3 simple ways to unclog a sink
Unclog your sink, with these simple steps even if you don’t own a garburator!
We all know and dread the warning signs. But like it or not, the sink is progressively taking longer and longer to drain. Every last attempt to be extra careful about the gunk going down the drain is for nought. And suddenly one fine day, you find your drain completely clogged.
Finding a plumber at such short notice will definitely cost you. But before you reach for your phone to call the plumber, why not try out these tips on how to unclog a sink first? It’s actually not too difficult and might save you some plumbing fees.
1. Unclog a sink with a Plunger
Try to unclog using a plunger first. If the clog is not as bad as you think, you might actually be able to get the water to drain by using the plunger alone.
- Boil enough hot water to fill the sink about ¼ to ½ of the way full.
- Then put on a splash-proof apron to protect your clothes and put on your rubber gloves.
- Position the plunger over the drain and if you have a double sink at home, you will need to put a stopper onto that unclogged drain. The reason for this is to focus all the suction pressure on the side that is blocked.
- Move the plunger up and down swiftly while making sure that the suction remains. Do be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water in the sink.
- Remove the plunger and check if the water is draining.
- If it does then congrats! Now you know how to unclog a sink! If it doesn’t then continue to use the plunger until the clog is dislodged. It might take several rounds for it to work, but if it doesn’t then try the next method.
2. Try Baking soda and vinegar instead
If the first method failed, then you will need to wait for the hot water in the sink to cool down. Then remove the water from the sink with a cup and try this next method.
- Start by putting one cup of baking soda down the sink drain.
- Then with a spoon pack the baking soda into the opening.
- Next, pour one cup of vinegar into the drain opening. Make sure to have the stopper ready because you will need to plug the drain immediately when the fizzing starts. What happens is that this forces all the fizz downwards and hopefully dislodge any clog.
- Let the solution sit for about five minutes before flushing everything down the drain with four cups of boiling water.
- You might need to repeat the whole process if the sink drain isn't clear.
Bonus tip: Instead of using room temperature vinegar you can also opt to boil 3 cups of vinegar in your kettle. This actually serves as double-duty because not only are you going to unclog a sink with it, the vinegar also helps to descale your kettle! Just pour the boiling vinegar down the drain after dumping the soda and your sink will smell no more.
3. Opening the sink trap
If all the methods above to unclog a sink have failed, then it looks like you have no other option but to open up the sink trap under your sink. It is going to be gross and messy, but it’s better than letting the dishes pile up!
- Locate your sink trap by opening the cabinet beneath your sink. You will need to put a bucket underneath the pipes to catch any water or gunk that might drain out.
- The trap is the curved pipe that dips below the horizontal and vertical pipes. How you unscrew the trap depends on what kind of pipes you have. You can unscrew PVC pipes by hand, otherwise, you might need a pipe wrench to loosen everything.
- Empty the water from the trap into the bucket and check the trap for clogs. Clean and remove all the gunk stuck in the trap. If needed, you can also use a cable auger.
- Reattach the trap when it is clean. Turn on the hot water or pour some hot water down the sink and check if it drains.
Hurrah! Success! See? To unclog a sink is not so hard after all! Which method was most effective for you? Now that you know how tedious it is to clean out a sink trap, maybe you’ll be more careful about what you dump into the sink next time!