A slow draining bathroom sink is a common household problem.
A build-up of hygiene products and hair is the most likely cause of the blockage.
You could use chemical solutions to remove the blockage, but that’s corrosive and can damage your pipes.
Moreover, they can cause respiratory problems or allergic reactions.
Instead, this guide will provide safer methods on how to fix a slow draining bathroom sink. You also won’t need to hire a plumber for these methods.
3 Ways to Fix Slow Draining Bathroom Sink
You can save quite a bit of money and time by unclogging the bathroom sink yourself.
Also, you don’t have to purchase cleaning materials because you most likely already have them.
Here are some ways that you can unclog your bathroom sink.
Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can clear the drain with natural solvents like vinegar and baking soda. You’ll need the following materials.
- Baking soda
- Measuring cup
- Lemon juice
- Rag or sink stopper
Collect and keep all ingredients ready. You don’t want to increase the time between you pour the baking soda and the vinegar.
Step 1. Put a Kettle of Water to Boil
Let a kettle of water boil.
During that time, measure out the rest of your cleaning materials.
Step 2. Measure the Cleaning Materials.
Put a quarter of a cup of baking soda into a bowl.
Also, put a full cup of vinegar. Don’t mix the two ingredients yet.
Step 3. Pour the Boiling Water Down the Drain
Pour the kettle of boiling water down the drain to open it up to some degree.
If your house is old with old pipes, you should pour very hot water instead of boiling water. Boiling water may damage old pipes.
After that, you should refill the kettle and put it on to boil.
You will need to pour more boiling water down the drain at the end of the unclogging process.
Step 4. Pour the Baking Soda Down the Drain
Carefully pour the baking soda down the bathroom drain.
Ensure that all of it goes inside and not around the drain in the sink.
Step 5. Pour the Vinegar Down the Drain
Be careful when you pour the vinegar down the drain. There will be an almost immediate reaction between the baking soda and the vinegar.
So, empty the entire cup of vinegar in one motion.
If you did spill some baking soda in the sink, you could pour the vinegar over it to force it to go down the drain.
You are likely to see bubbles or hear fizzing noises. This means that the natural solutions are eating away at the blockage.
Step 6. Place the Rag or Sink Stopper at the Mouth of the Drain
Immediately after you put the vinegar, you should place the rag or sink stopper at the mouth of the drain.
Doing so will prevent the bubbles from coming out of the drain.
As a result, the reaction between the baking soda and vinegar will stay concentrated in the drain. You should let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes.
Step 7. Pour Boiling (Or Very Hot) Water Down the Drain
Remove the rag or sink stopper and squeeze some lemon juice into the drain after the required 15 minutes.
This will help with eliminating the blockage.
In addition to that, it will leave a fresh smell in your bathroom. Hair stuck in the drain eventually rots.
As a result, it leaves a bad odor. So, you should not skip this step, especially if you can get a bad smell from the drain.
After that, pour the boiling water down the bathroom drain. Watch the speed that it drains the water closely.
If it’s still taking time to drain the water, repeat all the steps mentioned above.
Your bathroom sink should drain water at a regular pace after the second try. If not, you could try one of the other methods discussed in this guide.
Using a Plunger
This method requires two materials only. You’ll need a plunger and a flashlight. Ideally, you should use a plunger designed specifically for sinks.
If you don’t have one and cannot purchase one, you can use a toilet plunger.
However, make sure to clean the toilet plunger thoroughly before you use it in your sink.
Step 1. Remove Your Bathroom Sink Stopper
You will need to remove your bathroom sink stopper for this method to work. If you don’t, you’ll force the stopper up and down.
Thus, the plunger will have little to no effect on the clog itself.
Pull the sink stopper with your hands until it can’t come out of the drain further. Next, turn the stopper counterclockwise until you unscrew it.
It should detach from the drain after that.
Step 2. Fill the Sink with Water
Turn the faucet on, and let the sink fill with water.
Don’t fill the entire sink. Instead, the water should be about an inch or two above the drain. The water is necessary for the plunger to work.
Step 3. Create a Suction Seal
Place your plunger right over your sink’s drain. Press down on the plunger to feel the bottom rubber part of it tighten into a suction seal.
Make sure that you’re standing right above the plunger.
If you pull on the plunger at an angle, you may ruin the suction seal. As a result, the plunger won’t do a satisfactory job at unclogging the drain.
Step 4. Pull the Plunger Up and Down
Hold the plunger’s handle with both hands and pull upwards and downwards on it. Keep your motion smooth and stay positioned above the plunger.
Continue this process until you pull and push on the plunger about 10 to 20 times. The plunger will force the blockage to move if there’s a suction seal.
So, make sure that the plunger stays sealed to the drain throughout the process.
Step 5. Inspect the Drain for Unclogged Materials
Keep the plunger aside and let the water drain. Next, use your flashlight to inspect the drain. Check if you can see any blockage that came loose through your efforts.
If you can spot some blockage, stick your hand in the drain to remove it. You may want to wear rubber gloves for this process.
The gloves will prevent anything from getting under your nails.
Repeat the process if you can find any blockage.
There’s a chance that the blockage may have drained. So, run water in the sink to check if it’s draining at the right pace before you use the plunger again.
By Snaking the Pipes
In some cases, the clog may be too bad to unclog using the methods above.
So, you’ll need to snake the pipes. The materials you’ll need for this process are listed below.
- Wrench or screwdriver
- A bucket
- Plumber’s snake/drain snake
You can use a straightened wire hanger if you don’t have a drain snake. After the wire is straight, create a hook by bending one end.
Step 1. Place the Bucket Underneath the P-Trap
Place your bucket underneath the P-trap, i.e., the curved pipe that is fixed to the drain.
The bucket will catch the blockage and prevent a mess.
Step 2. Remove the P-Trap
Before you remove the P-trap, you must determine what’s keeping it in place. Some of these pipes are held together by screws.
In that case, you’ll need a screwdriver (the size and type of screwdriver will depend on the screws).
On the other hand, the P-trap may have slip nuts. So, you’ll need a wrench (specifically channel locks) to remove the P-trap.
Remove the P-trap slowly by turning the screws or nuts counterclockwise. When they’re loose, use your fingers to turn and remove them.
Keep the nuts or screws in a cup or case so that you don’t misplace them.
Step 3. Find and Remove the Clog
Check the P-trap for the clog. It’s most likely to contain the blockage because of its curved shape. If you spot it, use your hands or wire hanger to remove it.
If you don’t find the blockage, it may be in the pipe in your wall. In that case, insert your drain snake into the pipe.
Keep pushing it until you feel some resistance. That resistance is most likely the blockage.
Push the drain snake back and forth like you would use a plunger. Continue doing so until you don’t feel any resistance. That should remove the blockage.
Step 4. Reinstall the P-Trap
Place the P-trap in the same position it was in before. Hold it in place, and tighten the nuts or screws.
Make sure to tighten it well (without overdoing it) to prevent water from leaking.
Turn on the faucet to check if the bathroom sink drains at a regular pace. If not, consider hiring a professional.
So these are some of the easy ways you can use to fix a clogged to slow draining bathroom sink.
Other articles you may also like:
- Why Does Bathroom Sink Drain Gurgles?
- How to Fix a Cracked Bathroom Sink?
- 14 Simple Tips to Conserve Water in the Bathroom
- How to Disconnect a Bathroom Sink (Top Mount / Under Mount)