How To Unblock A Bathroom Sink?

unblock a bathroom sink

A blocked bathroom sink is unfortunately quite a common problem among various households. A simple solution that many people follow is to call a plumber to fix it.

However, there are a plethora of methods that people can follow to unblock the sink themselves. We have made a list of effective solutions that don’t involve using harmful chemical-based cleaners. The instructions below are easy-to-follow, and the materials required are inexpensive and are found frequently in houses.

Before we teach people how to unblock a bathroom sink, let’s figure out the causes behind the clogging.

Why is the bathroom sink blocked?

The reasons for clogged bathroom sinks are surprisingly similar among households. Most of these problems are unavoidable by common people. They are:

1. Hair

Hair is the most common reason for blocked bathroom sinks, especially,  hair clumps together when wet. These clumps get stuck on the pipe walls while going down. The worst part is once a massive amount of hair is collected, other dirt particles, body lotions, soaps, etc., will clump while trying to go down the drain.

2. Damaged pipes

If the sink gets clogged constantly, it’s probably because of damaged pipes. Pipes corrode as time passes, causing rust to develop on inner tubes. Due to this, these pipes completely block water flow. If the lines are old, the only solution to this is replacing them with new ones. On the contrary, if they are brand new, the constant blockage could be due to poor installation.

3. Improper installation

Unfortunately, some issues may be down to poorly installed plumbing and piping. Sometimes, pipes are fitted at wrong angles, which causes a build-up of material that causes blockages. It can be fixed by changing the lines if people can locate the source. Also, the material quality, drainage properties, and the material’s resistance to corrosion play a significant role.

4. Bad weather

Sometimes, terrible weather causes clogged bathroom sinks. Natural things like leaves, dirt, and debris are accumulated in the drainage system, particularly during heavy rains. Remember that if you experience stormwater drain blockages during bad weather, the problem is further down your pipes and needs professional attention.

Solutions to unblock a bathroom sink

Clearing the bathroom sink can be tricky as hair, dirt, etc., can form an impenetrable clog. Therefore, we have some solutions that can unblock a bathroom sink without the help of a plumber. These steps can also apply for unblocking a kitchen sink.

1. Use a Plunger

A plunger is a standard household tool useful to unclog a bathroom sink. Ideally, we recommend a smaller plunger for this solution. Here’s how to use a plunger to unblock a sink:

  • Remove the sinkhole cover. Most sinkhole covers come out when people pull up and turn the cover to the left. Keep it somewhere safe.
  • Cover the basin overflow with a cloth. Fill the drain with water till it covers half of the plunger head. Avoid filling the basin.
  • Place the plunger at the centre of the drain. After correctly positioning it, push the plunger down gently and pull it up constantly for around 20 seconds
  • The pressure created by the suction should get rid of the blockage. After the water drains down, check the drain to observe if any clog is visible.

If this method doesn’t unblock the bathroom sink, attempt the other solutions suggested below.

2. Use baking soda and vinegar

This method is useful when the hair and other waste don’t completely block the sink. Equip yourselves with baking soda, boiling water, and white vinegar to implement the below-mentioned solution.

  • Ensure that there isn’t any water in the drain by keeping the basin completely dry.
  • Combine ½ a cup of baking soda with one cup of boiling water and put it down the drain. Wait for three to four minutes.
  • Then mix 1/3rd of a cup of baking soda with the same amount of vinegar. As the combination begins to fizz, throw the mixture into the drain and wait for around 10-20 minutes.
  • After that, pour some hot water down the drain to wash out the waste along with the mixture.

3. Use wire to unblock the sink

When the other methods don’t work, use this last resort technique to clear the most stubborn clogs. This solution takes up a lot of time and effort, so put on the rubber gloves first.

Additionally, you’ll need a wire hanger to put into the sink and pliers to bend it accordingly.

  • Turn off the water and clean out everything in the bathroom vanity unit. Place a bucket underneath the sink for excess water and close the stopper.
  • Remove the stopper in the bathroom sink and use a flashlight to locate the source of the blockage.
  • Put on the rubber gloves and clean up any hair, dirt, and debris underneath the stopper to avoid clogging in the future. We recommend using a toothbrush to clean the internal pipes in the sink.
  • Bend the wire and try to get it deeper into the sink. Once you feel the blockage, twist and pull the hanger to garner as much gunk as possible.
  • After removing the hair and gunk, put everything back together again.

If neither of these solutions has gotten rid of the blockage, it’s better to call a professional plumber for the job.

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5 Tips to Avoid Blockage in Bathroom Sinks

A clogged sink can be avoidable if people follow these tips mentioned below:

  • Pour hot water down the drain every week. That’ll prevent excess gunk gathering underneath the sink.
  • Avoid flushing hair into the bathroom sink. It doesn’t seem necessary at first, but it can build up and clog the sink over time.
  • Clean the drain under the stopper once a month. It’s easy to clean dirt, hair, and debris and avoid it from going down the drain.
  • Put a little table salt and ½ cup of white vinegar and let it sit out for an hour. Later, pour some water to let loose substances down the drain.
  • Pour some cold water once in a while to keep the grease in a solid state. This ensures it’s easily broken down during everyday use.


Remember, these tips won’t eliminate the possibility of blockage in bathroom sinks but will significantly reduce it. Learning how to unclog the sink is within your grasp. But don’t perform any activity that would cause damage to the sink, leading to more expenses.

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