It happens to everyone: one day you’re happily washing your hands at your bathroom or kitchen sink, and suddenly you notice the water’s not going down the plug hole as it should. You wait for the water to drain and try to wash your hands again, but the situation is the same, and what’s more it’s giving off an unpleasant smell!
That’s when knowing how to unclog a sink comes in handy. But how do you unclog a sink if it’s the first time you’ve encountered the problem? Simple: this article contains all the info you need to unclog sinks as quickly as possible.
How to unclog a sink in 4 steps
It really is quite straight-forward – just follow the steps below.
Step one: Get ready
Before you start, make sure you put on rubber gloves and protect your clothing. Read the safety instructions on any equipment or products you plan to use.
Step two: Flush the clogged drain with hot water
- Fill a bucket with hot water and pour it from a height into the sink.
- Gravity will push the hot water down the drain, hopefully dissolving any grease or dirt blockage in its way.
- You may need to repeat this process more than once.
- If there’s already a lot of standing water in the sink you may find this method won’t progress the situation any further, so proceed to the next stage and learn how to unclog sinks with a plunger.
Step three: Use a sink plunger to unclog your sink
- Be sure you use the right type of plunger for the sink (toilet plungers are larger and a different shape).
- Make sure you don’t have too much standing water in the sink, and plug up any overflow pipes to prevent water coming back in through another opening.
- Make sure the seal is water-tight and you use a slow pumping action to shift any blockage in the drain below.
- Never use a drain cleaning product beforehand, as it could splash on you during plunging.
You might also be able to unclog drains with natural products in your kitchen:
If these methods haven't worked, you need to know how to clean a clogged sink with a commercial product like Domex (always read the safety instructions first). Read on to find out how.
Step four: Use a commercial drain-cleaning product
- Choose a thick drain-cleaning product or bleach like Domex – known for its germ killing properties.
- Read the safety guidelines – wear to protective clothing & ensure the area is well ventilated.
- According to the instructions on the label, pour the product into the drain and wait for it to dissolve the blockage.
- Rinse the drain with cold water to flush away any debris and repeat if necessary.
If the blockage still remains, consider calling out a specialist.
Causes of a Clogged Sink
To prevent further issues, be aware of the potential reasons your sink may have become blocked:
- Toys or small items like hairclips fall into the plug hole.
- A build up of hair combined with a build up of soap scum to form a blockage.
- Food waste and grease builds up over time to block a pipe.
- Your exterior drain is blocked and water cannot flow through from the bathroom or kitchen.