How to Clean Gunk Out of Bathroom Sink Drain?

When toothpaste, hair, and other debris build-up inside the drain, the bathroom sink might begin to stink. Mold and mildew, in addition to debris, can grow in your gutter and cause it to stall or stop draining. Cleaning your drain regularly can help prevent these build-ups from obstructing it. You need to know how to clean gunk out of bathroom sink in case you are ever faced by such a problem.

Causes of black sludge in bathroom sink drain


  1. Accumulation of hair

The most prevalent cause of clogged bathroom sinks is hair. It’s the ideal substance for blocking drains. When wet, hair gathers together. On their journey down, the clumps are caught by the pipe walls.[1]

Hair will clump together more if the water in your drain exerts more pressure on it. Wet hair in your drain attracts additional damp hair until the unpleasant clump completely blocks water flow. Worse, that hairy mass gathers anything else that tries to go down the drain.

2.     Collection of debris in P-trap

The bending section of the pipe underneath the sink is the p-trap. It joins the drain from the sink to the bigger drain pipe that leads to the sewer. P-traps bend to prevent sewage gas from floating back up the drain, which is poisonous and foul-smelling.

The p-bend also traps water, which aids in the creation of the suction required for a drain to clear. The problem is that that bent also attracts other objects. Clogs in the p-trap can be caused by small things such as rings, earrings, bits of soap, and even oil. For example, when water flushes down the drain, you may hear a peculiar stuttering noise if your p-trap clogs.

3.     Soap scum

Soap scum is formed when soap ingredients combine with calcium and magnesium ions in the water. It’s a chalky, filmy substance that adheres to pipe walls and accumulates over time. This substance, like hair, traps itself and other falling items, clogging the drain over time.

Because soap scum is sticky, it can produce highly unpleasant clogs. Unfortunately, prying accumulated soap scum away from pipe walls is impossible without a snake or other expert equipment.

  1. Corroded pipes

Several factors can cause clogging issues with pipes. When pipes corrode, the rust that forms on the inner pipe walls can restrict water flow. If a line is sufficiently eroded, it will limit or entirely stop the water flow. [2]

Even pipe joints can wear out or separate, causing pipes to sag and obstructing water flow. Tubes that are not securely attached may shift with time, causing them to be relocated or detached.

Pipe damage is difficult to avoid altogether. Over time, all pipes corrode or break down, and when they’re old enough, they’ll begin to rust or break down. The best option is to replace the pipes with new ones when this happens. First, try to figure out why your lines aren’t old if you still have issues.

Are they firmly secured? Is it possible that they’re in a vulnerable position? If you don’t know how to solve the situation, you could always hire a professional.

Effects of black gunk in sink drain


  • Leaks

Plumbing leaks in pipes attached to sinks, tubs, and garbage disposals are commonly caused by clogged drains. Water backs up in the drainpipe of these plumbing devices due to clogs. Standing water creates leaks through the caulking and seals in the pipe.

Homeowners may not notice these leaks straight away in some cases. However, mold development and damage to the surrounding structure are frequent when a blocked drain creates a leak that stays undetected for a long time.

  • Unpleasant Smells

Many items are thrown away. Food, hair, garbage, and filth are examples. When a drain clogs, all of these materials build up in the pipes, causing bacteria to grow. This bacteria is the source of the foul odor.

Your sink will not only stink, but the odor may spread throughout your house. Unpleasant odors do not harm your pipes or property, but they are unpleasant to smell.

Unpleasant odors are also an embarrassment if you invite guests over. In addition, odors have physiological impacts on some people.

  • Contamination of Water

Water pollution is more likely when drains are clogged due to waste build-up in pipes. The water gets contaminated because it has to run through garbage and bacteria as it travels through the tubes. In addition, when debris collects in the lines, the water might flow backward, resulting in unclean water.

  • Pests

Clogged drains and obstructed pipelines frequently produce stagnant water. Insects and bugs, such as mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water. In addition to mosquitoes, other insects can thrive and even lay eggs in a clogged drain. This is especially true with food-clogged drains, as the trash provides a constant food source for insects.

Drain flies, cockroaches, fruit flies, and phorid flies are among the insects that reside in clogged drains. Any pests dwelling within your drain will be removed by unclogging and adequately cleaning it.

  • Health Risks

Bacteria-infested drains, contaminated water, mold, and disease-carrying insects pose significant health risks to you and your family. Bacterial diseases like campylobacteriosis and typhoid are some of the health problems linked to these water problems.[3]

The symptoms of both of these bacterial illnesses are similar, including diarrhea and fever.

Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory infection caused by bacteria in the water, is another illness caused by bacteria. Peptic ulcers form in the stomach and small intestine lining when water containing Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria is consumed.

In some instances, clogged drains have resulted in mold and mildew growth. Mold spores in the air cause respiratory problems and nervous system problems. A clogged or dirty drain can aggravate asthma or allergy symptoms in people who have them.

Strong odors cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea, thus clogged drains that emit unpleasant odors constitute a health risk. Moreover, the odors can result in irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat can also be caused by odors. Unpleasant odors can cause anxiety and stress in some people and negatively impact their mood.

How to clean gunk out of bathroom sink drain


The procedure below can be used to clean gunk out of bathroom sink drain.

Step 1: Remove and clean the stopper first.

Depending on your sink design, you may be able to take the stopper out of the drain hole opening, or you may need to remove the pivot rod first. Before pulling the plug, unscrew the pivot rod nut with your hand or pliers and slide the pivot rod out.

Step 2: Fill a pot halfway with boiling water.

The key phrase here is ‘boiling.’ It won’t work with regular hot water from the sink. The water must be hot enough to dissolve the built-up organic stuff in the drain. Bring some water to a boil and carefully pour it down the drain. Repeat this process to clear the clog entirely.

If the pipes are constructed of PVC, do not use boiling water. The pipe joints can loosen due to the heat from the water. Also, if your house is fitted with porcelain sinks, do not use hot water straight into the basin since the heat will shatter it. Instead, the water should be poured straight down the drain.

Step 3: Using a plunger.

If you have a massive blockage in your bathroom sink, you may be able to unclog it with a cup-shaped plunger. Before trying to plunge, remember to remove the stopper.

Fill the drain partly with water if there isn’t any already in the bowl, then place the plunger over the sinkhole and check for a good solid seal. To prevent the plunged water from pouring out the overflow hole, you may need to cover it with a moist rag.

Remember that the goal of plunging is to push the obstruction downstream. To clear the obstruction, take fast, hard plunges. It may take a few attempts to dislodge the impediment. Check to see if the water has started to drain in between plunges.

Step 4: Use a drain snake

A plug snake is a flexible, portable auger commonly used to clear bigger obstructions in plumbing. You can usually get one for roughly $15 at your local home improvement store or hardware store.

The drain snake works in the exact opposite manner as a plunger. When the drain snake hits the clog, you turn the crank instead of utilizing suction to remove it to force the snake deeper into it. This causes the clog to split into smaller pieces, allowing it to flow freely down the drain. As you withdraw the snake, it may snag a part of the clog, allowing you to pull it out.

How to clean hair out of bathroom sink drain

If you have a hair blockage in your bathroom sink, shower, or tub drain, here are some options to help you clear it out.

  • Baking soda and vinegar are an extremely effective combination for clearing nasty hair clogs. In addition to dissolving hair in drains, baking soda provides antiseptic properties that can help battle fungi and germs.
  • Use Wire Hanger or Needle-Nose Pliers: If your sink has a cover that can be removed, using pliers or a wire hanger to remove hair from the drain could be a perfect solution. Rubber gloves, needle-nose pliers, a screwdriver, and a flashlight will be required.
  • Use a Plumbing Snake: A plumbing snake, also referred to as a drill, is an elastic and lengthy wire or plastic tool that “snakes” its way down drains and swiftly and efficiently breaks up jams. You can buy one in the nearby hardware shop if you don’t already have one. Augers are available in various sizes and types, depending on the intended usage.
  • Using a plunger: A plunger is an essential pieces of household equipment for unclogging drains. Plungers exist in various shapes and sizes, each designed to function with different types of gutters.

How to clean bathroom sink drain with baking soda and vinegar


As seen in many elementary school science projects, vinegar and baking soda combine to form an expanding bubbly foam. This same reaction can also unclog a clogged drainpipe.

Following that, hot water is used for flushing any remaining residue from the pipes. It is not always necessary to use harsh chemicals to unclog a clogged drain line.

Hot water, vinegar, and baking soda work wonders in many circumstances. However, do not use a DIY drain cleaner immediately before or after using a chemical-based cleaner, as this may result in a toxic reaction that produces harmful fumes. Also, before using another drain-cleaning solution, make sure the pipes are clear of any previous ones.

Boil a tea kettle full of water to make the foamy drain cleaner. Place about 1/2 cup of baking soda into a bowl while it’s heating up. Then, combine 1 cup each of white vinegar and hot tap water in a separate container. Keep the mixture aside until the kettle boils. The ratio of baking soda to vinegar isn’t exact; if there’s enough of both to make foam, the mixture will clean a drain.

Pour the hot water first, then the baking soda down the clogged drain line. It is okay if part of the baking soda ends up in the drain because vinegar can be washed away. After the baking soda, pour the vinegar and water combination into the drain, then plug it up. During this period, wait for 5 to 10 minutes and boil another kettle of water. Finally, pour the boiling water down the drain after removing or opening the drain plug.

How to clean gunk out of bathroom sink drain and prevent future blockage

Comb your hair before showering, particularly if you have long hair. This will assist in reducing the number of loose strands that fall out and end up in your drain. If you’re bathing your cat or dog in the bathtub, give them a nice brush first.

Use a Kitchen Filter: To catch hair, use a kitchen strainer that fits your shower, tub, or bathroom sink drain. The best type is a sieve with a wire mesh and small apertures that capture hair while allowing water to pass freely. To avoid hair accumulation, clean the filter regularly.

Place about a liter of hot water into your drains once a week for a hot water rinse. This will aid in the dissolution of any debris in your pipes and the prevention of hair clogs.