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How to unblock a sink – tips and tricks


unclog a sink

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If you have a blocked sink, there’s no reason to call the plumber. We’ll show you how to unblock a sink yourself.

What to do when you have a clogged sink

A clogged sink in the bathroom or kitchen is pretty disgusting and also means you can’t use or clean the sink properly if the water isn’t draining. Unpleasant odours start to develop, and in the worst case, it can even pose health risks. The pipe connected to the clogged sink needs to be cleaned. But how? In addition to chemical pipe cleaners, a number of alternative methods have proven effective. Try the following home remedies if you have a blocked sink.

Releasing the blockage with a plastic bottle

Unblocking a sink with a plastic bottle is certainly the cheapest method. You fill an ordinary plastic bottle with hot water and put it over the drain of the clogged sink so that no air can escape. Then you squeeze the bottle so that the water is forced down into the drain. Doing this a few times should be enough to unblock a sink, at least for the time being. However, this isn’t a very good long-term solution. You should also be careful when trying this out since the water could squirt out of both sides if you don’t hold the bottle properly.

Unblocking a sink with a plunger

If you have a plunger, you can use it to unblock a sink. First, seal the overflow with a wet rag. Then press the plunger in the middle of the drain and let some water run into the basin. If you now pull the plunger up and down without it coming unstuck from the basin, the blockage will loosen. If you remove the plunger and the water runs normally again, then it’s worked.

Vinegar as a miracle cure

Online sources claim that vinegar is the necessity of every household and can also help when you have a blocked sink. You have two options:

  • Vinegar and sodium bicarbonate
    With this method, you first pour a few spoonful’s of sodium bicarbonate into the clogged drain and then pour in half a cup of vinegar. You’ll be able to hear a bubbling sound as they both react with one another. When the noise has subsided, pour hot water into the sink.
  • Vinegar and baking soda
    Even with ordinary baking soda, you can get your sink unclogged again. First, pour 4 heaped tablespoons of baking soda into the drain and then pour the same amount of vinegar in. Again, wait until the noise subsides and follow up with boiling water

Cleaning with coffee grounds

If your sink is only slightly clogged, you can also reach for coffee – or more precisely, coffee grounds. Pour a litre of cold water into the drain and then pour hot water in after you’ve waited a good ten minutes. Another advantage to this method is that the coffee also covers up unpleasant odours that can be caused by a clogged sink.

Blocked sink solutions: a pipe cleaning spiral

If you have a clogged sink, a pipe cleaning spiral can also help. Insert it slowly into the drain and then turn the handle. Be careful not to damage the pipe when using this method.

Cleaning the siphon by hand

If the above methods don’t help, it’s time to remove the siphon and clean it by hand. To do this, unscrew it with a pipe wrench, pour the remaining water into a pale and then clean it thoroughly. After you’re done, screw the siphon back into place. If this method is not successful either, the problem is probably deeper down the pipe. In this case, you will have to enlist the help of a plumber. 

For more handy hints and tips check out some of our other articles such as, how to unblock a drain, how to remove sticker residue and how to clean a dishwasher.