How to unclog a sink or sink: our tips and tricks


When water from the sink is difficult to drain, you have to react quickly. There are simple, efficient and economical methods which avoid the intervention of a plumber. Before discovering some very useful tips and tricks to unclog a sink quickly, let’s take a look at what can cause the sink to clog.

The main causes of a clogged sink

Clogged plumbing is the cause of a clogged sink. The most common causes are:

The fat

When you pour a fatty liquid into the sink, it freezes as it cools. The fat that accumulates tends to reduce the flow more and more until block the pipes.

Food residues

After a meal or after cooking, we tend to rinse plates and utensils before washing them or putting them in the dishwasher. Most of the residues thus eliminated enter the sink trap, which reduces the evacuation of wastewater. The waste causes a plug in the piping, making it almost impossible to flow.

A junction problem

Poorly connected hoses can be the cause of poor sewage disposal. The junction between two pipes at 90 ° or in T results in poor flow. It is the same when there is a succession of connecting elbows. The slightest waste deposited in the sink will obstruct one of the elbows. A Y connection is the ideal solution to prevent the sink from being clogged. It allows a more abundant flow of wastewater without causing a blockage at the junction.

Limestone and scale, the enemies of pipes

The presence of limestone and scale in the pipes promotes the formation of a deposit which attaches to the walls of the pipes. These two elements gradually clog the pipe until it is completely blocked, which makes evacuation more and more problematic.

Natural ways to unclog a sink

Rather than using chemicals, it is best to consider performing a few simple operations that are at least as effective. Here are the best solutions.

Remove the siphon from the sink

The siphon is the part of the PVC piping located under the sink. Its role is to block insects likely to come up from the pipes. The siphon also helps to limit bad odors. It consists of two or three fittings depending on its type.

Before dismantling it, it is necessary to place a bucket in order to collect the water which will flow out of it. It is then sufficient to unscrew the rings, namely one at the level of the sink plug and the other at the level of the drain pipe. This operation removes the particles and waste stuck to the walls of the siphon. We take the opportunity to also clean the bung, fittings and joints with clear water. The siphon is reassembled by screwing the rings by hand, without forgetting to put the rubber seal at the location of the connections.

Natural products to remove accumulated limescale and limescale

The most effective method for remove scale and limescale in the piping consists of pouring boiling water with the addition of white vinegar and sodium bicarbonate. This 100% natural mixture facilitates the removal of traces of limestone and scale on the walls of the pipes.

The coarse cooking salt mixed with white vinegar and sodium bicarbonate is also recommended for unclogging a sink.

Useful accessories for unclogging pipes

There are a few items specifically designed to unclog drains.

Pipe unblocker kit

It comes in the form of a flexible hose of different lengths and with a diameter often between 7 and 10 mm. At one end is a nozzle intended to be connected to a high pressure cleaner. At the other end is attached a nozzle. Using this kit involves dismantling the siphon. Under the effect of the water pressure, the residues inside the pipe are expelled. The cleaner should be operated until the line is completely free of residue.

The suction cup

This accessory, used for several decades, has not lost any of its effectiveness, nor of its notoriety for that matter. There are several models, the most common is composed of a handle and a rubber suction cup-disgorger. The principle of operation consists in immersing the suction cup in the water which stagnates at the bottom of the sink due to the obstruction, then to position it on the bung cup. It is then sufficient to perform back and forth movements on the cup, which has the effect of pumping the air in order to evacuate the clog of debris. Within seconds of pumping, the sink empties completely.

The unblocker ferret

It is an ideal accessory that can be used for unclog a pipe the length of which is at most 3 m. It consists of a hose that can be used manually, a bottle brush located at one end and a crank on the other. After having disassembled the siphon, insert the ferret into the pipe and activate the crank. Its rotation makes it possible to quickly unblock the pipe.

Chemicals to unclog a sink: yes, but …

Unclogging a sink with a chemical is one solution. However, these products can be polluting, even toxic, damaging on the one hand the PVC pipes and on the other hand weakening the environment. They come in solid, liquid or gel form. These ready-to-use products should be poured into the blocked sink in the amount recommended by the manufacturer. After a few minutes, the impurities disappear and the water flows properly. Finally, it is enough to rinse the sink well.

Before use, it is strongly recommended to read the precautions for use on the packaging label. Wearing gloves and protective glasses is essential. These products are dangerous: they can cause burns. They should be kept out of the reach of children.

Knowing how to unclog a sink is good, preventing it from clogging is better! To prevent clogging of a sink, first wipe dirty dishes with absorbent paper. We use the coffee grounds by emptying the filter of the coffee maker directly into the sink and then rinsing with clean water. The coffee grounds have the effect of preventing the grease from setting on the pipes. It also eliminates bad odors coming from the pipes.