How to Clear a Bathroom Sink Drain

A clogged bathroom sink can result from hair, soap scum and miscellaneous debris falling into the drain.
Commercial drain cleaners can disintegrate some of the mess, but they can also harm PVC and metal plumbing. Try clogged sink remedies and manual clog removal to clear your bathroom sink. If your shower or other drains are also draining too slowly, you may need to contact a professional plumber.

Step 1

Tuck a wet cloth into the overflow holes in your sink to seal them, and submerge a plunger into a few inches of water in the sink (see Reference 2). Plunge the hole with fast and forceful up-and-down movements. Check the progress every couple of minutes — dispose of any debris that come from the drain and run more water if the plunger has cleared any of the clog. Continue this until it is clear, or move on to other methods if you see no progress.

Step 2

Pour baking soda over and into the drain, and then pour a slightly larger amount of white distilled vinegar onto the baking soda. The fizzy reaction of the two ingredients will clear scum from your sink drain. Allow it to fizz for about 10 minutes and then run hot water into the drain from the tap. Use boiling water from a kettle if you have metal pipes (see Reference 1).

Step 3

Remove the plug (or stopper) from your drain. The plug will either unscrew from the drain by a twisting motion or will require detachment from a rod beneath the sink. If it does not unscrew from the drain, locate the nut on the back of the drain pipe directly beneath the sink. The nut will hold a rod, which controls the drain plug, to the drain pipe (see Reference 3). Unscrew this nut with your fingers or wrap a cloth around it and untwist it with a plumber’s wrench (see Reference 2). Pull the plug from the sink drain once the rod is detached.

Step 4

Pull hair and debris from the drain plug and clean out the inner opening of the drain if there is any scum or debris.

Step 5

Snake the drain with a plumber’s snake, and then run hot water to clear any remaining debris if the clog is removed.

Step 6

Loosen the couplings on both sides of the curved trap pipe beneath the sink to remove it (see Reference 3). Clean any debris from the trap, and snake the pipes that run to and from the trap.

Step 7

Reattach the trap and drain plug once the clog is removed, or contact a plumber if you are unable to remove the clog.

Things You Will Need

  • Plunger
  • Baking soda
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Plumber’s wrench
  • Plumber’s snake

Tip

  • Apply petroleum jelly to the rim of your plunger for increased suction.