DIY Tips

5 Steps to Unclog a Bathroom Sink

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Is your sink not draining? Hair and beauty products, soap scum, and more can create buildup in and around your sink. While a full clog is rare, a slow sink can create backups. Fortunately, unclogging a bathroom sink is an approachable DIY fix. Just watch this step-by-step video to help you fix your sink in five easy steps. 

1. Check for Leaks

Place a bucket or bowl underneath the pipe. 

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2. Remove the Water from the Basin 

Using a cup, remove as much water as possible from the sink basin. 

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3. Drain Water from the P-Trap 

Loosen the P-Trap to allow any water to drain into the bucket or bowl. 

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4. Clean the P-Trap 

Remove the P-Trap and ensure that it is clean. Make sure the pipe from the P-Trap to the sink is also clean and remove any clogs. You can use a bent wire hanger to remove the clog. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to use a plumbing snake to access the clog. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use, insert the snake into the pipe opening, continuing until you feel you’ve hit something. In most cases, this is the clog that needs to be removed. Secure the snake by tightening the nut assembly near the handle of the snake. Now you can begin to twist the snake in order to grab the clog and clear it from your drain. When the clog is cleared, you won’t feel resistance. Secure the P-Trap back in place and check the sink. If the clog has been cleared, your sink will function as normal. 

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5. Test for Leaks 

Replace the P-Trap and test the flow for leaks before removing the bucket or bowl. If no leaks are present, remove the bucket and use the sink as normal. 

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Clogged pipes happen, but you’ve got this! If the clog persists, it’s time to call a professional. In order to avoid future clogs, here are some tips: 

  • Small hairs may not seem problematic, but over time, they can build up and clog your sink, so be sure to clean up after you shave or wash your hair in the sink. 

  • Clean your sink’s stopper regularly or that debris will eventually make its way down the drain, potentially creating a clog.

  • Add a grate or screen to your sinks to trap hair and soap scum before they enter the drain system.

  • Hot water from the tap can keep buildup at bay.

  • Use boiling water to break down soap scum and other bits of small debris that can create clogs if left unattended. You can also use natural solvents like baking soda and vinegar regularly to keep your sink clog free.  

DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Please be sure to take the appropriate safety precautions and ensure your project complies with any applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulations.