How to recognize that you have to unclog the sink?
The signs telling you that it’s time to unclog the sink are quite characteristic - it’s difficult to miss them. The are always the same - regardless whether the piping is clogged under a kitchen sink, a bathtub or a washbasin.
- Slow draining water is the first signal. Clean pipes quickly remove the water. If they are clogged - you have to wait a few seconds after washing your hands or cleaning dishes until the liquid flows down completely.
- When water runs down the drain in the kitchen or bathroom sink, you might notice bubbles. It’s a more serious indication telling you that pipe cleaning is needed immediately.
In both cases, you might also notice an unpleasant smell coming from the pipes. It also should make you wonder whether something isn’t stuck in the piping. Perhaps you need to unclog them.
What’s clogging your drains and why do you have to unclog the sink?
Depending whether the clogging occurs in the bathroom or the kitchen, the reasons might be different. A clogged sink is typically a result of accumulation of various residues in the plumbing system. They might come from make-up products, e.g. fluid foundations or face powders - but also soap that didn’t dissolve completely and has stuck to the piping. A clogged bathtub or shower drain is usually caused by hair that falls off while washing. If you don’t have a habit of checking it regularly, it might turn out that such residues move further down the pipe and form a clog.
The situation is a little different in the kitchen. Here, the drain collects food scraps, if you don’t throw them away before washing the dishes.
Why chemicals are not always the best idea for unclogging a sink?
Aggressive, caustic chemicals work variously. There are many such products available on the market, and each of them are meant for a different type of clogging. The type of piping, materials it has been made of and even the age are important factors here. Finally - one has to know how to use the chemical product. Some of them might do more harm than good. For this reason, we advise against experimenting in this matter. But it doesn’t mean that you have to give up the “chemicals.” But make sure to consult a specialist before purchasing anything - they will tell you which product is the best for you.
How to unclog a sink drain with salt and baking soda
Both salt and baking soda are a priceless help in everyday activities and troubles. Soda is a perfect carpet stain remover, washing machine cleaner and kettle descaler. Salt, on the other hand, can come in handy while cleaning an iron or whitening curtains. As it turns out, both of them are also highly effective drain cleaners - and you don’t need any special skills to use them.
Just mix around 120-150 g (~ 4 oz) of salt and the same amount of baking soda. If you don’t have a measuring cup, don’t worry. 125 g is about half a standard glass - you can use this exact amount.
- pour the mixture into the kitchen or bathroom sink,
- boil some water and pour it into the drain,
- wait about 10 minutes and turn on the water so that everything flows down into the sewers.
Baking soda and vinegar drain cleaner - a mixture that really works
Baking soda has yet another use for unclogging a sink. It’s particularly effective for more serious cloggings, although the process itself is very similar to the previously described method.
- Pour a glass of baking soda into the drain where you have noticed the problem.
- In a small pot, warm up two glasses of vinegar to a medium temperature and pour it over the soda.
Wait for about 10-15 minutes and rinse everything with a stream of water, so that the dissolved residues are removed.
Bio drain cleaners - how to clean your drains safely?
So called bio products are the golden mean and a perfect alternative to harsh chemicals and home remedies. Such drain cleaners are able to perfectly unclog the drain - but it’s not their only advantage. People who use them mention other benefits:
- they are neutral for the natural environment,
- they pose no risk for human health.
Bio drain cleaners often have pleasant scents, thanks to which they eliminate all smells coming out of the clogged drain.
Mechanical drain cleaning - using a plunger to remove clogs
The choice of a mechanical method to unclog a sink depends on the type of blockage you are dealing with. If you are sure that only the drain is clogged, it’s very simple. Just use a standard plunger with a rubber cup. Unclogging a sink, or rather a drain with this method typically takes no more than a minute.
It doesn’t mean, though, that this is the only situation when you can use mechanical methods for unclogging a sink. If the clog is more serious, however, you have to use a different device. A special plumber’s snake is a much better solution, in this case. It effectively removes the residues stuck in the farther section of the pipeline.
How to prevent pipes from clogging?
You won’t have to wonder how to unclog a sink ever again if you take appropriate preventive measures - it concerns both securing and taking care of the plumbing system.
- As for a kitchen drain, make sure to equip it with a strainer. It easily filters out all large scraps that won’t dissolve and might clog the piping.
- Clean the bathtub or shower drain regularly. Remove hair and other residues.
- From time to time, clean the drain using salt, baking soda and hot water. This way, you can be sure that small residues dissolve, and the drain won’t get clogged.
📍 Clogged bathroom sink - what is the best method?
There are many methods for unclogging a sink. Home remedies use salt, baking soda, hot water or vinegar in various configurations. If the obstruction is large, you have to use mechanical methods, e.g. a plumber's snake. You can also use a bio drain cleaner or chemicals meant for this purpose.
📍 How much does pipe cleaning cost?
You can easily clean the pipes yourself - if you do so, the cost equals the price of the products or special equipment. If you cannot do it yourself, you have to ask a specialist for help. The cost of such service depends on the region you live in, the pricing set by the expert, as well as the scale of the problem.