How to unclog a sink – Ways to clear clogged sink

A clogged sink can be more annoying than it sounds. Using a sink just to find the water gargling back and covering the sink can make things really messy. Until the sink is clogged completely you just cannot use it, and even if you do the mistake of using a clogged sink, you are going to pay dearly for it. To unclog a sink a professional plumber can be the ultimate help, but do you always need him for the job? What you will do if you find that the main sink in your home has got clogged and it is well past 6pm in the evening? Well there are some quick ways that you can try to unclog the sink.

These easy ways are often more effective than you might think. Once you have got a clogged sink in your home, do not give the plumber a call until you have tried these easy methods. In most of the cases, the plumber himself will try out these methods only. However, the plumbers are equipped with better tools for these jobs and they also have the experience for judging the exact location of the clog which can be most helpful to remove it. So, here are the easy ways that can help you clear clogged sink,

Use the plunger to unclog a sink

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Yes, this is the bad day for which you already have a plunger at your home. A plunger does work great not only to unclog a toilet but also to unclog a sink. The best thing about these tools is that they are easy available and easy to use. When trying to unclog a sink with a plunger follow the next steps,

  • Fill half or even more of the sink with hot water. Just be sure that the water level is low enough to not to come over the sink and spoil the floor. The water will help in creating pressure and make the task of the plunger more effective.
  • Now take the plunger and place it covering the drain mouth on the sink. Make sure that the plunger covers the opening completely so that sufficient air pressure is created.
  • The next step is the obvious, pull the plunger up and down quickly so that a pressure is created which will help in unclogging the drain of the sink. After pulling it up and down for few minutes remove it quickly from the mouth of the drain.
  • If the plunger has successfully removed the clog, you will see the water in the sink draining down quickly.
  • In case the plunger is able to clean the drain only partially, the drainage of the water in the sink will be much slower, indicating that you need to use the plunger or some other technique of unclogging the sink again.

Zip-it the easiest way to unclog the sink

Zip –it is a simple tool that can come really handy to clean the sink. These tools are nothing but a single time use plastic stick with a somewhat thicker handle for better grip and upward facing barbs that helps in holding the clogging substances in the clogged drain. This tool is particularly useful for cleaning blocked sinks as it can remove hair clogs very easily. Here is how you should use it,

  • Before you use the Zip-it for unclogging the sink, drain all the logged water from the sink and start with a dry one.
  • Just put in the Zip-it through one of the gaps in the drain mouth. Rotate the stick inside the drain and then pull it out.
  • The upward facing barbs will easily take out any hairs and similar types of items from the drain that might have been causing the clog. Repeat the process until the tool comes out clean.
  • Open the tap of the sink to check if the clog is removed.

Dish detergent and hot water to unclog a sink

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If the blockage is caused due to oily and greasy substances, dishwasher can be effective to dilute and clean it. Here is how you can use it,

  • Take 1/3rd cup of dishwasher liquid in a pan and add 2 cups of water to it.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil and you will see a huge layer of foam filling the bowl.
  • Now pour this soap-water boiling mixture into the clogged drain and let it sit for 10 minutes before flushing down 4 cups of boiling water through the drain.
  • You can also repeat the process if the result in the first time is not satisfactory.

Baking powder, salt and hot water for unclogging the sink

If the plunger seems not to work that miraculously, neither the dish-wash, then the next thing that you can try is this. Baking powder and salt both are common kitchen ingredients and you are most expected to already have them ready. So, there is just nothing to stop you from trying out this easy way. Here is how you should do it the right way,

  • First drain the water logged in the basin by removing it with the help of a cup and bucket. Believe us this is the worst step of this process because the rest is a cakewalk.
  • Once the logged water has been removed completely and the basin is dry, pour 1 cup of dry baking soda into the drain. Make sure that the whole of the baking soda goes down the drain without adding any water to it.
  • After the baking soda, pour in 5-6 spoons of table salt into the drain mouth and let it sit for few hours or overnight.
  • In the morning the first thing that you should pour into the clogged basin drain is a cup of hot water. Wait for 30 seconds and then pour in few more cups of hot water and hopefully the clog will be removed.

Baking powder and vinegar to unclog a sink

This is another easy way to unclog your sink, unless the problem is not very old. Both baking powder and vinegar are easy available in kitchen and they also work effectively. To unclog the sink with baking powder and vinegar, follow the next steps,

  • Drain all the water from the sink with a mug and bucket. The sink should be completely dry and free from water before you start with the process.
  • First put in 1 cup of baking powder into the sink mouth. Use a spatula or your fingers (after wearing a glove) to make sure that the full quantity of the baking powder goes into the drain. However, do not try to add even a bit of water to make it go easily into the drain.
  • Now pour in 1 cup of vinegar to the drain and cover the drain mouth with a stopper. This will make sure that the vinegar is forced towards the clog. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
  • Run hot water through the drain to check if it has unclogged. In case, the water does not pass normally, pour in 4 cups of boiling water.
  • If the passage of water is still not normal, repeat the process.

Caustic soda to unclog a sink drain

Caustic soda is a harsh chemical to use in households but when there is a clogged sink, you might actually want to try it due to its effectiveness in diluting the drain clogging substances. However, before you use it, make sure to put on suitable gloves, because caustic soda can cause scalding on the skin. Also cover your eyes and keep your nose away from the mixture as the fume produced by it is not particularly friendly for the eyes or for the mucous layer of the nasal passage. Here is the step by step guide,

  • Take ½ bucket of normal water and add 3 cups of caustic soda to it.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon that you use only for the odd jobs.
  • Once the mixing is done, the solution will heat up and you can hear the fizz created by the bubbling mixture.
  • Pour in the whole of the mixture through the clogged drain at once and leave for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • After that flush the drain with sufficient boiling water. If the water seems not to pass normally, repeat the process.

However, if this process is not able to unclog the sink even after two times, you might actually need more drastic measures to get rid of it.

A cable auger can be the ultimate rescuer

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If you have a cable auger in your home, it can be the ultimate rescuer from a clogged sink. This process is certainly more elaborate and it is expected that you will try the above methods first to unclog the sink and come to this one only if nothing else seems to work. In fact, this is the process your plumber will also follow if you happen to call him to clear the sink blockage. If you have the cable auger you can do it on your own. However, depending on the position of the clog, you might need a really long cable auger which is generally available only with the plumbers. Here are the steps involved in unclogging a sink with a cable auger,

  • Place a bucket under the sink, to ensure that any water that will be drained from the sink or the joining pipes is stored in the bucket and do not make a mess of the floor.
  • Now detach the trap of the PVC pipe under the sink by unscrewing both the sides. Pass warm water through it to ensure that the clog is not in this part.
  • Once you are sure that the block is not within the section of the pipe just after the sink, you need to remove any other connecting pipes that connect the sink with the stub pipe on the wall.
  • Now open the cable auger and push the end of it into the stub pipe till it hits any resistance. If the auger does not meet a resistance even after covering its whole length then the blockage might be at a distance that needs a longer auger.
  • Once the auger meets a resistance, move the handle anti-clockwise and pull it back till the cable catches the resistance.
  • It is best to push the clog down once it has been loosened with the auger.
  • Finally add the removed pieces of the PVC pipe and flush warm water to ensure that the clog has been removed completely.