda crystals, also referred to as washing soda. These are water softeners and multi-purpose cleaners. They can tackle dirt, stains and dissolve grease, making the whole process for this method a piece of cake.

You’ll need:

  • A packet of washing soda
  • Boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Pour the water into the drain.
  2. Add a cup of the crystals.
  3. Then, pour once more a cup of boiling water and let it work for about 5 minutes.
  4. Finally, pour boiling water again to check if the sink is unblocked.

6. Use Commercial Drain Unblocker

The use of commercial drain unblockers is probably the easiest way to unlock your sink. There are various products available at any grocery store, so, find the one that better suits your needs and go for it. 

Note: When it comes to using such products, the rule of thumb is to read the instructions labelled carefully. So, don’t skip that part.

However, the usual process is the following:

  1. Pour the liquid into the drain.
  2. Let it work for as much time as it’s recommended.
  3. Let hot water run afterwards.

Done!

A woman hand using a plunger to unclog bathroom's sink

Unblock your bathroom’s sink with a plunger

Maybe you are not a big fan of any DIY methods, are you? If not, the plunger method is all you need to clean your drain. Let’s see what this is all about.

You’ll need:

  • A plunger
  • A dishcloth

Steps to success: 

  1. Block the overflow hole with a dishcloth to create a vacuum.
  2. Grab the plunger and fit it to the drain. 
  3. Run the water until it covers at least half of the plunger’s head.
  4. Push down the plunger gently to create an airtight seal.
  5. Now push up and down vertically keeping a steady pace. 
  6. Release the plunger and let the air out.
  7. Repeat until the water drains. 

Tips to keep your sink from blocking.

There are, though, some things you can do to avoid all that mess from unblocking the sink. 

  1. You can cover the tub with a mesh screen or a perforated drain grate to collect the hair, soap scum or any debris, allowing at the same time the water to pass through.
  2. You can also run hot water through the sink regularly. This way you’ll prevent the grime building up which can make drains clogging.

If you have a blocked sink and none of the above methods works, then it’s time to call a specialist, because the damage is likely to be more serious.  

Good luck!!

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