How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink Drain & Prevent Future Clogs

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Our team put together this comprehensive guide on how to unclog bathroom sink as soon as possible to prevent disturbing odors, pest attraction, poor drainage, and water damage. All you need are gloves, a bucket, a drain snake, white vinegar, and baking soda. Of course, if your bathroom sink is still clogged after using our method, contact a licensed plumber to take a look and address the issue at hand.

unclogging a bathroom sink

Identifying the Cause of the Clog

Bathroom sinks are prone to clogging for a number of reasons that include hard water, soap scum, hair, tiny toys, and debris:

  • Hard water and soap: combine these two and you get soap scum which can build up in your sink's pipes and cause clogging. Learning how to remove hard water stains from your faucet and sink comes in handy if this is the case.
  • Hair: a well-known clogging culprit, hair tangles and forms knots that can block up your bathroom sink
  • Other objects: jewelry, small toys, and other items can make their way down the drain and cause an obstruction.

After identifying what's causing the clog, either move on to how to unclog bathroom sink steps or call a professional plumber to diagnose the obstruction and get rid of it.

Determining the Cause of the Clog

Before you learn how to unclog bathroom sink, step-by-step, look for whatever's causing your clogged sink:

  1. Properly remove the sink stopper or pop-up from the drain and check for obvious debris build-up or obstruction with a flashlight.
  2. Use pliers to take out any obstructions that you find.
  3. Let the water run to check if the clog is partially there or completely removed.
  4. If the water is flowing freely, there's no need to move on. If the water drains slowly, you have a partial obstruction on your hands.
  5. For water that isn't draining at all, you have a full blockage.

To examine the P-trap for obstructions:

  1. Remove the P-trap while using a bucket to capture any water that may leak out.
  2. Check it for obstructions or debris.
  3. Reassemble the P-trap after cleaning it.

How to Unclog Bathroom Sink: Removing the Clog

How to unclog bathroom sink? Well, you can use a plunger, vinegar, baking soda, a chemical cleaner, a wire hanger, or a pipe snake.

how to unclog bathroom sink

Detailed Instructions for Using Each DIY Method

Here's how to unclog bathroom sink, step-by-step, with each DIY method:

Vinegar and Baking Soda:

  1. Add a cup of baking soda and white vinegar together.
  2. Carefully pour the mixture down the drain. Make sure to keep your face and body away from the drain and wear the necessary safety equipment.
  3. Cover the bathroom sink drain with a stopper or towel.
  4. Leave the mixture there for 15 minutes before flushing it down the drain with hot water.

Remember to use white vinegar and not cleaning vinegar for this method.

Boiling Water, Salt, and Baking Soda:

  1. Add boiling water, a cup of salt, and a cup of baking soda in a saucepan.
  2. Mix the ingredients together and then pour them down your sink drain.
  3. Pour the mixture in very slowly so that the boiling water will not overflow.
  4. Let the mixture sit there for 15 minutes before using hot water to flush it down.

Use this technique carefully when dealing with PVC pipes.

Drain Snake:

  1. Using a drain snake, carefully push it through the sink drain's opening.
  2. Twist and turn the drain snake to clear the obstruction.
  3. Pull out the drain snake slowly to avoid damaging the pipes.
  4. Pour hot water down the drain to clear any debris.

Wire Hanger:

  1. Using a wire hanger, carefully insert it through the sink drain's opening.
  2. Twist and turn the hanger to clear the obstruction.
  3. Pull out the hanger slowly to avoid damaging the pipes.
  4. Pour hot water down the drain to clear any debris.


  1. Place the rubber plunger cup directly over the sink drain.
  2. Turn on the water and cover the plunger cup.
  3. Press the plunger down and release it as many times as needed.
  4. Let the water continue to run to create suction.
  5. Continue using the plunger until the obstruction is cleared.
  6. Pour hot water down the sink drain to clear any debris.

These methods are useful for most clogged sinks but serious clogs should be handled by professional plumbers.

Preventing Future Clogs

Sink drain clogs can be very annoying and, if left unattended, can result in water damage. While learning how to unclog bathroom sink step-by-step is important, you can also prevent this issue by:

  • Using a drain cover or screen to prevent little objects, hair, or debris from clogging the bathroom sink.
  • Keeping non-biodegradable items away from the sink drain such as cotton swabs, paper towels, and baby wipes.
  • Keep water running to wash away debris.
  • Routinely remove stains from your sink and clean the drain to avoid oil, soap, and debris buildup as maintenance.
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage your pipes and cause clogs.
  • Have a drain snake, plunger, or wire hanger nearby to get rid of obstructions as soon as you notice them.

Prevent future clogged bathroom sinks by using our tips, tricks, and recommended tools.

Bottom Line: How to Unclog Bathroom Sink

Our answer to how to unclog bathroom sink? Use a drain snake, wire hanger, plunger, salt, baking soda, and hot water mixture, or one that's made out of white vinegar and baking soda. While you can easily unclog a sink on your own, you can prevent this from happening too. Use a drain cover, don't flush non-biodegradable items down the sink, and avoid harsh chemicals. If the issue persists, It may be better to call a licensed plumber to clear up whatever's causing your clogged sink.

FAQs on Unclogging a Bathroom Sink

What are some typical reasons for clogged bathroom sinks?

Hair buildup, soap scum, and foreign objects like jewelry or toys are common sink cloggers. Additionally, hard water can contribute to the development of soap scum, which can build up in pipes and result in clogs which is why you need to know how to unclog bathroom sink as soon as possible.

How can I identify the root of a clogged bathroom sink?

You can use a flashlight to inspect the drain and use pliers to get rid of any obstructions. Afterward, let the water run to see if your drain is completely or partially clogged. The P-trap can also be removed and checked for obstructions

How can I clear a bathroom sink clog?

Our answer to how to unclog bathroom sink step-by-step? Use a plunger, snake drain, or wire hanger. You can also use a drain cleaner product, salt, water, and baking soda mixture, or the baking soda and white vinegar method. However, the best course of action is to call a plumbing business for assistance if the clog persists or if you don't feel comfortable unclogging the drain yourself.

What are some ways to avoid clogged bathroom sinks?

Avoid a clogged bathroom sink with routine cleaning, not flushing hair, jewelry, small toys, and non-biodegradable things down the drain, and avoiding harsh chemicals.

Can I unclog a bathroom sink using chemical drain cleaners?

We don't recommend using chemical drain cleaners because they can be harmful to your health, the pipes, and the environment. However, if you insist on using these types of products, follow manufacturer instructions to a T.

What should I do if the obstruction remains or if I am unable to find its source?

We've outlined how to unclog bathroom sink here and if none of our methods worked or you can't find the obstruction, contact a professional plumber right away. They can diagnose the issue and deal with it immediately.

Abigail Clemente

Abigail is an experienced content creator who has worked with several big names in the home decor and interior design industry. She comes to our team with almost 6 years of experience of working as a full time content writer.

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