(203) 876-7875 . (203) 366-0205 . (888) 261-4885
clogged sink

How to Unclog a Clogged Sink

A Clogged sink is annoying but usually fixable

You start getting ready for your day and you turn on the water in your bathroom sink. After a couple minutes you notice the water has gotten high and so you turn it off. You wait for a couple minutes but the water barely recedes. It’s liked you’re dealing with a clogged sink?  Don’t panic, there’s plenty of things you can do.

Find the cause of your clogged sink

Before you do anything, you need to find out what is causing the blockage? Finding the cause will help to determine what action to take. If you’re not sure what has caused the blockage, you can start with two simple methods. Try boiling water and a baking soda/vinegar mixture. If that doesn’t work you can try other methods. Or you may have call for professional help.

What to do if you find the cause of the clog

Here are some common causes of a clogged sink

1. Clumps of hair

Hair is one of the most common blockages for bathroom sinks.  Hair can clump together and get stuck to the walls in the drain. You can try removing the hair with tweezers, a zip pull or wire clothes hanger.

2. Soap scum

Over time, soap scum can accumulate in your pipes and cause a blockage.  This can generally be cleared easily with the above mentioned boiling water or a mix of baking soda and vinegar.

4. Damage to pipes

As pipes age, they can corrode leading to a slow drain or a clog.  The corroded pipes should be replaced as soon as possible. In the meantime, a temporary fix is to use a snake or a plunge.

5. Blockage in p-trap

The curved pipe underneath your sink is known as the p-trap.  When the blockage is in this part of the pipe, the solution is to loosen the nuts and remove the blockage.


Ready to unblock the clog?  Here’s how..

Using hot water

The simplest method.

  1. Let the sink drain fully.  If the drain is slow this may take a while.
  2. Bring a kettle or pot of water to a rolling boil.
  3. Slowly and carefully pour the hot water down the sink.  If the clog appears to be clearing, you can continue to add more water.  Wait until the water drains through the pipe. This may take a while if the pipes are draining slowly.
  4. Not working? Try baking soda and vinegar.

Pulling out hair with tweezers

  1. Remove the stopper
  2. If you can see the hair, use tweezers
  3. If you can’t see the hair use a zip tool or bend a clothes hanger
  4. Try pushing the tool around at different angles
  5. Rinse with hot water as you go


Baking soda and vinegar

A simple, natural solution that can sometimes clear blockages.

  1. Remove the stopper
  2. Pour 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain – ideally with a funnel.
  3. With the funnel (if using), add 1 1/4 cup of white vingar
  4. Rinse slowly with boiling water
  5. Repeat if you need to


Using a snake

Some difficult clogs require a more effective tool, such as a snake.   If you have a plumbing snake you can do this yourself, or you can call a local plumbing company to help you.

How to use a snake

  1. Place a bucket under the P-trap (the curved pipe underneath the sink)
  2. Remove the P-trap with a screwdriver or wrench. Do this slowly as water may be released when it’s loosened.
  3. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your snake.
  4. The snake should be inserted until there is some resistance felt.  Generally this should be the clog your dealing with.  The snake should be secured before twisting it to remove the clog.  You should now feel no resistance.
  5. The P-trap can be put back in place, and you can check that the sink drains freely.

Using a plunger

  1. Remove the stopper and seal the overflow outlet of the sink with a rag
  2. Fill the sink with warm water
  3. Seal the drain with the plunger
  4. Pump the plunger up and down
  5. Test the drain and repeat if needed

Clearing the P-trap

  1. Place a bucket under the p-trap
  2. Loosen the nuts and let the water drain into the bucket
  3. Look for anything that could be blocking the pipe and remove
  4. Place the P-trap back again and test the drain works

One thing you should not use on a clog is bleach. The fumes are toxic and it can damage pipes.

Need professional help?

If you have a clogged sink and you need a plumber local to Milford, or anywhere else in New Haven County, CT you can contact the top-rated family plumbers at Onze Southern Connecticut Plumbing and Heating.


Call For Service

(203) 876-7875
(203) 366-0205
(888) 261-4885

Service Request