Kitchen Cleaning

How to unclog a sink

Want to know how to unblock a sink? Read on for ways to get rid of blockages in a clogged sink.

Noticing that your kitchen or bathroom sink is beginning to drain slowly, or a foul smell is rising from the plughole? You could have a clogged sink. From hair to food, it’s easy for pipes to collect debris. Fortunately, unclogging a blocked sink is a straightforward process, with many methods using common tools and cleaning supplies, like Domestos, to help you blast away the blockage.

How to unblock a sink with a plunger

The simplest way of clearing out a blocked sink is with a plunger. Empty the sink, take out the plug and clean the plughole. Fill a third of the sink with water. Position the plunger above the plughole and start plunging in an up-and-down motion. If it’s worked, the water will begin to drain quickly. If this does not work, you may need chemicals to breakdown the organic matter.

How to clean sink and unclog sink with baking soda and vinegar

Put your gloves on and make your own homemade sink un-blocker with baking soda and vinegar. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the plughole and follow with 6 tablespoons of vinegar. You’ll hear a fizzing noise as the baking soda and vinegar react. Leave the solution for 3-4 minutes before flushing the pipes with hot water straight from the kettle.

This is also a good opportunity to clean your sink by sprinkling baking soda over it, leaving it for a few moments and washing it away with hot water.

How to unclog a sink with a commercial cleaner

For serious blockages that are caused by hair or grease, you may need to opt for a specialist cleaner like Domestos Sink & Pipe Unblocker. These commercial cleaners will break down dense organic matter in minutes. Follow the instructions at the back of the bottle to unblock your sink.

Remove the u-bend

If there is a major blockage that isn’t responding to chemical solutions, you may need to remove the u-bend. Locate the u-bend pipe, which is usually accessible and below the kitchen sink, and place a large bucket beneath it. Have towels laid around the area as splashing is common.

Unscrew the u-bend extremely slowly and let the water leak out. Once you’ve removed the u-bend entirely, check to see whether there is anything blocking the pipe and use a wire hanger to dislodge it.

Once you are certain that it is clean, tightly screw the u-bend in place, making sure there are no leaks, and test that water drains properly by turning on the kitchen tap. If you are finding that the pipe still leaks, you may need to use to secure the u-bend with waterproof tape.

So next time you notice a bad smell rising up from your plughole, try one of the methods above.

Top Tip


To prevent sinks from getting clogged, do not wash grease down the kitchen sink, regularly clean out hair from plugs and avoid using facial scrubs that contain plastic.

Key points:

  • Use a plunger to unclog a sink
  • Dissolve organic matter using a natural or commercial cleaner
  • Remove the u-bend and use a wire hanger to remove blockages