How to Unclog Your Bathroom Sink

It’s a common occurrence in many homes and is annoying no matter when it happens: A clogged sink can be a pain but knowing how to unclog it yourself is a handy little skill that all homeowners should know (and will eventually put into practice).

Generally, a sink clog is caused because of something blocking the trap. The trap is that curved part of the pipe underneath the sink. It is designed to hold water at all times in order to block sewer gases from backing up but because it is a curved shape, things that are going to get lodged will usually get lodged here.

When there is a clog in the bathroom sink, the first thing to check would be if there is any visual blockage around the opening of the drain. Occasionally hair or gunk buildup can accumulate at the drain and cause the water to drain slowly and back up. If you have a coat hanger wire, use the end to gently clear any obstructions. You might be surprised by the amount of gunk that you pull out of the drain using this method but it works.

If things are still clogged, the next best thing to do would be to remove the trap. This can be done usually by unscrewing the rings on the trap. The trap will have rings on each end. You may need a pair of tongue and groove slip-lock pliers to help you loosen the rings on the trap.

Before you do any of this, though, be sure to grab a bucket or a large bowl and put it under the sink for when you remove the trap. Placing a towel under the sink is also a good idea.

Once the trap is removed, you should be able to clean out any obstructions. You can use the clothes hanger wire to clear any obstructions or you might be able to simply tap the trap while it is upside down to clear out anything.

Once the trap has been cleared, put it back on then tighten the plumbing rings. If there is still gunk coating the inside of the trap, pouring boiling hot water down the drain can help dissolve some of that gunk. Another great trick is to sprinkle some baking soda down the drain then follow it with some vinegar. This will also help dissolve gunk and clean out the pipes.

The boiling water or baking soda and vinegar treatment are great methods of regular maintenance to help keep the drains running freely. Doing this simple trick on a monthly basis can help keep the drain flowing freely and hopefully eliminate the need for unclogging later on.

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