How To Unclog A Bathroom Sink Like An Expert

  • By: Monica Shulz

You may not be as concerned with a clogged bathroom or kitchen sink as you would be with a clogged toilet, but it can still make a mess and be a huge inconvenience! Unlike plunger method, this method is more technical, but it works better.

As always, an incident like this never seems to occur at a convenient time, but when you have guests in town or a party about to happen!

This is How To Unclog The Bathroom Sink: There are simple ways to unclog. However, the easiest way to unclog the bathroom sink is to use a wire hanger or Zip It. Remove the shower drain cover by unscrewing, thread the tool down the drain and swirl it around. Another method is to roll some newspaper and thread it down through the drain. Other methods involve drain cleaners such as clearing gun, liquid cleaner, or a drain auger.

Follow along and we can quickly teach you how to unclog a clogged sink. The steps will show you how to drain without chemicals.

How To Unclog A Bathroom Sink Detailed Step by Step

Method #1 No Need To Go Under The Sink!

1. Since you will be dealing with the drain clogged, you may want to remind yourself to not turn on the water faucet until the job is complete. This is also the same when you deal with bathtub drain.

2. We suggest placing a towel or piece of tape around the faucet as a reminder

3. In order to begin working, it is highly recommended that you need to remove all the water from the sink.

4. You may have to wait until it all slowly goes down the drain or do it manually by using a cup and towel to remove all the water.

5. You can use a wire coat hanger or what we suggest is a Zip It

6. You should not need to remove the drain stopper, but if you would like to do so simply unscrew the sink stopper lid.

7. If using a wire hanger, straighten the wire out and slightly bend the end so it will grab more.

8. Simply thread the coat hanger or Zip It down the drain, swirl it around, the pull it back up.

9. For sanitation purposes, you may want to wear rubber gloves as this will pull up anything and everything caught in the drain pipes!

10. As you pull your tool back up, clean it and then reinsert it as many times as you feel necessary to make sure your drain is clean and ready to go!

Method #2 No Tools Necessary!

1. Ensure that the water is turned off

2. Clear out a space under the sink so you will have room to work. We will be removing the piping (gooseneck), so prepare for some water to come out.

3. You can do this by simply placing a shallow bucket underneath the piping.

4. Note that this piece of plumbing repair is there to prevent any sewage gases from getting into your sink and therefore your bathroom. Beware, this may get a little smelly!

5. Using your hand, loosen (by unscrewing) the two rings that are on the top and side of the slip nuts.

  • Water will begin to trickle from the piping, but don’t worry as that’s why we have the bowl!

6. Next, we are going to focus on unplugging the drain cover that’s in the sink.

7. Do this by finding the pivot rod sticking out of the back of the cabinet located near the top of the piping. This piece attaches to the sink drains and the back part of the metal pipe you are working with. It should be metal, not plastic pipe!

8. Unscrew it using your hand and pull the base out from the metal pipe.

9. Now that the bathroom sink drain is removed, you can look in the basin of the sink and pull it out.

10. Clean it using bleach or distilled white vinegar before reattaching

11. It’s time to clean! You will need a piece of newspaper for this part!

12. Roll the newspaper into a long rope-like shape and feed it down through the drain in the bottom of the sink basin and into the bucket you have underneath the sink.

13. This will clean and push/pull out all the gunk in your drain!

14. You may need to use a long screwdriver or some other long tool to help push the newspaper down.

15. Repeat this step 2 to 3 times until you are confident it’s cleaned!

16. Before reassembling the pipes, check the gooseneck bend piping to make sure it is free of debris.

17. Reattach the gooseneck and the above drain

Method #3 Bringing Out The Big Tools

If you want to skip the above methods and simply use a serious tool, these are your best options.


Note that with each tool you should always unscrew the drain cover to make it easier for the tool to do its job.


1. Use a Drain Clearing Gun

This type of tool is quick and powerful.

2. Put the gun together as per the instructions on the packaging.

3. Place the rubber piping

(suction cup depending on model) into your drain and pull the trigger on the gun, as easy as that!

4. Good Old Liquid Cleaner

5. A popular brand is Drano

this type of unclogger to unclog drain. It is always nice to have on hand for those occasions when the sink is slow draining.

6. A warning about using this type of cleaner regularly is that it is so powerful it can cause damage to your pipes overtime, so it is recommended to use it sparingly.


7. Drain Auger (Plumber Snake)

8. Much like a toilet auger

a drain auger is loosely threaded and is inserted through the top the drain, spun, and then snaked the pipes until it pulls out anything clogging your drain. This type of drain snakes is proven to be effective.


Vinegar and Baking Soda for Prevention

One solution is: to use baking soda and vinegar in drain. For this, you will need 1 tablespoon baking soda. After that, pour 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of boiled water and cover with the drain cap to allow the chemical reaction to occur and clean out the piping. This is natural ways to unclog that is proven to work.

Baking soda, vinegar, and pots of boiling water are effective for drain cleaning

Bicarbonate with vinegar  are fairly economical water treatment and that we all surely have at home. If we have it, we go to our nearest supermarket and buy the vinegar, it will be advisable that we buy the vinegar with as much acidity as possible.

Unlike dry vacuum, the first thing we should do is clean sink. Prepare the bicarbonate and dry it on the drain. Although a mountain of bicarbonate is formed there is no worry because the vinegar will actually produce the reaction and this will dissolve so it is essential that before starting this step, we thoroughly clean the sink until it is completely dry.

After the application of the bicarbonate (caustic soda), we proceed to pour the vinegar. When the two compounds come together, an effervescence reaction occurs, which will go down the pipe until it reaches a hair plug. We leave the mixture between 10 and 20 minutes acting on the cap.

Once this step is finished, we must pour pot of boiling water down the drain. This high temperature liquid eliminates the plug faster as it is able to disintegrate the material due to its high temperature. It is advisable that we heat the water in a kettle or any object with a mouthpiece to facilitate the application of water on the sink.

Besides using vinegar, we can also use salt. However, this method is only relegated to situations in which we cannot go shopping for vinegar (vinegar isn’t usually available in dry shop vacuum) or simply do not feel like it. Yet, I must say that this method requires more time to remove the plug. To carry out this method, we put the baking soda and salt, we leave it acting all night and in the morning we already pour the boiling water (we don’t need gallons of water, just a pot).

Whether with the vinegar or with salt, at the end of the process we should use the plunger, to completely eliminate all that may be left. For this, we apply movements up and down, so that the plunger makes a vacuum and that allows the Remains that may have been left are dragged when the tap is opened. One possibility for the plunger is coffee, but it has to be understood as a less effective remedy for the plunger.

Also, if we want to go to the safe in this home repair activity, we should go to a supermarket and buy the plunger product. I have to say as a comment that some unclogging liquids are very good, since I have used it with a very clogged sink, and still, I completely unclog it. The procedure is simple, we pour the liquid on the bathroom so that it falls down the drain, we let it act 6 hours and then we will see how the plunger has disappeared, that is to say the drain has swallowed it, we open the tap and let it run the water for a few moments. For this product it is recommended that if the jam is partial, do not throw the whole boat.

The use of soft drinks such as coca cola, this procedure consists first of all, in a fairly avoidable expense. we proceed by pouring two or three cans of coca cola on the sink and let it act for 15 minutes on the dirt plug. The effect of coca cola as a plunger is because it has carbonic acid, which causes an effervescence reaction.

Once we have tried all methods (wet and dry vacuum), if the clog persists, we will have no choice but to disassemble the siphon. You find where the clog is and finally clean it. To do this we must release the pipes by the threads they present, these threads are very easy to see since you must follow the pipe until you find a thickening in the pipe that presents a kind of uniform notches. Once the notches are found, we unscrew the pipe around and remove the pipe. When we have it in hand we can wear rubber gloves to avoid direct contact with dirt or simply pour water through the pipe until the plug is completely removed. Once the pipe is cleaned, we screw it back into place, tighten the thread and test the tap.

Focus on these recommendations and you should prevent at least the small clogs or even stubborn clogs that disturb water down the drain!

How To Prevent Clogged Drains Summary

Once the main techniques to unclog a sink are done, I would like to expand the information with a series of tips to prevent clogged sink drains:

  • Hair is a huge cause of the sink clogged. So try to put hair in the trash can. That way, when you finish shaving, you can take the hairs with your hands preventing them from falling down the drain.
  • Put some tap water when you shave. That way, the hairs will be suspended and will not fall down (it clogs drains quickly)
  • Much like a toilet auger, a drain auger is loosely threaded and is inserted through the top the drain, spun, and then snaked the pipes until it pulls out anything clogging your drain. This type of drain snakes is proven to be effective.
  • Do not pour solid-state substances down your drain, because if they do not dissolve they can accumulate in the elbows of the pipe, generating a plug that is almost certainly more difficult to remove than a large number of hairs.
  • When we remove the pipe, we must take into account that it can be glued with silicone. You can get this on hardware store. When unscrewing, we can use a flat screwdriver in order to remove the silicone remains to be able to unscrew more easily and avoid possible thread breakage. It happens when it does not fit the pipe well.
  • Try to not rinse anything down it but soap and water. Soap scum shouldn’t be your problem.
  • You can use a liquid cleaner as mentioned above, but perhaps try a more natural solution if doing it regularly.Uncloging a sink is the same if it is bathroom, toilet, kitchen or any other room with a sink. And solution can be made in simple steps.