Every bathroom sink drain is partially or completely clogged from time to time. This happens when hair strands or hygiene products get caught and end up accumulating in the tubing. Many people turn to chemical solutions to the problem, but there are also a number of safer, non-corrosive methods that can resolve the situation.
Method 1 of 4: Using Natural Solvents
Step 1. Gather the materials
Instead of using corrosive cleaning products that can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, you can turn to common household products. For this method you will need:
- Sodium bicarbonate.
- Boiling water.
Step 2. Measure the ingredients
You will need ¼ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1 large pot of water to boil. Have a cloth or a drain cap handy.
Step 3. Pour the baking soda down the drain
Aim the product straight into the pipeline, not around it.
Step 4. Pour cup of vinegar down the drain
At this point, you may hear a bubbling noise or see bubbles due to the chemical reaction. This is normal and means the chemicals are eating away the residue that has accumulated in the sink.
Step 5. Put the cap or a cloth in the mouth of the drain
This will prevent bubbles from rising through the tubing, as well as leaving the chemical reaction concentrated in the clogged area.
Step 6. Wait 15 minutes
Let the bicarbonate and vinegar reaction take effect! While waiting, boil the pot of water.
Step 7. Pour the boiling water down the drain
Doing so will drive the reaction of baking soda, vinegar, and waste down into the pipeline. At this point, see if the sink drains more quickly. If so, but not at normal speed, there may still be something in the way. In that case, try repeating the process one more time.
Before you pour the boiling water down the drain, you can also pour some lemon juice - even more so if you smell an unpleasant smell coming from the sink. Bathroom sinks often become clogged with strands of hair, which end up rotting and releasing a foul odor. With this extra step, you'll neutralize it and help further erode the blockage
Method 2 of 4: Using a traditional plunger
Step 1. Get the tools
For this method, you only need a flashlight and a traditional plunger. If you like, buy a smaller plunger, made specifically for sinks, at any hardware store (but clean toilet plungers will do, too).
Step 2. Remove the drain cover
This Step is essential; otherwise, you'll just rip off the cap instead of forcing the debris to move in the pipe.
Use your hands to pull the drain cover as far as possible. Then turn it to the left and continue unscrewing until it comes out
Step 3. Turn on the sink
Fill it with a few inches of water - enough to cover the drain.
Step 4. Create a structure that seals and isolates the suction
Place the plunger directly over the drain and press it once until you feel the rubber form a "bubble" of insulation. You may have to climb into a chair to get the correct position and angle.
Step 5. Unclog the drain
Lean on the plunger handle and then shake it hard up and down about 10-20 times. He must be sealing the place to create suction - or he will end up making the situation worse.
Step 6. Take out the plunger and see if you have resolved the situation
Point the flashlight down the drain and see how the situation is. If you can see the residue and reach it with your fingers, pull it all out; if not, repeat the steps above until you get it.
Method 3 of 4: Using a Cable to Unclog
Step 1. Prepare the materials
This method is useful for the most serious obstructions - and therefore involves more materials. You will need:
- A bucket.
- A spanner or screwdriver.
- Cable for unclogging. If you don't have the equipment, improvise and straighten a hanger. Just straighten the accessory's iron to create a hook.
Step 2. Put the bucket under the sink
Put it right under the siphon, that is, the curved part of the pipe, which comes in direct contact with the drain.
Step 3. Check if the part is installed in the sink siphon
Some use screws (which need a screwdriver), while others use nuts on the pipe ends (which need an adjustable wrench).
Step 4. Remove the siphon from the sink
Be careful and see if the bucket is still right under the sink. The accumulated water in the pipe and the smaller pipes that are inside the siphon can end up falling - and the bucket can hold them.
Regardless of the type of part in the siphon, in both cases you will have to turn everything counterclockwise to disassemble. When finished, use your fingers to separate the pieces at once. Leave everything nearby for when it's time to reassemble
Step 5. Find the obstruction in the pipe
First, examine the siphon. If you see the blockage, use your fingers, hanger, or unclogging cable to force it out.
- Generally, blockages in the region are caused by the siphon, as its curved part is made to prevent fluids from returning to the sink.
- If you don't see the blockage, it may be in the pipe that is in direct contact with the wall. If so, you will need the cable to unclog. Stick the tool into the opening in the tube as far as you can (you'll probably stop at the obstruction itself). Then install a nut on the base of the cable and start to turn it. You can also do a round-trip movement, as in the previous methods. When you no longer feel this resistance, remove the equipment from the pipeline.
Step 6. Reinstall the siphon in the sink
Use the spanner or screwdriver to reinstall the screws or nuts in a clockwise direction. Do not overtighten the parts, or it may cause the frame to crack.
Tighten the screws securely so that water does not leak out
Step 7. Turn on the sink
At this point, the pipe should drain the water normally, indicating that the process has worked.
Method 4 of 4: Using a water and vacuum cleaner
Step 1. Prepare the materials
To get started you will need:
- A bucket.
- Wrench or screwdriver to release the siphon.
- Water and vacuum cleaner (also called shop-vac).
Step 2. Put the bucket under the sink
Put it directly under the siphon.
Step 3. Remove the siphon from the sink
The siphon is the curved pipe that is secured to the pipe with screws or nuts. Make sure the bucket is actually directly under it so it can contain the leaking water.
Depending on the parts that secure the siphon to the sink, you will need a wrench or screwdriver to turn everything counterclockwise. Then use dismantle the structure manually
Step 4. Find the tube that will connect to the vacuum
Every sink has two pipes, one vertical and one horizontal, which connect at an angle. You will connect the shop-vac to the vertical pipe that goes to the sink.
Step 5. Place the vacuum cleaner nozzle in the upright pipe
Place it directly under the part to make the connection well-sealed.
Step 6. Set the vacuum to fluid function
The water and vacuum cleaners have the option of sucking dry or wet residues. In this case, you have to suck out wet objects that are trapped in the pipe.
Step 7. Close all other pipe outlets
Thus, you will improve the sealing of the parts and facilitate suction.
Without releasing the vacuum cleaner nozzle, put the lid on the drain and block all the pipe outlets in the place where the siphon used to be with some cloths
Step 8. Turn on the vacuum
If you can't feel the debris moving, you can let some air pass through the lid for a few seconds at a time.
Step 9. Pulse the vacuum
Turn the equipment on and off for a few seconds at a time to create more suction and loosen debris buildup in the piping. This is even better if the obstruction is very compact.
Step 10. Continue using the vacuum cleaner until you unclog the sink
If suction is sufficient, the obstruction will exit directly through the pipe, towards the equipment collection bag. Otherwise, you may have to pull the debris with your hands when you reach it.
Step 11. Reassemble the sink
Take the vacuum cleaner nozzle out of the pipe and re-install the siphon with the spanner or screwdriver. Remember to tighten screws or nuts securely to prevent leakage. Just don't use too much force, or the plastic may crack.