How to Unblock a Sink: The Most Effective Home Methods

Clogged sink with dirty water in a cafe toilet. Blockage problems in the bathroom and toilet

If you need to know how to unblock a sink effectively, we’ve got you covered. We have over 30 years of experience fixing drainage problems and have learnt the most effective methods for  how to unblock a sink, whether it’s a bathroom sink or kitchen sink, whether it’s food or hair, we know how to unclog sinks successfully. 

When you have a blocked sink, it can be more than just an annoyance. Bad smells drifting from your drains and slow-draining sinks with excess water can quickly turn into serious blockages with sinks full of toxic water if you don’t act fast.

Follow these easy home methods to unblock different sinks and prevent serious drainage issues, including how to unblock a sink without a plunger.

Before You Try to Unblock a Sink Drain

There are a couple of ways to prepare before you try to unblock a sink at home:

  • Wear gloves: protective, strong rubber gloves are best
  • Consider eye protection and a facemask to guard against splashes and fumes
  • Don’t do anything you’re not sure about!

The last point is the most important. If you try to unclog a sink with the wrong method, you could risk causing damage to your pipes which can lead to more serious problems than a clogged drain. Calling a plumber or a drainage expert, in this case, is vital, get in touch with our team to see how we can help.

How to Unblock a Bathroom Sink

Bathroom plugholes can suffer from serious hair clogs when excess amounts of hair combine with soap and other products to clump together and build up in the pipes. There are ways to combat this:

Use a Plunger

Unclog a sink

A plunger is one of the best tools for stubborn blockages. To get the best results, you should coat vaseline over the edges of the plunger’s cup as it will enhance the suction power. If you can, cover the overflow holes of the sink with a damp cloth as this aids in increasing the pressure and making the plunger more effective.

How to Unblock a Sink of Hair

If you have a clogged drain in your bathroom because of hair, there are ways to combat this:

Use a Hair Snake

A person is trying to unclog the drain of a sink using plastic disposable snake auger tool which helps pull hair and soap debris from the sinkhole. Close up DIY home maintenance concept.

A hair snake is a lightweight plastic tool designed to draw up hair out of a plug hole with its non-sharp serrated edge. While their functionality is quite limited, they are the best way to remove clumps of hair from a drain. We wouldn’t recommend using a wire coat hanger as the sharp metal will scratch the lining of your pipe, causing irreversible damage.

Chemical-Based Drain Unblocking Products

The caustic ingredients in a chemical-based drain unblocker can dissolve soap scum and clumps of hair with ease. The caustic soda element can eat through the blockage in your bathroom sink. However, you should not use this too regularly as it can risk dissolving the lining of your pipes over time – this method is best as an occasional unblocker.

blocked sink

How to Unblock a Kitchen Sink

Kitchen sinks can become blocked for many reasons, including build-ups of fat, grease, food particles and coffee grounds. Here are the best methods for unblocking a kitchen sink:

Hot Water

If you’ve noticed that your kitchen sink is slow to drain, you may be able to just clear this by running the hot tap for a while. We wouldn’t recommend pouring boiling water straight down the sink as this can cause damage to some older piping systems. Run hot soapy water down your sink to get rid of small blockages.  

Baking Soda and Vinegar

This method is good for dissolving fats and grease that have stuck to the side of your pipes. Combine two tablespoons of baking soda with a cup of white vinegar and pour it down your drain, letting it work for around 5 minutes before flushing it down with water. If your sink is full of water, this may not be the best method as the mixture will simply fizz in the standing water and potentially foam over. 

How to Prevent Blocked Sinks

At BlockBusters, we always say that prevention is better than cure when it comes to drainage issues.

Over our years of service we have seen these common causes of blocked sinks:

  • Allowing food down kitchen sinks: Washing bits of food, however small, down your kitchen sink is never a good idea. These particles can clump together in your drain, building up over time to cause significant blockages that are hard to eliminate with home remedies. 
  • Pouring fat and grease down the kitchen plughole: If you pour your used cooking oil or fats down your kitchen sink, it’s time to stop. Oils and fats can stick to the sides of your pipes and collect food particles, causing troublesome build-ups. Keep an empty container by your sink to pour used oil and fats into so you’re not pouring them down the sink.
  • Soap scum and cosmetic build-up in bathroom sinks: Clean your bathroom sinks regularly with household products to avoid soap scum clumps. 
  • Excessive hair in bathroom sinks: Before you shower or bathe, brush your hair thoroughly so less hair falls during the washing process to fill up the plughole.
  • Get a CCTV drain Survey: We offer free CCTV drain surveys, one of the most effective ways to prevent any kind of drainage issue. We push a high-tech camera through the entirety of your piping system to map it out. This is the most accurate way to find any small issues in your drainage system before they become big blockages.

Contact BlockBusters for Fast and Certified Sink Unblocking

If you’ve tried home methods to unblock your sink but the blockage keeps coming back, it’s time to get a professional in. Our highly-trained drainage engineers come equipped with advanced technology and years of experience, ready to eliminate any blockage. We use high-pressure water jets to make sure a blockage is completely gone and doesn’t keep recurring. When you want a reliable, long-term fix for a blocked sink, call BlockBusters.

Contact the team