How To Clean Bathroom Sink Drain

Water flowing down the sink drain

There is nothing worse than foul odors coming from your bathroom sink drain. Unfortunately, your bathroom sink can become one of the grubbiest places in your home if you don’t have a cleaning regime in place. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your bathroom sink drain clean without having to spend lots of money. In this article, How To Clean Bathroom Sink Drain, we will explain:

  • What causes your bathroom sink drain to clog,
  • How to clean a bathroom sink drain,
  • How to maintain a clean bathroom sink drain.

What causes stubborn clogs in your bathroom sink drain

Hair clog in shower drain

Many everyday things cause drain clogs and water to drain slowly. If you are experiencing a smelly drain and slow draining water in your bathroom sink drain, the most likely culprits are:

Hair Clogs – Trapped hair in your bathroom sink drain is the most common reason your drain pipe will block. Try to remove hair weekly to avoid a clogged drain.

A Build-Up Of Soap Scum – A chemical reaction happens over time when soap scum and water build-up. This can cause a persistent blockage that will require you to clean your bathroom sink drain with one of our suggested methods.

Something Trapped In The Plumbing System – Underneath bathroom sinks, there is a pipe that you will notice is bent. This is part of the drainage system and is called the P-Trap. Its job is to stop smells from coming back up into the sink and to hold some water that assists with clearing the drain.

Plumbing systems often get small items lodged in them, such as soap chunks and small jewellery. If anything gets lodged it can cause a clogged drain. P-Traps can be easily disassembled and cleaned using an old toothbrush.

Corroded Drain Pipe – Rust build-up over time in pipes can cause water flow to lessen. Unfortunately, if your drain lines are damaged, you may need to have them replaced. This is most likely a job for a plumber.

4 Ways to clean bathroom sink drains

  1. Use Home Remedies
  2. Use Commercial Drain Cleaners
  3. Use Drain Cleaning Tools
  4. Call A Plumber

Below are some tips for cleaning a bathroom sink drain to avoid clogged drains.

Home Remedies

Basket with brushes, rags, natural sponges and cleaning products

An easy way to clean a bathroom sink is to use items you have in your home. There are many different natural ways to clean the bathroom sink drain that will avoid the need to call out a plumber or use any harsh chemicals.

Salt, Lemon, Baking Soda And Vinegar

Woman holding eco friendly home cleaning ingredients, white vinegar, lemon, baking soda, citric acid concept

For the more stubborn blockages, you should use a mixture of salt, lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda. It is a brilliant way to clean the bathroom sink and smell amazing.

Using a measuring cup, create the following mixture:

  • Half a cup of rock salt
  • Half a cup of baking soda
  • One cup of vinegar ( You can use white vinegar or cider vinegar)
  • One lemon
  • One cup of boiling water


  • Combine the salt and baking soda and pour down the drain
  • Boil the water and combine with the vinegar
  • Slowly pour the mixture down the drain
  • Leave for about an hour. (It will begin to fizz and requires the time to break down any blockage) then flush with hot water
  • Finally, pour the lemon juice to prevent any unwanted smells

Boiling Water And Salt

Sea salt in ceramic bowl

For less stubborn blockages, you don’t have to use white vinegar and baking soda. You can use a simple mixture of hot water and salt.

Mix the following:

  • 1/4 cup of salt
  • 8 cups of boiling water


  • Pour the salt into the bathroom drain
  • Pour the boiling water and allow it to sit for 10 mins
  • Flush with hot water

Chemical Cleaners

Drain cleaner being poured into sink drain

There are many commercial drain cleaners available, and while they can be highly effective at cleaning bathroom drains, they also pose a risk to both your health and your drainpipes. It is essential to be aware that these products can be highly corrosive if used over time. It is also better for the environment to attempt a natural remedy before opting for chemicals.

If you do choose to go down this route, always check the labels and ensure they are safe for drains, carefully pouring and wear rubber gloves.

Hydrogen peroxide is a great, non-corrosive cleaner that can be used to kill bacteria and remove any unwanted clogs.

Drain Cleaning Tools

Plumber repairing drain with plumbers snake

Your local hardware store will have many of these items for a low cost that will clean bathroom sink drains.

Drain Snake

A drain snake is a long thin tool that can be inserted into the drain to remove any more significant, unwanted blockages. It has a flexible shaft which allows you to use it around any bends in the pipe.

When using a drain snake, push it down the pipe and rotate it clockwise to grab hold of the blockage. When you remove it, the offending object should pull out with it.

Wire Hanger

A cost-effective way of removing clogs is to use a wire coat hanger. It works in a similar way to a drain snake.

Straighten out the hanger and bend the end into a small hook. By removing any sink stopper from the drain, you can lower the hanger into the drain. Twist the hook around to grab any gunk in the sink drain. When you remove it, you should pull out any remaining gunk. Run hot water to ensure it clears.


You will find a plunger in your local hardware store; these are great items at home.

To use, you need to fill your sink with cold water, create an airtight seal around the drain with your plunger and gently push and press the plunger around the drain several times. Continue to fill the sink with water and repeat until the water flows freely.

Call A Plumber

Woman calling a plumber service to fix drain pipe blockage

If all else fails, it may be time to call a professional. You should be able to clear most obstructions yourself using the above techniques, but if you doubt it, it is best to contact your local plumber.

How to avoid clogged drains

Drain in the sink with sieve

Prevention is better than cure! There are many ways to help keep your drain clear and clean. These tips will help your water to run freely down the drain.

Drain Stopper And Pop Up Stoppers

Clean around your drain stoppers frequently and remove pop-up stoppers to gather any hair or debris that may have accumulated over time.

Drain Guard

To prevent future clogs, be sure to clean your bathroom sink regularly and use hair strainers. There are loads of products that act as guards to your drain and prevent any unwanted hair or items from entering the pipes.

Flush With Hot Water

After every use, flush the drain with hot water. This will help prevent any build-up.


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How to get rid of roaches in your bathroom at night

How To Clean A Shower Mat

How To Get Cat Pee Out Of Couch


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