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How to Unblock Your Sink

23 February 2017

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Every day many of us throw food down our kitchen sink and after a while, food can build up and begin to fester, causing a nasty smell and clogged drains. In addition, a combination of thick products, hair and other substances can build up in the bathroom sink, also resulting in blocked drains. It’s vital that you deal with the blockage as soon as water begins to back up. If it’s a particularly bad clog, you’ll need to call plumbing professionals who have the correct specialist equipment. Solve the problem as soon as you spot it in order to avoid having to pay for emergency plumbing services. However, most blocks can be unclogged by yourself. Here are a couple of ways in which you can fix it.

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Coat hanger

An easy method of unblocking your sink yourself is to use a coat hanger. Firstly, ensure the sink is empty; you can remove the water manually with a cup and bucket, with a sponge to soak up the excess, or you can use a special vacuum. Next, bend a hook into the end of a metal coat hanger using pliers. Feed the coat hanger down the drain until you reach the baffle (this is usually present in two bowl kitchen sinks), wiggle to coat hanger until it hooks the baffle and pull up. Try twisting and pulling at the baffle until you think the clog has been removed from the small opening. When you’ve done this, run water down the previously clogged drain to check whether the blockage has been removed.


A coat hanger can also be used to unclog the bathroom sink in a slightly different way. Often hair can build up and clog your bathroom sink. Bend a small hook in the end of a coat hanger and feeding this down the drain in order to hook around any clumps of hair can help you bring them out. Dispose of the hair in the bin and continue picking at the clog until the water drains smoothly. This will prevent you from having to call out emergency plumbers to your property.



Another simple method of unclogging your sink is by using a plunger. This works well for both kitchen and bathroom sinks where large particles of food or clumps of hair may have built up over time and the blockage is relatively near the top of pipes.

Simply fill your sink with warm water, place the plunger over the plug hole and pump the plunger up and down. Remove any parts of the blockage from the water once they come loose and throw them away.

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Drain cleaners

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or call plumbing services, there are chemical drain cleaners on the market, which will dissolve the clog. Make sure you read the instructions thoroughly before using the product in your drains.

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If you’d prefer not to use chemicals, a vinegar/baking soda solution can also be affective. Pour the solution down the drain and leave for a while before running hot water down the pipes afterwards to ensure the blockage has been fully removed.

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Ultimately, prevention is the best course of action when it comes to not having to call a plumping repairs service for a clogged sink. Don’t put anything other than water and thin liquid down your sinks; food, fat, thick liquid and hair should all be disposed of via the bin or within containers in the bin. This is particularly important when it comes to fat and oils that may solidify when cool. When using fat, either wipe away with kitchen towels or decant it into plastic bottles to be thrown out with your regular food waste.

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