Vol.2, No.8

Unclogging your bathroom sink drain

Is your bathroom sink clogged up? Read this instructivearticle and find out how to clean it out fast!

Clogged sink drain
Photo Credit: Fred Dimmick
Soap scum, whiskers, shaving cream, toothpaste and other household products all can contribute to your bathroom sink becoming clogged. Once that happens, then you'll need to clear the gook and get your drain running freely again.

There are many things you can try to use to open up your drain. Of course, there are many products on the market today, but you have to be careful with them. Most of them contain lye and other caustic chemicals that will burn your skin if you get it on your hands, arms, et cetera.

Instead of turning to these products first, try some home remedies instead. One of these might do the trick and save you some money at the same time!

1. Did you know that baking soda and vinegar are more useful than settling an upset stomach and adding zing to a salad? They can often clear the gook out of a clogged bathroom sink drain too! To use them, simply pour a half of a cup of dry baking soda into the drain opening. Then, pour a cup of vinegar on top of the soda. Let the mixture set for a half of an hour or so. Finally, if the drain pipe is made of metal, pour a tea kettle full of boiling water down the drain. But, if the drain pipe is made of plastic pipe, don't use boiling water! Instead, use hot tap water so the plastic pipe doesn't melt.

2. The next strategy you can try using is a good, old fashioned plunger. You might be thinking of the large type of plungers that are used for unclogging toilets. But, no, companies make short handled plungers that have small rubber cups on the end. The small cups fit nicely over the drain.

To use a sink plunger, if there's not water standing in the sink already, you'll need to turn on the faucet and put two to three inches of water in it. The water will help the plunger get better suction. Then, place the cup over the opening of the sink. Press down and plunge up and down quickly several times.

3. If a plunger doesn't open up your bathroom sink drain, then it must really be clogged up! Besides clearing the gook out, maybe something got dropped down the drain. A small object such as a ring, a toy, a chunk of soap, et cetera, might be stuck in the trap and be a big part of the clog.

If this is the case, then you can remove the drain pipe underneath the sink. Place a bucket underneath the pipe first to catch the water and anything else that will come out of it. Loosen the pipe with a wrench until you can remove it. Check the inside of the pipe to see if there's a clog.

If the pipe is clear, then you'll need to use an auger. An auger is a thin pipe that's rolled up into a handheld compartment. There's a handle on the side that allows you to unwind the auger as you work it down the drain pipe.

Continue to wiggle the end of the auger down until it comes out through the drain pipe that you removed. Then, leave the auger in the drain, and run a little water into the sink. If it comes out into the bucket, then you'll know that you have successfully cleared the clog.

Finally, clean the pipe out and replace it by using the wrench to tighten it back up. After you have it reassembled, run some water in the drain and check the pipe for leaks.



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