How to Unblock a Sink in 10 Steps

The bathroom sink can easily become blocked with hair and soap scum, so it’s essential to know how to deal with this common issue.

Just follow these 10 steps on how to unblock a sink and save yourself money on calling out a plumber.

sink drain

To unblock a sink you will need:

  • Baking soda and white vinegar
  • Soda crystals
  • Washing-up bowl/bucket
  • Plunger
  • Old dish cloth
  • Protective gloves

Step 1 – Clean the plughole

Unscrew the plug and clean out any debris or grime that may be blocking the drain.

Step 2 – Seal the plughole

Cover the plughole in water so there’s an airtight seal for the plunger.

Step 3 – Block the overflow

Take the old dish cloth and use it to block the overflow ensuring there’s an airtight seal.

Step 4 – Use the plunger

Take the plunger and place it over the plughole. Gently push the plunger up and down, but hold the dish cloth against the overflow to create a good seal.

Step 5 – Use the baking soda and vinegar

If the plunger method doesn’t work, you can try using the baking soda and vinegar to clear the blockage. Just pour a small amount of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar.

Step 6 – Flush with hot water

As the baking soda and vinegar start to work, you will hear a fizzing noise. Leave for a few minutes, and use hot water to wash the mixture down the drain.

Step 7 – Use the soda crystals

Another method is to use soda crystals to unblock the sink. Dissolve half a packet of soda crystals into boiling water, and pour the mixture down the drain to help remove grime and soap residue.

Step 8 – Clean the u-bend

If none of the above methods haven’t worked, remove and clean out the u-bend.

Step 9 – Grab the bucket

Locate the first bend in the pipe under the sink, and position a bucket or washing-up bowl underneath the u-bend to catch any water.

Step 10 – Drain the u-bend and inspect

Unscrew the fitting where the u-bend joins the bottom of the sink. When the water begins to drip out, stop unscrewing and let the water drain into the bucket or washing-up bowl. When the water has drained, completely remove the u-bend and look inside it. Remove any debris from the u-bend and clean it out. Re-connect the u-bend, and hopefully you should no longer have a blocked sink. If none of this has worked for you, then we recommend calling a qualified plumber to come and take a look for you.

Using a drain unblocker

Using a drain unblocker such as Mr Muscle Kitchen and Bathroom Drain Gel, provides another way to unblock a sink. Drain unblocker sinks through standing water without dispersing until it meets the blockage.

To use drain unblocker:

  • Simply pour the entire contents of the bottle down the drain.
  • Leave to work for the recommended amount of time (or longer for tough clogs).
  • Flush with hot water.
  • To keep drains clear, it’s a good idea to use a drain un-blocker on a regular basis.

Please note

DIY is a great way to save time and money, however to avoid disappointment, invalidating your warranty, and potential injury we recommend hiring a trained professional. This guide on how to unblock a sink is for your information only and if you do decide to be bold and try it, we cannot be responsible for any outcome.

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