Sink Clogged? - How to Unclog a Sink Drain

Sink Clogged? - How to Unclog a Sink Drain


How to Unclog a Sink Drain

Oh, boy. A clogged drain. Chances are you’ve experienced a clog in your home plumbing system, and your sink is no exception. A clog that is not going away on its own will require immediate attention to avoid the rising of water.

Is it possible to learn how to unclog a drain without calling a professional plumber or using hazardous chemicals? The answer is yes! In most cases, common household objects or kitchen staples can save you from an expensive emergency call. Read these tips on how to unclog a sink drain and get back to using your running water with ease.

  • Materials and Tools
  • Plunger
  • Washcloth
  • Pliers
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Kitchen Stopper
  • Drain Snake

How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink Drain (or any other sink!)

A clogged sink drain never occurs at a convenient time. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to DIY your sink clog. Read this guide to conquer your plumbing system and finally learn how to unclog your sink!


How to Unclog a Sink Drain with a plunger

The first step in tackling a clogged up sink is to try your hand at a plunger. This is an easy and effective method that can often clear up your sink. The key to successfully unclogging your sink is knowing how to use a plunger correctly.

  • Fill the sink partially with hot water.
  • Position the plunger over the drain.
  • If you have a double sink, stuff a washcloth in your second drain to ensure the plungers efforts are focused effectively.
  • Work the plunger up and down. It’s important to do this in a quick motion to ensure results.
  • Lift up the plunger and check if the water is draining.
  • Repeat as necessary. Remember this could take awhile so don’t give up! If the water still doesn’t drain you’ll want to try another method.  

Baking Soda and Vinegar

How to Unclog a Sink Drain with vinegar and baking soda

Harsh drain cleaners often emit noxious fumes and introduce hazardous chemicals into your homes, in addition to the risk of damaging the integrity of your pipes. Safe, all-natural solutions to drain cleaners are common household items; vinegar and baking soda. This is also a great method to use in your regular maintenance to keep your drains running smoothly.

  • Put on a pair of rubber gloves.
  • Use a bowl to remove as much standing water from your sink as possible. You can place the removed water in your bucket.
  • Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain opening. If necessary, use a spatula or similar to force the baking soda down the drain.
  • Next, pour a cup of vinegar in the opening. Place a stopper over the drain wait 5 minutes to force the vinegar down towards the clog. 
  • Run warm water to see if the sink drains.
  • If the clog has not fully disappeared, pour 4 cups of boiling water down the sink and repeat.

Remove the Trap

How to remove a sink trap - How to Unclog a Sink Drain

If you have a stubborn sink that will not be cleared with a plunger or the vinegar and baking soda method, the next step you will want to take try is removing the trap. The shape of the trap can easily be clogged with debris. Removing the trap will allow you direct access to the clog, making it much easier to clear.

  • Start by loosening the nuts with your pliers.
  • Pull down and away from the tailpiece.
  • Place your bucket underneath your work area to catch any remaining water.
  • If the clog is not in the trap, look inside the pipe to see if the clog is somewhere where you can see if. If you can see the clog, it should be easy to clear out. If you cannot see the clog it is further down the pipe.

Drain Snake

How to unclog a sink drain with a snake drain

If all else fails a drain sake should be a surefire method for clearing a clog. There are machine drain machines you can choose from, but the best option for a common household sink is a mini-rooter. These machines can be expensive to own but you can typically rent them by the day for an affordable price.

  • If you haven’t already, go ahead and remove the trap.
  • Remove the horizontal pipe that connects the trap to the stub pipe in the wall.
  • Push the end of the cable into the pipe until it meets resistance.
  • Crank the handle in a clockwise direction. This may or may not be manual if you have rented a machine.
  • Once you feel a catch on the clog, retract the cable.
  • Replace the horizontal pipe and the trap.
  • Turn on your water to test if your sink drains.

How Great Pros can help

Are you struggling with your kitchen or bathroom drain? The truth is, smelly drains and drainage issues can be a nuisance and disruptive to daily life. If you’ve exhausted your DIY capabilities, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help.

Great Pros Services has licensed, bonded, and insured professionals that can assist with your drainage needs. Just fill out this 2-minute questionnaire about your project and needs to start comparing profiles and prices of professionals in your area!