Clogged Bathroom Sink : 8 Effortless Tips to Solve it

Did you know unpleasant odors in your bathroom, slow draining, and pooling water around the sink area are major red flags? When we say a red flag, that means you can potentially face one of the most significant plumbing issues – a clogged bathroom sink.

However, there is no room to panic.

You can try some options to fix a clogged bathroom sink, and we are right here to reveal these secrets to you.

Yes, that is right – you may not need a plumber at all.

Let’s talk about the reasons that cause one of the least understandable plumbing problems – a clogged bathroom sink, which will help you prevent this situation in the future.

Then we will move on to the crucial part – unclogging.

The Most Common Reasons for a Clogged Bathroom Sink



Just as we mentioned above, people somehow usually find clogging issues in their toilets the least understandable.

Kitchen sink clogs aren’t that complicated to figure out and fix, but bathroom clogs are a completely different story.

You are now thinking that nothing could clog that sink as the only two things going down that sink are hand soap and water.

How come your bathroom sink got clogged? Well, here is how.


The apparent “winner” when it comes to clogged bathroom sinks is hair.

When hair gets wet, it tends to clump together, making it a perfect clogging material.

These clumps will go down the pipes but will also stick to them at some point.

What makes the problem even worse is that clumps will only collect more wet hair as it arrives from the top.

Yet, this is not the end, as anything else that accidentally falls in the pipe will get involved in the clumps.

Keep in mind that no matter the hair type (facial, pet hair) – it all clogs drains. Even the finest and thinnest hairs can form a clump.

A drain straining device would be the best and the most effective way to prevent such situations in the drain. Understanding how to unclog bathroom sink clogged with hair isn’t always as straightforward as you might think.

Hair can be a big problem, and it can be a true challenge to get rid of!

Soap Scum

Even though you pay attention to which soap you are using, chemicals from the soap can easily react with magnesium and calcium ions. [1]

This reaction results in a filmy and chalky substance that sticks to the drain and builds up over time. Similar to hairs, these deposits will collect more falling and clogging materials.

The thing here is – soap scum is very sticky, and it takes a solid effort to pry it away from pipes. You will need a professional tool here (a snake, for example).

Even if you are using a water softener, it doesn’t mean you can be carefree from soap-related clogs. Just as we mentioned, soap scum easily sticks to the walls of the drain and builds up excess quantities.

Conversely, coarse soap is very damaging for pipes and may cause rust clogs and corrosion.

The P-Trap

The p-trap is another critical point, as it is located just beneath the sink and connects it to the large drain pipe.

The main function of the p-trap is to prevent floating back of toxic and smelly gases up the drain.

The bend in the p-trap is essential when it comes to clearing the drain as it holds water and creates the required suction.

Yet, no matter how well-functioning it is, this bend catches some unwanted materials as well (grease, chunks of soap, even earrings and rings).

The most reliable sign that your p-trap is clogged is when you hear a wobbling noise when water runs down the drain.

Luckily, removing the p-trap is not a challenging task.

All you have to do is clean it out with an old toothbrush or other similar gadgets.

Be ready when old, gross water starts pouring out, as this is the hardest part of the unclogging job.

Pipe Damage

We already mentioned pipe corrosion and rust in the previous paragraphs.

Rust and corrosion can cause major clogs when the issue becomes too severe. Clogs further cause constricts or complete blockage of the water flow in case the corrosion damages the pipes significantly.

What is more, when pipe joints come apart, sagging pipes can also block water flow. Improperly fastened pipes are definitely a potential issue, as they could shift over time, which indicates they would disconnect or become displaced. [2]

It is important to remember that all pipes get old or wear out over time, and you can’t prevent corrosion or break down.

Even though this moment will come at one point, it would be better to check if pipes in your bathroom are securely fastened, if they are in place, etc.

These were the most common reasons for a clogged bathroom sink.

Yet, we can’t guarantee there may not be another reason, as each bathroom is a story itself.

What we can guarantee is that you can fix this issue by following our unclogging advice tips that follow.

How to Fix a Clogged Bathroom Sink?


We wanted to give you a piece of advice for each potential bathroom sink clogging in your home, but what can you do when this actually happens?

Here are the gold tips that will unclog that junk.

1. Baking Soda and Vinegar

There are some clogged bathroom sink home remedies that you can try before asking about how to unclog a bathroom sink with chemicals.

Never underestimate the power of baking soda when it comes to plumbing issues. [3]

What is more, when you combine equal parts of baking soda and vinegar, you will make a magic potion for drains and pipes.

After mixing these ingredients in a cup, pour it down the sink and wait for a fizzing sound.

Hair, grime, and gunk will start dissolving bit by bit under the influence of a strong chemical reaction between soda and vinegar.

Remember not to flush out the mixture until the day after, as you want to leave it to sit overnight. Flush it out with hot water tomorrow, and follow the reaction.

In case you still notice a minor clog, pour a small amount of baking soda and follow with vinegar.

Knowing how to unclog a bathroom sink with vinegar and baking soda is the first step toward learning how to deal with toilet problems on your own.

2. Wire Hanger

You may never think of a wire hanger as a solution to a clogged bathroom sink, but we must say this is a truly effective technique for this problem.

A wire hanger has a small hook at the end, and this hook can serve as a fishing rod for any blockage in the drain.

Don’t be surprised when you see hair, gunk, and even nastier stuff in the drain, but the most important thing is that you will do the job with almost no effort.

Pour some hot water afterward through the pipes, which will clear the path completely.

3. Boiling Water

Now that we mentioned hot water twice, we have to say that boiling water can potentially solve this problem of yours in the simplest way.

Of course, this is not equal to hot water, but you would have to boil some water for real.

Boiling water can actually work through hairs, soap scum, and gripe and leave the drains clean.

The only catch here is to sip water in stages with a time-lapse of a couple of seconds.

4. Vacuum

Another effective way to unclog the bathroom sink is to use a wet and dry vacuum if you have one.

You would want to cover the vent first and then set the vacuum to liquid.

The vacuum does the sucking job, which may be the type of help you need.

If possible, turn it to the highest setting, and it will suck out all the dirt that caused the blockage.

Use an old plunger head here, as that would give even more vacuum space for best draining.

5. Caustic Soda

Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda truly does wonders with clogged sinks and pipes, but you have to handle it carefully.

Make sure to protect your skin well before working with this chemical, as it can burn skin.

A pair of rubber gloves is a must, while we recommend you to protect your eyes as well.

Caustic soda works well with cold water, and you should mix these two together with a wooden spoon.

We already talked about the fizz when we mentioned baking soda and vinegar, and that is the same type of reaction you would get here.

However, caustic soda and cold water generate heat!

Leave the mixture in the drain for about 30 minutes, which would be just enough to cut through all the clumps.

Flush everything out with boiling water and repeat the process until you feel like there is any blockage left inside.

This is one of the most proven and reliable methods for restoring normal flow in your bathroom sink.

6. Pipe Cleaning

If nothing of the methods mentioned above works, the solution is to remove the skin tap.

You will need an empty bucket here, as you would need to catch some water from the pipe.

However, chemicals like alkalis and acids are present there, so it would be great to put rubber gloves on.

Loosen the slip nuts if you have a plastic pipe, and turn the end of the trap over the bucket.

You will notice some debris inside the trap, which you can clean out with an old toothbrush.

Have patience, as this sometimes takes hours. Gunk is pretty stubborn!

Before you get to the reinstalling work, rinse the tap and do a leak test to ensure you reinstalled it correctly.

7. Hand Plunger

This method works best with large obstructions.

For example, if you notice no liquid flows through, then you will undoubtedly need a plunger.

If you are not familiar with plungers, just take one that is not flanged but a cup-shaped plunger.

It doesn’t matter if it is a full-length or handled plunger; both will do.

Start with removing metal strainers or the metal stopper and fill your bathroom sink with water.

Please don’t go all the way, but rather fill it halfway, and then place the plunger over the drain making sure you are working with a firm seal.

Remove the clog with a sharp and robust grip.

This will do the work, but it would still be best to check the sink periodically.

8. Drain Snake

We already mentioned the drain snake in the previous paragraphs, as it is genuinely one of the most useful tools you potentially have in your household.

A small hand-operated drain snake is a bargain, while it does a major task.

Just as its name suggests, this tool can snake into any drain.

Once you get it in, twist the snake to catch and remove the chunk out. It is also effortless to bend around almost all types of pipes.

Note that a snake won’t do if you have metal pipes in your home.

Bathroom Sink Clogged Behind Wall

Let’s imagine that you’ve got a clogged bathroom sink – but the clog is located behind the wall.

This is a clog that you won’t be able to reach physically.

First off, make sure you’re certain your sink is truly clogged.

Locating a clog located behind the wall can be challenging.

In fact, you’ll likely have no idea where exactly is it located.

This makes things all the more complicated.

Your only solution is to hope the clog can be removed with chemicals or home remedies.

This type of remedy can reach the clog no matter where or how far it’s located – even if it’s far behind the wall.

However, this is only possible if whatever it is that’s clogging the sink can be dissolved.

If physical force is needed, you might have issues with this.

Some snakes can be long enough, and they might be able to move the debris that is keeping the pipe stuck.

Hangers and other types of wires probably won’t do, as they are quite shorter and aren’t meant for this type of task.

Unfortunately, if liquid solutions and snake wire don’t work, you’ll only have one option, and that is to call a professional plumber.

This type of visit likely won’t be cheap – a plumber might even have to break your wall to reach the object that is clogging the pipe.

However, all of this is more affordable than having to deal with the damage if you let the clog be.

Clogged Bathroom Sink Black Stuff Coming Out of It


Another problem that might occur is not just having a clogged bathroom sink, but also seeing black stuff seeping into it.

Having any type of gooey stuff around the sink or any other drain isn’t a pleasant sight, and many times this is for a good reason.

For example, this black stuff is actually bacteria clinging to organic matter around your sink.

Most debris that goes down the drain is of organic nature. Hair and dead skin cells tend to cling to everything.

This is a true happy meal for many bacteria that will love munching on organic remains! Almost any type of clog will include organic matter.

Everything from soap film, lotions, phlegm, hand lotion, and food waste is a great food source for bacteria.

Many things can accumulate in your plumbing lines. Bacteria will see your drain and think of it as of a restaurant filled with tasty food.

Because of this, you need to act fairly fast once you see black matter around your sink and drain.

These bacteria can spread fast, and while they won’t cause any material damage, they are truly disgusting to look at.

They might also be a health hazard, especially if you’re someone with allergies.

 How to Get Rid of Bacteria in Bathroom Sinks


When you see the black stuff, you might want to remove the stopper and start cleaning everything right away.

However, this isn’t worth much if you don’t remove the cause of the bacteria, and a clogged bathroom sink is often just that.

The main cause of clogs is food waste and hair.

Sure, not many of us will willingly throw away food waste into a bathroom sink, but food remains will still get into the water while we’re washing our hands.

If you were tempted to do the extremely dishes in the bathroom, this can also cause a clog. On the other hand, hair is a common cause of clogging in the bathroom.

Many of us comb our hairs in front of the mirror located right above the bathroom sink. The hairs will fall into the sink and get pulled down by the water later on.

Whatever the reason might be, now you have a clog, and the bacteria are munching on the organic matter that’s caused it.

As such, your best option is to remove the clog.

Fortunately, this type of clog is rarely physical, so you’ll be able to do it with chemical solutions or home-made remedies.

In fact, chances are you don’t even know you have a clog if the black matter is the first thing you’ve noticed!

This is good, as you have the opportunity to get rid of the clog without having it cause any significant damage.

Slow Draining Bathroom Sink – Not Clogged


If you have a sink that is draining slowly but some amount of water can still go down the drain, chances are there is some debris stuck in it, but not in large enough amounts to cause a true clog.

This debris will cause the water in your sink to drain slowly, but it won’t prevent it from seeping entirely – for now.

You should try to fix this in the same way as you would if you had a clog. Try using some natural remedies or chemical solutions.

Baking soda and vinegar is a good thing to try, as it won’t harm the environment or your pipes, but it can help with whatever it is that’s clogging the sink.

Don’t use the snake or wires unless absolutely necessary.

There is no true need for trying to remove the debris naturally unless you are certain the clog is from a foreign object inside your pipes.

Remember this: Just because your sink isn’t clogged doesn’t mean you should let it be. These types of clogs will worsen over time, and soon your water will have no where to go.

This will cause damage, sitting water, mold, and mildew that is extremely harmful.

Not to mention that the longer you wait on fixing this, the more expensive the repair will be in the end.

Bathroom Sink Clogged – Tried Everything


If you have a clogged bathroom sink and feel as if you’ve tried everything but the water won’t go away, the clog is probably too large to remove without professional help.

This can happen when you’ve left the clog for too long, or if the physical obstruction is too stuck to remove.

If this happens, don’t hesitate and call a plumber.

The longer you let the clog be, the more you’ll end up paying down the line.

Bottom Line

The first time you smell a disgusting, unfamiliar odor in your bathroom should direct you to check what is happening with the sink.

If you ignore the problem, it will finally result in a completely blocked drain.

We wrote this article with one goal – to help the ones who ignored the warning signs in their bathrooms.

There is no need to call an expensive emergency plumber – our eight tips came to the rescue at the right time.