If you need to learn how to unblock a sink in your bathroom, kitchen or lavatory, there are a number of ways to fix the problem.
Read on to find the best way to unblock a sink.
How to unblock a sink with a plunger
Learning how to unblock a sink with a plunger is easy and usually is enough to clear the blockage causing the problem. Before you get started make sure to have the following items to hand:
- A cup-shaped plunger
- Limescale cleaner (to clean the plughole)
- A sponge (to assist with the cleaning)
- Duct tape (to block the overflow)
- Large towel (to soak up water spillage)
- Cup (to remove excess water)
1. Drain all water from the sink
Use the cup to remove any excess water that may be in the sink. This will make it easier to carry out the rest of the steps below.
2. Cover the sink overflow
The overflow is the hole situated directly underneath the taps in the sink. Wipe around this area using the towel before covering it up with duct tape. Alternatively, you can use a dishcloth to fill in the hole. Ensure there are no gaps left so it is completely airtight.
3. Place the towel on the floor
You will want to cover up the floor around the sink with the towel just in case any water spills over the edge.
4. Unscrew and clean the plughole
It’s perfectly fine to unscrew the plughole and it presents a great opportunity to give it a good clean. Use the limescale remover and sponge for this step. This will also allow you to see if there are any blockages that you can remove yourself.
When you have finished cleaning, screw the plughole back into place and dry up any surrounding moisture. If you removed any blockages by hand, it’s worth running the taps to see if this has fixed the problem.
5. Get plunging
Position the suction end of the plunger directly on top of the plug hold and push down. Turn on both taps to get a couple of inches of lukewarm water around the plunger in the sink.
Use both hands to grip the plunger handle before pushing it up and down to build up suction power. This should unblock the sink which you should also hear as the air passes back through the drainage system.
However, if this doesn’t fix the problem and the sink is still blocked, there are other options you can try below.
How to unblock a sink without a plunger
If the above hasn’t worked, you will probably want to know how to unblock a sink without a plunger. The good news is there are other options available to you.
Before trying out any of the below, always make sure the sink is water-free so you get the possible access to the plughole. Also boil a kettle of water so it can be used to wash away any blockages you come across.
1. Bicarbonate of soda (or baking powder) and white vinegar
If you don’t own either of these items already, they can be purchased at any local supermarket without having to spend much money.
Use a teaspoon to pour the bicarbonate soda (or baking powder) down the plughole. Quickly follow this with a cup of white vinegar. This will simmer away and hopefully clear the blockage. After 5 minutes use the boiled water to flush out the blockage.
2. Biological washing powder
As with the above solution, pour two tablespoons of biological washing powder down the plughole followed by a full kettle of boiling water. You can also use soda crystals as an alternative.
3. Wire tool
Your local hardware store should have drain-unblocking wire available to buy. If not, you can always use a metal coat hanger or net curtain wire. This method involves placing the wiring into the plughole until it hits the blockage. Carefully add pressure to remove the blockage until it becomes clear.
Be sure to avoid turning the pipe anticlockwise during this method as it could lead to the unscrewing of the pipe, which may result in flooding.
4. Natural drain cleaner
For blockages formed by a build-up of grease, fat and hair, using a natural drain cleaner can be very effective. Follow the instructions that are found on the packaging of the cleaner to get the best results.