How To Unclog a Sink In 5 Easy Steps

Posted on: Feb 01, 2023

When you own a home, clogged drains will happen. When they do, you can troubleshoot some common causes for these nuisances. As you learn about your home, type of pipes, or specific plumbing issues, take specific steps to prevent clogs in the first place. But when they happen, here’s how to unclog a sink in 5 easy steps. 

First, let’s discuss some causes for clogged drains in your sink. 

Why is Your Sink Clogged?

A clogged sink drain in your bathroom and kitchen means one or more things get stuck on the walls of your drain pipes. This includes: 

  • Dirt
  • Food
  • Hair
  • Toothpaste
  • Skin flakes
  • Cooking grease
  • Oil
  • Soap scum

To prevent clogging, make sure you’re disposing of grease and oil in sealable containers. Spit toothpaste into the toilet. Keep food out of the kitchen sink and use compost heaps instead. 

Unfortunately, these items accumulate over time and cake onto each other. When this gunky clog reduces water flow, you have a problem. 

5 Steps For Unclogging a Sink

Sooner or later, every homeowner has to deal with a clogged sink drain. Obstructions are common and happen throughout almost any kind of plumbing. If you find the water in your sink is draining slower than usual, or not at all, take the following steps. 

If these steps don’t work, consider professional plumbing services

1. Disconnect Your Stopper

Most of the debris mentioned above can collect all around or on your drain stopper. Look underneath the sink for a thin, metal strip with holes in it. 

A pivot nut should connect this strip to the drain pipe. Unscrew the pivot nut and pull out the rod from the pop-up assembly. This will disconnect your stopper.

2. Remove the Stopper For Cleaning

Unclogging a sink can get nasty. Put on some cleaning gloves to protect your hands (and nails) from the gunk you’re about to find. Make sure a trash can or garbage bag is within arm’s reach. 

Remove the stopper and lift it out of the drain. While standing over the trash can, carefully remove anything stuck to the stopper. Then wipe the stopper with a damp paper towel and throw everything away.

3. Snake Your Drain

Don’t stop there. Purchase a drain hand snake from any hardware store to remove all debris contributing to a clogged sink drain. Avoid using a metal hanger as a drain snake, since it could puncture your drain pipe.

At this point, put the snake into the drain and turn the handle. This will move the head around inside your pipe, allowing it to grab any debris it finds. Again, make sure the trash can is nearby for the hair, food, and other grime you’ll pull out. 

Repeat this process until your snake is fairly clean.

4. Put The Stopper Back

Put your stopper back in the drain and reconnect the pivot nut. Make sure it works by gently pulling up the metal rod behind the faucet a few times. Then fully open the drain and turn on the water. If the water continues to drain slowly or remains clogged, follow the next step. 

5. Look Inside The P-Trap

The p-trap, or elbow-shaped section of plumbing under your sink, is sometimes hard to reach with a snake drain. Place a bucket underneath this section and unscrew the connectors with a regular household wrench. 

Remove any excess water and debris from the p-trap into the bucket. Then wipe out the pipe’s inside area for any leftover muck. Reattach the p-trap and turn on the water. If the water still isn’t flowing down the drain, that means the source of your clog is deeper inside, and you’ll need a professional plumbing services company.

When Do You Call a Pro?

If you’ve tried unclogging your sink and it still isn’t draining, don’t make the problem worse. Call Airco Service for the best expert plumbers in Oklahoma. We’ve seen it all and can help get your water flowing again in no time. Contact us today!