How To Clear A Clogged Sink Drain

When a  sink in your home gets clogged, we know it isn’t a minor nuisance. It can be a real problem impacting the whole household and nobody needs that trouble right now. We are great plumbers, but we know you don’t want to call a plumber for everything, so we’ve got some information that might help.  Here’s how to clear a clogged sink drain easily and effectively. 

We tend to think only kitchen sinks get clogged, but that isn’t true. Bathroom and laundry sinks can get clogged as well so the good news is, these tips we have for you will work on the most common obstructions in any type of sink. 

How do you know if the drain is clogged? 

That’s simple. If you run hot water and it pools in the sink, you’ve got a clog. Run some hot or boiling water down the drain and that will clear a minor clog. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to try some other methods. You may hear suggestions to use baking soda and other caustic combinations, but since those can actually degrade pipes we don’t recommend these treatments. And I know you’ve heard how damaging liquid drain cleaners can be, so try to resist the temptation to use them if you care about the long term integrity of your plumbing system.  Here are some safe alternatives.

Ways to unclog a drain

  • That old reliable standby: the plunger. Many clogs are quickly and easily cleared by a typical plunger. Fill your sink partway with water and plunge. You may want to sanitize your bathroom plunger or you can get a plunger to use solely for sinks.
  • Vinegar & Salt with Lemon – Mix half a cup of salt + half a cup of vinegar in a bowl, add a ¼ c of lemon juice and pour down the drain. After 25 minutes, run hot water. If it was successful, the sink will start draining almost immediately.
  • Salt & Hot Water – Put a half cup to a cup of salt down the drain and then run hot water. Let that sit for 25-50 minutes, then run the hot water again. Like the other method, if it has worked, it should clear almost immediately. 
  • Drain Snakes and Home-Made Augers – Some of you skilled DIYers may have augers or drain snakes on hand, but you can also straighten a clothes hanger and craft a little bend at one end so you can grasp whatever is causing the clog down your pipe. This is most helpful for hair clogs.
  • Check the trap – The trap is usually a u-shaped pipe under your sink designed to prevent unwanted items from getting further down the system. Put a bucket under the pipe, and loosen the nuts (or unscrew the trap), then flip it to empty it. You may need to use a tool to remove any stuck obstructions and then you will want to rinse it before putting it back in place. In most cases, you will need a plumbers wrench for this job.

Hopefully, one of these methods will work for you and if so, that’s it, you’re all done! But, in case they don’t clear the clog, you may need to know what a plumber could do. 

How Plumbers Fix Clogged Drains

Plumbers have tools to handle the tougher clogs and deeper obstructions that won’t respond to these simple home methods. We will often use a manual or motorized snake to clear a drain. You may know them by the term “rooter”. In extreme cases, we can use a camera to see what is causing the issues and even have hydro-jet machines that can clear stubborn obstructions. Plumbers like us, here at Phend Plumbing in Mesa and Gilbert, AZ have all the expertise, experience, and tools at our disposal to make quick work of any clog. A simple clog will hopefully clear with one of the above methods but if it doesn’t, or if you don’t want to mess around under your sink, we are here for you and can take care of any clog or blockage. Reach out to schedule a free estimate at and give us a call at 480-388-6093.