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Clogged bathroom sink in residential home in need of unclogging service

Ways to Clear a Clogged Bathroom Sink

Has your bathroom sink been turned into a permanent water feature? Clogged bathroom drains are one of the most common plumbing problems that confront people in Central Long Island, and they're one of the most common reasons that people schedule an appointment for plumbing services.

Getting help from a licensed plumber is never a bad call, especially if you don't have the time, tools, or knowledge to deal with bathroom drain issues. Professionals have a wide variety of advanced tools and techniques for dealing with problematic pipes, but did you know that regular property owners also have a wide variety of solutions they can use to clear clogged bathroom sinks themselves?

Obstructed bathroom drain lines are an excellent reason to call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island, but we can help with more than just service appointments. We're also here to educate our friends and neighbors, and empower people in Long Island with a selection of potential solutions for common problems like a clogged drain pipe under your bathroom sink.

If you've dealt with clogs before, then you already know some plumbing problems are simple enough that anybody can deal with them. If blockage is particularly stubborn, deep within your sewer lines, or related to serious obstructions like tree roots, then you'll probably need professional drain cleaning service. If you're simply standing over a blocked sink, then you might be able to use one of several popular strategies to deal with that situation yourself.

1. Use a Plunger

Some people like to save the best choice for last, but we're putting the best solution first in this case. If you're reading this more out of curiosity than desperation and you don't currently own a plunger, now is the time to go out and buy one.

There are multiple plunger options but a standard cup plunger is what you'll need for dealing with a clogged bathroom sink. Toilet and accordion options are generally better for toilet clogs. There are other options for dealing with clogs — like using clogged sink prevention methods to stop blockage before it becomes a problem — but few DIY methods work better for clearing bathroom sink drains than a proper plunger.

How to Clear a Clogged Bathroom Sink with a Plunger:

  1. Remove the stopper from your bathroom sink by lifting it out. You may need to give it a little twist too.

  2. Seal that hole above the bowl — a.k.a. your overflow outlet — with a piece of duct tape or a wet washcloth.

  3. Ensure that the sink has a few inches of water inside. There should be enough to cover the rim of the plunger, so that you can create a strong seal.

  4. Place the cup of your plunger over your drain. If you're having trouble creating a seal, try adding some petroleum jelly to the rim of your plunger.

  5. Pump in and out while maintaining the strong seal around your plunger. Keep an eye on the overflow outlet to make sure it remains sealed. It may loosen and need to be resealed during this step. Keep plunging until you feel the obstruction clear.

  6. Run your tap for a few minutes after you clear the obstruction, to ensure all debris has been cleared.

2. Boiling Water

This solution is where you can start if you don't own a plunger and your bathroom sink is already completely clogged. Boiling water can clear many types of blockage by breaking down organic material like grease and soap scum and forcing it down through your sewer drain into the city sewer system.

! Warning !

You must use boiling water for this method to work. That means you'll be at risk for accidental burns if you mishandle your hot water during this step. It also means that this isn't an option if you're dealing with an issue in PVC pipes or a ceramic fixture, as boiling water can melt plastic and crack porcelain.

How to Clear Blockage with Boiling Water:

  1. Empty everything out of your backed-up sink — this won't work if the water level in your sink is already high.

  2. Boil at least one gallon of water by heating it in a pot on your stove.

  3. Transfer your boiling water to a bucket and carefully carry it over to your bathroom sink.

  4. Slowly pour that bucket of water directly into the sink.

  5. If everything flows away, run your taps for a few minutes to confirm that everything has been cleared.

3. Baking Soda & Vinegar

This solution builds on the previous option by adding a natural chemical reaction to the process. If you ever made a model volcano in grade-school, then you know a little about this method already. All you need are two common household cooking ingredients: baking soda and vinegar. The exact recipe varies depending on whom you ask. We recommend using equal amounts of each ingredient. One third to one half of a cup should be plenty.

! Warning !

This is the only time you should ever be mixing anything while attempting to clear bathroom sink clogs. Never mix any chemicals! Most plumbing professionals avoid chemical cleaners because of the way they damage plumbing fixtures and the associated health risks that come from accidentally mixing drain cleaners and other chemicals.

How to Clear a Clogged Bathroom Sink with Baking Soda & Vinegar:

  1. Ensure your bathroom sink is empty.

  2. Begin heating one gallon of water.

  3. Pour 1/3 cup of baking soda and 1/3 cup of vinegar into separate containers.

  4. Mix your baking soda and vinegar together, then immediately pour it down your drain.

  5. Let the fizzing mixture sit for 10 minutes.

  6. Pour your boiling water down to flush everything out.

  7. Run your taps to confirm all debris is gone.

4. Use a Drain Snake

This is your final option for clearing clogs on your own, and it's what you'll need to try if a plunger proves useless. Drain snakes—sometimes called augers—consist of a metal cable that extends down into clogged bathroom sinks and twists around to disrupt and grab debris.

This is your best option for dealing with a tough clog that can't be cleared with a plunger, but be prepared for a mess if you use a drain snake. All the typical culprits of the toughest clogs are grimy, slime-covered materials, and your drain snake is going to bring them up into the harsh light of your bathroom.

How to Use a Drain Snake:

  1. Put on some rubber gloves.

  2. If you're using a simple snake, uncoil the cable and push it down the pipe until you feel the clog.

  3. If you're using a manual auger with a crank, push the end into the opening and crank the handle until you feel the clog.

  4. Rotate the snake around the clog to grab the debris and break it apart. If this gets easier as you do it, you may have broken up the blockage enough for it to drain away. If not, pull up the cable and be ready for a mess.

  5. Drop any blockage you pull up into a trash bag and clean off the cable thoroughly.

  6. Run your taps to flush any remaining debris away.

5. Call Your Local Expert Plumbers

If you've tried all of the above and your bathroom sink is still clogged, now is the time to call in expert plumbers. Simple clogs are easily cleared. You're dealing with something more sinister if you haven't been able to clear it with any standard solutions. It's possible that your clogged bathroom sink may be related to a more serious sewer clog caused by heavy obstructions — or unaddressed sewer damage.

Using advanced tools and techniques — like water jetting services and powered augers — professional plumbing experts can clear away any stubborn blockage and inspect your other pipes to ensure you aren't the victim of something more serious.

When Should You Call a Plumber to Deal with a Clogged Bathroom Sink in Long Island, NY?

  • When you can't clear it yourself

  • When your bathroom sink keeps getting clogged

  • When your blockage comes with unpleasant odors

  • When you hear strange sounds coming from your drain

  • When flushing your toilet causes backups in your sink

  • When there are multiple issues affecting you across different rooms

  • When sewage seeps up into tub drains at the same time

Do You Have a Clogged Bathroom Sink in Central Long Island, NY?

Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Central Long Island can clear away your blockage and keep it away forever with preventative maintenance services. We proudly serve all our neighbors in Suffolk County, from Brentwood to St. James and beyond!

For convenient appointments and 24-hour emergency service, call 631-542-2194. We're here to assist you!