How To Unclog A Sink Drain

Having drainage troubles in the bathroom or kitchen sink? Unclogging a sink takes a few basic tools and can save you the expense of calling in a plumber. Bathroom sinks tend to clog up because they are exposed to an abundance of hair, soap and other greasy products that can slow down or stop a drain. Kitchen sinks clog up when food particles are washed into the sink, over time this build up of food will clog the sink. Here are a few simple tips.

1. Take the plunge

drain plunger

The first step in unclogging a sink is with a plunger. To do this, partially fill the sink with water to cover the plunger head, then plunge up and down vigorously, keeping the plunger sealed against the bottom of the sink. If you do not feel the water swishing back and forth or enough resistance, then air may be escaping through the second drain or overflow opening. To stop this air intake simply hold the wet rag firmly in place over the opening. Once you have broken the clog loose, run hot water or a drain cleaner through the drain to flush out the debris.

2. Drain Auger


If the clog is too stubborn for the plunger, it is time to try the drain auger. With an auger you can go down the drain or you can remove the trap and go into the horizontal drain line. Use your judgment based on where you think the clog is located.

3. Through the drain

boiling water

If the clog is in the sink trap, use the auger (also known as a snake) to carefully drill down the trap to remove the clog. You may need to remove the drainer basket. The most suitable auger is a coiled cable that is wrapped inside a housing. The housing should have a handle and a crank on it for spinning the cable inside the drain. With limited force, feed the cable into the drain and when you feel some resistance, you are probably up against your clog. Make sure you flush the drain with boiling water to loosen and flush any remaining debris. NOTE: Replace top seals if worn

4. Remove the trap


If the clog is beyond the trap and you cannot get at it from above, remove the trap using channel locks or a pipe wrench to access the horizontal stretch of pipe. Simply wrap a rag around the area you are clamping onto ‐ this can prevent the teeth of the tool from marring the pipe surface ‐ remove the two nuts that hold the trap. Be sure to put a bucket under the trap to catch the water contained in the trap. Follow the instruction above and keep



If you dob’t have a drain auger, use a wire hanger. Be sure to smooth any sharp edges. Shape the hanger to fit into the drain pipe.


Chemical cleaners is also an option which you can try. NOTE: Chemical treatments are hazardous. It is very important to read the instructions on the product before using.

Always keep tools and materials away from children. Read the instructions before beginning your project. Wear an approved safety gear such as gloves and goggles.