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 biggest plumbing issues – a clogged bathroom sink.
However, there is no room to panic – yet!
There are some options you can try in order 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 clear “winner” when it comes to clogged bathroom sinks is – hair.
When hair gets wet, it tends to clump together, which makes 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 the fact 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 of 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.
Even though you pay attention to which soap you are using, chemicals from the soap can easily make a reaction with magnesium and calcium ions. (source)
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 when it comes to soap-related clogs.
Just as we mentioned, soap scum easily sticks to the walls of the drain and builds up excess quantities.
What is more, coarse soap is very damaging for pipes and may cause rust clogs and corrosion.
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 important 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 wobbling noise when water is running down the drain.
Luckily, removing the p-trap is not a tough task.
All you have to do is to 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.
We already mentioned pipe corrosion and rust in the previous paragraphs.(source)
When the issue becomes too severe, rust and corrosion can cause major clogs.
Clogs further cause constricts or complete blockage of the water flow in case the corrosion damaged the pipes significantly.
What is more, when pipe joints come apart, sagging pipes can block water flow as well.
Improperly fastened pipes are definitely a potential issue, as they could shift over time, which indicates they would disconnect or become displaced.
It is important to remember that all pipes get old or wear out over time, and you can’t prevent corrosion or breaking 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 you can do when this actually happens?
Here are the gold tips that will unclog that junk.
1. Baking Soda and Vinegar
Never underestimate the power of baking soda when it comes to plumbing issues.
What is more, when you combine equal parts of baking soda and vinegar, you will make a magic potion for drains and pipes.
After you mix 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.
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.
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 above-mentioned methods work, that means 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 in there as well 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 make sure you reinstalled it properly.
7. Hand Plunger
This method works best with large obstructions.
For example, if you notice no liquid flows through, then you will certainly 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 full-length or handled plunger, both will do.
Start with removing metal strainers or the metal stopper and fill your bathroom sink with water.
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 strong grip.
This will do the work, but it would still be best to check on the sink periodically.
8. Drain Snake
We already mentioned drain snake in the previous paragraphs, as it is truly 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 chunk out. It is also very easy to bend around almost all types of pipes.
Note that a snake won’t do if you have metal pipes in your home.
Clogged Bathroom Sink : Recap
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 8 tips came to the rescue at the right time.