It can be a hassle when you’re faced with a stubborn clog in your bathroom sink. Many bathroom sink clogs are a result of any combination of hair, dirt, and skin flakes that bind with soap scum that accumulates on the walls of the drain pipes.
The best method to unstop a sink may depend on what’s clogging it. You can flush soap scum clogs with vinegar and baking soda or for bigger clogs, a plunger or drain snake work best. Finding out why your drain is clogged is the best way to figure out how to unclog it.
If you find yourself needing to do a quick DIY drain clear, it is important to know a few quick and easy methods to unclog your sink. These methods should work on any clogged drain, not just bathroom sinks.
Many plumbers recommend the use of enzymatic drain cleaners to clear clogged drains. Chemical drain cleaners may be effective at cleaning your drainpipes thoroughly, but at the cost of causing potential damage to the system over time. The strong chemical content can harm the insides of the pipes and also release dangerous fumes. Enzymatic drain cleaner don’t have chemical components, but instead contain bacteria cultures as well as concentrated enzymes that respond to the presence of organic substances. The enzymes or bacteria that are found in these cleaners will feed on organic materials that range from your hair to food waste to mold. The organisms then digest these waste substances and reproduce & spread the good bacteria throughout your drainage system.
A tried & true method of clearing drain clogs, and one using materials most likely to be found in your kitchen cabinets, is the baking soda & vinegar method. When baking soda & vinegar react, it creates a neutralized reaction that helps to flush material clinging to the pipes in your bathroom sink. all you need to do is mix around 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a cup. You’ll have to immediately pour this solution down the drain to be effective. Rinse with hot water after about an hour.
Did you know that some plungers are designed to specifically be used for unclogging sink drains? Sink plungers do not have a “flange” on the end, and instead have a wider mouth for effective sink clearing.
To clear the drain clog, simply place the plunger over the drain and use it like you would when plunging a toilet. This may cause clogs to back up out of the sink, so be prepared to clear & clean it out after plunging.
Using boiling water to unstop a bathroom sink is a highly effective method that helps to flush clogs through your pipes. This method works best with clogs caused by soap scum, and for sinks that aren’t already full of standing water. All you need to do is simply bring a pot of water to a boil, and then slowly pour it down the drain once it has reached a rolling boil. You may have to repeat this a few times to fully clear the drain clog.
Drain snakes or “plumber’s snakes” are tools that can be purchased at your local hardware store. Drain snakes have a coiled metal wire with a broader gap at the end. To use it, you must simply turn a crank to rotate the wire as it moves through your drain pipe.
If the clog is caused by a dense, but shreddable obstacle, the drain snake can break it up enough to enable flow. An obstruction like hair might be snagged or corkscrewed by the auger, enabling the operator to pull it away. As the auger rotates, it also flails against the interior walls of the pipe, scraping off soap scum, hard minerals and oil.
Do you have access to a wet/dry vacuum (think ShopVac)? If you do, or if you can get to a hardware or big box store that offers rentals, this can be a very effective method at quickly clearing a clogged drain. Here are the steps you need to follow in order to remove a clog using a wet/dry vacuum.
One common reason for sink clogs is due to material like hair and soap scum becoming lodged in the “P-Trap” under the sink. It is quite literally shaped like the letter “P.” A P-trap is a plumbing fixture that has several purposes. It traps debris that has drained from the sink and prevents it from forming a clog deep within the plumbing system, and stops sewer gases from passing into the home.
When the above methods don’t seem to work, you may have a clog that is too tough to handle with every day tools & cleaners. At this point, you should call a local, licensed plumber like Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric. If you find yourself in this situation, give us a call at 479-751-0195 so that our expert plumbers can help you flush your problems down the drain!