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How to Unblock a Bathroom Sink: Quick and Easy Solutions

by Elena M 24 Jan 2024
How to Unblock a Bathroom Sink: Quick and Easy Solutions

Few things are as frustrating in a bathroom as a clogged sink that refuses to drain properly. Instead of rushing to Google for local plumbers, why not try to tackle the problem yourself? Unblocking a bathroom sink is easier than you might think.

In this guide, we'll explain various methods to unblock a bathroom sink without resorting to potentially harmful chemical-based cleaners. We'll also delve into the common causes of sink blockages, so you can prevent future issues. After all, nobody wants an overflowing basin creating a mess in the bathroom.

Why is my bathroom sink blocked?

When it comes to a blocked bathroom sink, three common causes might be at play, but only one of them is within your control:

  1. Foreign Objects: The most frequent cause of a blocked sink is also the one you can influence - foreign objects getting stuck in the system. Hair, soap, toothpaste, and grime accumulate in the pipes, leading to slow drainage or complete blockage.
  2. Poor Installation: If you consistently face sink blockages, it could be due to poorly installed plumbing and piping. Incorrect angles and falls in the pipes can cause material buildup, leading to blockages.
  3. Storms and Bad Weather: Surprisingly, bad weather can also be a cause of sink blockages. Heavy rain and storms can overwhelm drains, causing debris to back up into your home.

Now that we've explored the causes, let's dive into how you can unblock a bathroom sink yourself.

How can I unblock a bathroom sink?

Using a Plunger:

If the blockage is near the surface of the waste pipe and visible, a plunger might do the trick. Here's what you'll need:

  • A plunger
  • Rubber gloves


  1. Remove the pop-up plug or drain stopper.
  2. Block the overflow with a cloth to create a vacuum.
  3. Place the plunger's suction cup over the plughole, ensuring it covers the entire opening.
  4. Push down gently to create a seal, then pump vertically at a steady pace for a few minutes.
  5. Release the plunger to let the air out, and repeat until the water drains.
  6. Once the water flows freely, reach down and remove any blockage.
unblock a bathroom sink

Using Baking Soda & Vinegar:

This method is effective if your sink isn't completely blocked but is draining slowly. You'll need:

  • Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • White vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • Rubber gloves


  1. Ensure the sink is empty and dry.
  2. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by two cups of boiling water. Wait for 3 - 5 minutes.
  3. Pour another cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain.
  4. Allow the fizz to work, then pour two cups of hot water.
  5. Check if the problem has been resolved after 20-30 minutes.
unblock bathroom sink

Removing the Waste Trap or U-Bend:

If natural remedies or a plunger don't work, you may need to access the U-bend beneath the sink. You'll require:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Bucket
  • Adjustable spanner/wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Old towel or rag


  1. Turn off the water and clear the space under the sink.
  2. Place a towel and bucket beneath the basin to catch any water.
  3. Note how the U-bend is assembled before taking it apart.
  4. Carefully loosen the fittings connecting the U-bend to the basin.
  5. Be prepared for water as you disassemble it.
  6. Remove the U-bend and clear the blockage using flexible wire or your hands.
  7. Reassemble the U-bend properly and ensure it's sealed at both ends.
  8. Turn the water back on.

By following these DIY methods, you can quickly and effectively unblock a bathroom sink, saving both time and money on plumbing services. Don't let a clogged sink disrupt your daily routine—take action and enjoy a smoothly flowing bathroom sink once again!


In conclusion, dealing with a blocked bathroom sink doesn't have to be a daunting task. By understanding the common causes, such as foreign objects and poor installation, and employing simple DIY methods like using a plunger or natural remedies like baking soda and vinegar, you can resolve the issue effectively.

Remember to maintain your sink regularly to prevent future blockages and ensure smooth drainage. With these practical tips, you can save time, money, and the hassle of calling a plumber, allowing you to enjoy a hassle-free bathroom experience. So, next time you face a sink blockage, don't panic—take control and unclog it with confidence!

Have you ever dealt with a blocked bathroom sink? Share your experience and tips for resolving it in the comments below!

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