Have you ever experienced having to poke at the pipes of your bathroom sink because the water failed to drain away? Bathroom sinks can get clogged just like the sinks found at your kitchen. Sometimes, the clogs in the bathroom can be worse because hot water rarely gets poured into the drains in this room. Hot water helps melt oily materials and grease that could accumulate and block the pipes. The debris that could block your bathroom sink is also harder to work with because it usually consists of hair and soap bits. Before you grab your phone and call a plumber, read this article first to learn some easy-to-do and quick ways to clean out and unclog the sinks in your bathroom. Learning to unclog the plumbing by yourself can definitely save you a lot of aggravation and dollars.
- Flush the clogged sink with very hot water. For blockages caused by toothpaste, gel, lotion, and other grooming products, pouring really hot water down the drain could be enough to dissolve it. Observe if the water drains slowly as you pour the water. Repeat this step a few times to see if the clog gets completely removed. If the water is still draining too slowly or not flowing down the pipes at all, you need to try some of the other unclogging procedures.
- Grab a sink plunger and try to dislodge the blockage by pushing or pulling it out of the way. Get a few small wet rags and use these to cover the overflow opening in your bathroom sink. Make sure that there is no other opening that would allow air to enter and exit the drain pipes. Find a sink plunger that has a big enough suction cup to fully cover the opening of the drain. If you do not have a sink plunger, a toilet plunger can be used as a substitute. Just make sure that the plunger has been sanitized sufficiently. Apply a light coating of petroleum jelly on the rim of the suction cup. Your plunger will work much better this way because the cups will seal the drain completely and create a vacuum. Allow the faucet to run for a few seconds until the plunger is submerged in water. Give the plunger around 20 strokes and check if you were able to dislodge the material that is blocking the pipe. Repeat the process a few times until the water begins to drain effectively.
- Break the blockage with a drain auger. If your drain has a strainer, remove it first in order to be able to insert the auger into your bathroom sink’s pipe. Carefully push the cable into the sink’s drain until the auger gets to the blockage. Force the auger to go through the material blocking the pipe. Move it up and down so that you scrape the inside of the pipe. If the blockage cannot be broken down, just try to hook onto it with the auger and slowly pull it out. Once the blockage is gone, pour a bucket of hot water down the pipes to make sure that all the debris gets removed.
- If the drain is still clogged, consider using chemicals to break down the material blocking the pipes. This should be the last procedure that you should try before calling a plumber. Chemical pipe cleaners should be handled with extreme care because they can emit noxious fumes and can also seriously irritate or burn your skin, eyes, and throat. Read the instructions on the packaging and be sure to keep your work area well ventilated. Wear goggles and rubber gloves if possible. Check also if the chemical is safe to use on the kind of pipes attached to your bathroom sink. Follow the instruction to the letter and avoid mixing it with other chemicals to prevent any adverse reaction to occur.
If the bathroom sink is still not draining properly after doing all the steps stated above, the problem could be caused by a malfunction in your plumbing system. Consider contacting a professional to inspect your pipes. Once the drain has been fixed, it is advisable that you take preventive measures to avoid clogging up your bathroom sink again. Avoid brushing your hair in front if the sink and do not allow the hair strands to go down the drain. Clean the pipes periodically by pouring very hot water down the drain at least once a month.