The dreaded sink clog is something nobody looks forward to, but when it happens, do you know what to do? Knowing how to keep a sink stopper properly working with routine maintenance can ensure you never have to pull a rope of hair out of your drain again. And if it is already too late, or you had a few too many guests with questionable habits stay for a visit and the sink has started to slow, here are some simple ways to clear out the clog, keep the water draining smoothly, and have a spotless vanity in just a few easy steps.
The sink does not actually require daily maintenance, but keeping it clear and clean whenever it is used can go a long way to avoiding clogs in the future. Rinse the sink after using toothpaste or soap so these liquids do not have time to harden and become attached to the plumbing, causing blockages.
Checking the state of the sink stopper itself regularly can let you know when trouble is approaching before it sets in. Pull it out from the sink entirely and clear it of hair, gunk, and build-up that can develop over time. Then run hot water through the pipes for a minute or so to give the detritus inside a chance to work free and move through the plumbing.
If you have particularly high maintenance pipes that seem to develop clogs easily, try pouring boiling water down the drain once a month to help loosen stubborn clingers and force them through the system. Different situations require different amounts of water, but try a teapot’s worth before getting more aggressive.
Whether you have been maintaining your sink and it is not enough, or you have let nature run its course and are now seeing the consequences, a slow drain is a last cry for help. Before the situation becomes any direr, you have the chance to clear out the problem with a few tricks before throwing in the towel. Baking soda is a commonly found product in most households and can be a lifesaver when it comes to sluggish drains. Pour one-quarter cup of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of vinegar to create a chemical reaction that burns through nasty gunk and hair but is safe for pipes. Give it a minute to work (or more, if you think it really needs it) and then pour down boiling water.
If your drain is completely clogged with no movement you may be tempted to call in a plumber. Before you risk the cost of using a professional, you can always try brand name bottled clog removers like Drano. Some kits even come with tools to dig out chunks of hair that may be stuck. You will be forced to contend with the nasty bits this way, but it is still much cheaper than a plumber.