How to Unblock a Bathroom Sink?

Are you stuck at home because your bathroom sink is blocked? And with no one around to help you, are you wondering what to do?

A blocked bathroom sink is pretty much inevitable someday in every home. And your bathroom sink isn’t an exception.

So there’s nothing to worry about. And here’s some good news. Using the DIY tips detailed below, you can unblock your bathroom sink within minutes yourself without calling a plumber.


Four Ways to Unblock a Blocked Bathroom Sink

1. Unblock a Bathroom Sink with Baking Soda and Vinegar

A mixture of baking soda and vinegar is gentle and does not damage the plumbing lines. This 4-step process will take less than 15 minutes:

a. Pour a pot of boiling water down the blocked sink.

b. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and pour this mixture down the sink.

c. Close the sink plug, and wait for 8 to 10 minutes. (You’ll hear some fizzing sound as the mixture reacts with the debris blocking the sink.)

d. Open the sink plug, and pour boiling water down the sink once again.

Your bathroom sink should be unblocked now. But if the water flow isn’t smooth yet, you can repeat the process.

Unblock-Bathroom-Sink-Baking-Soda-and-Vinegar

2. Unblock a Bathroom Sink Using Soda Crystals

Soda crystals, also known as washing soda, are super affordable. This non-toxic sink un-blocker and multi-purpose cleaner has been in use for hundreds of years. Soda crystals can unblock even the most stubborn sink blocks. This 5-step process will take less than 20 minutes:

a. Remove the water in the blocked sink, and pour a pot of boiling water down the sink.

b. Wait for a few minutes for the water to drain away.

c. Once all the water has drained off, pour 1 small cup of soda crystals down the plughole of the sink.

d. Flush the crystals down by pouring a pot of boiling water down the sink once more.

e. Wait until the water drains off, and pour another pot of boiling water down the sink to check if it has been unblocked.

Repeat the process if the water isn’t flowing freely.

Unblock-a-Bathroom-Sink-Using-Soda-Crystals

3. Unblock a Bathroom Sink with a Plunger

A standard cup-style sink plunger uses the principles of suction and compression. The shallow dome of the plunger has a flat bottom rim. This rim seals the top of the plug hole of the sink.

When the plunger is pulled up, water in the draining pipe is also pulled upwards. Likewise, when the plunger is pushed down, water is forced downwards. The clog is also moved downwards.

(Before using a plunger, check the drain stopper to ensure the block is not at this pop-up stopper.)

This quick 6-step process will take less than 10 minutes:

a. Check the pop-up stopper.

b. Close the sink overflow opening.

c. Place the plunger in the right position.

d. Pump the plunger. Don’t use excessive force.

e. Check the water flow periodically.

f. Flush the drain by pouring hot water down the sink.

The push-pull effect of repeated up-and-down strokes will break up and loosen the clog. Water will then start flowing freely as before. When using a plunger, remember the two forces at work.

Unblock-a-Bathroom-Sink-with-a-Plunger

4. Unblock a Bathroom Sink Using the U-Bend

The U-bend is the bend in the drainpipe under the sink plughole. This 7-step process to unblock your bathroom sink will take about 15 minutes:

a. Wear rubber gloves first, and place a bucket under the sink.

b. Using a pipe wrench, unscrew each section of the drainpipe slowly.

c. Let the excess water drip into the bucket. Remove the pipe once the water stops dripping.

d. Remove the U-bend and take it outside.

e. Clean it by hand by removing hair, soap scum and other debris.

f. Wash the U-bend with water.

g. Reconnect the U-bend and test the water flow.

If the problem still persists, then the block is not at the U-bend.

Unblock-a-Bathroom-Sink-Using-the-U-Bend

General Measures to Follow To Avoid Blocking Your Bathroom Sink

1. Avoid Flushing Hair Down The Sink After Shaving:

Small hairs may not be an issue initially. But they can build up over time and clog your sink.

2. Clean The Pop-Up-Stopper of the sink regularly.

Hair and debris accumulate at the stopper and can be removed easily. But if left unchecked, this debris will move down the drain.

3. For a High-Use Sink

In a high-use sink (A good rule of thumb is if you have more than 5 people using one sink regularly), fit a grate or screen to trap hair and soap scum. This will prevent them from entering your drainage system.

4. Use Hot Water

Flush hot water from the tap down the sink at least once a week. Occasional hot water flow can keep the build-up of debris at bay.


Common FAQs about Unblocking a Blocked Bathroom Sink

1. Is It Possible to Unblock a Bathroom Sink Naturally, without Chemicals?

Yes, it is possible to unblock a bathroom sink naturally, without chemicals. All the four eco-friendly methods outlined in this blog post remove blocks naturally without using chemicals.

Chemical drain cleaners are at best a temporary fix to unclog a blocked bathroom sink. The harsh chemicals in most commercial bathroom cleaners can damage your plumbing lines. And they could cause damage to your skin and eyes if you are not extremely careful.

2. How much time does it take to unclog a Bathroom Sink?

A normal clog will typically take you 10–15 minutes. You can unclog even stubborn clogs within 30 minutes.

3. Is It Possible to Unblock a Bathroom Sink with Salt?

Yes, it is possible to unblock a bathroom sink using a mixture of iodised salt and vinegar. The 3-step process will take about 20 minutes:

a. Mix 2 tablespoons of iodised salt with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and pour this mixture down the sink.

b. Wait for 15 minutes. (You’ll hear some fizzing sound as the mixture reacts with the debris blocking the sink.)

c. Pour a pot of boiling water down the sink.

You can repeat the process if your bathroom sink isn’t unblocked and the water flow isn’t smooth.


Bathroom DIY Advice at Bathroom City

With 35 years of experience in the Bathroom Industry, Bathroom City is one of UK's oldest online Bathroom Specialists. We're a one-stop shop for Bathroom Furniture, Basin Sinks, Vanity Units, Showers, Toilets and more. Refer to our blog page for DIY advice on all things Bathrooms, or Contact our friendly Sales team.


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