The typical reaction to a clogged bathroom sink is to run the cold water and apply a cup plunger. This changes the pressure in the pipe and in many cases, it will shake the clog loose. The running water then runs the clog out into the sewer line and ultimately into the municipal sewer network. If this doesn’t work, others may reach for a household drain cleaning product to melt away the clog and restore normal draining. This is a bad idea because the caustic chemicals can burn exposed skin and damage the inner pipe walls. In this article, we will look at four alternative ways to remove a bathroom sink clog safely.
1. Make Your Own Chemical Cleaner
It is possible to make your own chemical drain cleaner that is kind to your skin and pipes and you may already have the ingredients in your cupboard. This is a tried and tested method and it can be repeated multiple times if the clog is stubborn. Pour ½ cup of baking soda in the drain and follow with ½ cup of vinegar. This creates a chemical reaction, the mixture will fizz and this should be left for around an hour. To finish, pour hot (not boiling) water in the drain and test to see if the draining is normal.
2. Adding Baking Soda and Salt
This is similar to the approach shown above, but here we mix together ½ cup of baking soda with ½ cup of table salt and pour the dry mixture in the drain. Leave the mixture to settle in the drain for at least 15 minutes and then pour boiling water into the drain. Again, this will create a chemical reaction that can aggressively clean and unclog pipes without causing damage.
3. Use a Wet and Dry Vacuum
A wet and dry shop vacuum can be a useful appliance when you need to deal with stubborn drain clogs. It’s important to create a strong seal to make this work and make the best use of the available suction. This can be achieved with the top of a standard cup plunger or you can cut off the top of a plastic soda bottle. Set the shop vac to the highest possible liquid setting and the suction may dislodge the clog that’s causing the problems.
4. A Wire Hanger
This is the most involved method and that’s why we’ve saved it for last. If you can’t unclog the toilet with a plunger or the methods shown above, this approach may help. You will need: a wire hanger, rubber gloves, pliers and a container for the water.
Shut-off the water supply, clear the under sink area, place the container to catch excess water and close the stopper. Remove the bathroom sink stopper, wear rubber gloves because there will be gross slime that contains bacteria. Clean the stopper mechanism of the dirt, hair and debris in a different sink. Don’t restore water to the sink where you are working or you will have localized flooding.
Use the pliers to bend the hanger into a hook shape to remove the trapped pieces of gunk and hair. Insert the hook in the drain until you hit the clog, twist the hanger to catch gunk and tear apart the clog. You can scrub the pipe with an old toothbrush if you want to do a really thorough job. If the clog is behind a P-bend, you can unscrew it and clean that section of pipe too. Once you’re done, reassemble, restore the water supply and test the drain.
If these methods did not work for you, it’s time to contact your local plumber.