How to Clean Bathroom Sink Drain – 7 Effective Ways

by Nicholas Chew

A clogged drain is going to trouble you when the water is not flowing down your bathroom sink. This condition happens when debris from different area got caught up inside the drain pipe and causes blockage. Multiple consequences can happened from a clogged drain, including unpleasant odors, water contamination, and microbial growth. Severe blockages can damage your bathroom’s plumbing system or even flood your house. Hence, regular cleaning of a sink drain is necessary to prevent large clogs. Don’t stress out if your bathroom drain is clogged, as we have some effective and trusted solutions for you. You can follow this bathroom sink drain cleaning guide and observe how quick your pipes declog. Let’s get started.

How to Clean Bathroom Sink Drain – 7 Effective Ways 

Below are seven tried and tested ways to clean bathroom sink drain effectively.  

1. Remove Large Debris By Hand

The first step includes looking for large debris that’s blocking the drain. You can perform this step efficiently by following the below easy steps. 

  • Remove the drain cap or cover from the sink
  • Wear plastic gloves and look for large debris inside the drain with your hand
  • Throw away visible waste, including large hair bunches or toothpaste chunks
  • Finally, let the water from the tap run for at least 10 seconds. 

You can also use any household tool instead of your hands to carry out this step. 

How Often Should You Remove Large Debris By Hand?

Performing this easy step at least once a week can go a long way. You wouldn’t need to face frequent draining issues, while microbial growth will also be avoided. This process wouldn’t take more than 5 minutes at a good speed. Hence, it’s worth repeating it every other week to keep your drain at the best condition. 

2. Use a Commercial Drain Cleaner

You can avoid all the hassles by using a commercial drain cleaner. It’s a potent chemical formula that can quickly de-clog the bathroom drain making everything good to go. Several renowned brands sell them under the category of cleaning products. However, a few drawbacks accompany this cleaning method. 

The concentrated chemical can destroy your bathroom’s draining system with time if you use it frequently. Moreover, the fumes that arise while pouring commercial liquid into the drain can pose a health hazard. It’s also not a good method to save the environment. 

It’s better to use this method as the last option. Multiple mild remedies can do an equally effective job, which we will discuss soon. 

3. Stick to the Home Remedy of Salt, Baking Soda, and Vinegar

The three ingredients of salt, baking soda, and vinegar are perfect household ingredients for cleaning purposes. Choosing to clean the bathroom drain through this method is safe while also shows highly productive results. 

Let’s briefly discuss how to use these items to remove stubborn clogs. 

How to Use Salt to Clean Bathroom Sink Drain?

The following steps can quickly unclog the sink drain using salt and boiling water.

  • Open the drain cap and pour at least one cup of rock salt inside it. It’s important to ensure it goes down the drain 
  • Now place a wet towel onto the drain area for around 10 minutes
  • Finally, flush a pot of hot water down the drain to clear out all blockages at once 

How to Use Baking Soda, Vinegar, and Boiling Water to Unclog Smelly Drain?

Mixing baking soda with vinegar can also work exceptionally well for removing drain blockages. Follow the given steps to clean a smelly clogged sink drain in a few minutes.

  • Mix baking soda and vinegar in equal ratios, creating a thick paste. 
  • Wear rubber gloves to prevent chemical burns. This blend can be harmful if it comes in contact with the skin. 
  • Pour the mixture inside the drain and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Now pour boiling water to flush down the thick paste. Make sure to cover the edges to ensure proper cleaning. 
  • You can also use an old toothbrush to scrub the sides to clean the remaining dirt inside the drain. 

4. Use Alka Seltzer Tablet in Drain

Alka Seltzer is an antacid medicine. You might be wondering how a pharmaceutical product can clean the clogged sink drain. However, it’s possible due to the tablet’s composition of sodium bicarbonate, which is baking soda. Most people are unaware of baking soda’s cleaning properties. 

Opting for this method can save you from extra effort. You can simply drop one tablet inside the drain and let it be there overnight. Pour a cup of hot water in the morning and flush the tablet down the drain. This combination is a cost-effective and convenient solution for blocked drains. Moreover, it doesn’t use harsh chemicals that may damage the bathroom’s plumbing system. 

5. Use Cleaning Tools Such As Plunger

Besides getting help from different home ingredients, you can also put standard household tools to work. The most common example is using a plunger. This tool is widely found in almost every house. You can use the typical cup-shaped plunger to clean the sink drain within a few minutes. 

The below steps can simplify drain declogging for you. 

  • Fill half of the sink with water
  • Now locate the drain opening and place the plunger around it. You can apply petroleum jelly on the plunger to enhance its suctioning capability
  • Press and pull this tool for at least half a minute until water flows freely. This action develops pressure in the drain, clearing away all the debris to free the blockage 

You can also use other tools, like wire hanger or drain snake, for effective bathroom sink drain cleaning. 

6. Flush the Drain with Cream Tartar and Boiling Water 

Cream tartar along with boiling water is another effective way to clean the sink drain. Although it’s a common baking ingredient, people also use it for cleaning purposes as well. Thanks to a similar composition as baking soda, this ingredient works well in breaking down the large debris blocking your bathroom sink pipe. Moreover, you don’t need additional tools to carry out this step. It’s cost-effective and works 100% on sink unclogging. 

Let’s briefly go through the steps to carry out this process. 

  • Form a paste by mixing one-fourth cup of salt and baking soda with one tablespoon of tartar cream 
  • Add this mixture into the drain opening and wait for at least 15 minutes 
  • Finally, flush this mixture with boiling water

7. Pour Soapy Water 

This step requires two ingredients; detergent or dish soap and boiling water. Mix half or a full cup of the cleaning powder or liquid with lukewarm water to create a soapy solution. Pour it down the drain, and everything will be good to go. However, this process can only clear minor clogs. You must choose baking soda and vinegar when dealing with stubborn drain blockages. 

Common Causes of Blocked Bathroom Sink Drain

Multiple things can clog a bathroom sink drain. Even skin flakes can be the reason behind this occurrence. Besides that, hair, soap scum, or cosmetic waste can also block the drainage system. 

1. Hair 

One of the top reasons behind bathroom sink clogging is trapped hair strands. You use bathrooms for shaving, combing, and even showering which can lead to hair flowing down the drain. They can collect over time, slowing the drain and jamming it completely. 

2. Soap scum 

Different minerals from soap can form a thin scum layer within the pipe. Constant flushing of soap water down the drain can build this layer up. The thick layer can slowly become an obstacle in an otherwise smooth drainage system.  

3. Cosmetic waste 

You’re making a big mistake if you tend to wash your makeup in the bathroom sink. Foundations, powders, and other makeup items can quickly accumulate and clog the drain. 

Tips to Prevent Bathroom Sink Drain From Getting Clogged

Clogged drains can lead to several unfavorable consequences. However, considering these few things can help you on preventing this occurrence. We have listed a few guidelines that you can follow to avoid clogged bathroom sink drains. 

  • Make it a habit to flush boiling water down the drain weekly. This practice can quickly dissolve soap leftovers and other particles that block the drain. 
  • Don’t forget to install a drain guard in your bathroom sink. It’s cheap and readily available in the market. Using it avoids pipeline leakages that may result from large clogs. 
  • Place a grate on the sink, which can readily trap all the large particles, making it easier for you to remove them. 
  • Remove all the hair from the sink after shaving or combing. Flushing them down the drain is one of the biggest mistakes most people make. Tiny hairs may look harmless, but their accumulation in the drain pipe over time can cause clogging. 
  • Clean the drain cover after every few days. You can check for any trapped debris and remove it with your hands before it goes down the drain. 

Wrapping Up 

A clogged bathroom drain comes with several undesirable repercussions. However, multiple home remedies have made it easy to de-clog a drain effectively. This article also discussed 7 effective techniques that can make your life easier. Follow our direct and cost-effective how to clean smelly bathroom sink drain guide, and you can finally say goodbye to messy drain blockages. 

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