A clogged sink can be as much of a smelly affair as a blocked toilet would be.
If the blockage is caused by a buildup of food that might have been there for a while, then it is definitely going to have gone stale.
Mix that with stagnant water, and you’ve got yourself a terrible smell that will drift through the house. It isn’t just the kitchen sink that can easily become blocked.
Other sinks in the house can have a blockage formed due to a buildup of grime over time. There are ways to prevent it.
For the kitchen, make sure you’re never putting food down the plug hole, no matter how small it may be. It is also good practice to put thick bleach down the holes, as instructed, to make sure there is no build up of grime.
But when a blockage does occur, you’re going to need a way of getting rid of it fast. Here are a few tips outlining how you can quickly get rid of your blocked sink and get your water flowing freely again.
Clear Any Food or Debris Out of the Plug Hole
The first step in the process is clearing out any food or debris out of the plug hole. Unscrew the fixture carefully to gain easy access to the pipe. Have a little feel and look around to see if there is anything obvious that might be in the way.
Be careful not to push it down further. Use two fingers at a time to try and draw the blockage up. That is if you can see it. If not, there might be something a bit further down that is getting in the way. In this instance, you’re going to need to use a plunger.
Use a Plunger
Put the fixture back into place, making sure it is screwed back in securely. Fill the sink partly with water, making sure none is escaping through the plug hole. The overflow hole also needs to be covered. A dishcloth or towel will do the job just fine.
Get your plunger and place it over the plug hole. Firmly push down a few times, you should eventually start to hear some gurgling noises coming from your sink. If not, it could be because air is getting through the overflow hole, so make sure that is completely covered.
Repeat the process until you hear the noise you’re looking for. Remove the plughole and see if the water runs freely and as quickly as it usually would down it. If not, there are more steps you can take.
Try Homemade Cleaning Solutions
As we said, the blockage of any sink in your house might be caused by the build-up of limescale and grime. There are plenty of homemade sink unblockers that you can use to remove it. Bleach will often do a good job, but if the buildup is severe, you might need something a little faster acting.
All you’re going to need is some baking soda and some white vinegar. The first step is to pour a fair amount of the baking soda down the plug hole. They will both react together, so be careful not to overdo it.
Use around half a litre of white vinegar and slowly start pouring it down the plughole. You should hear a fizzing noise as the two react together. As this noise is occurring the solution will be hard at work breaking down grime that has built up.
After around ten minutes or so, run the hot water tap to clear the solution out of the drain.
If the issue is caused by a buildup of fats from some of the liquid you may have poured down the hole, you can try using soda crystals with some hot water. The soda crystals help to break down the fats better than any other solution would. Follow the same procedure as you would with the vinegar solution. Make sure you’re running the hot water tap afterwards.
Check the U-Bend of the Sink
If the solution to your problem still hasn’t been found, it could be something around the u-bend of the sink that is getting in the way. However, this is easy enough to sort.
Turn the water off at the main point in the house to make sure you don’t have water flying everywhere. At the point of the u-bend, you will find two seals joining it together.
Undo them, this can easily be done with your hands, and take the u-bend out of the structure. As you’re undoing it water may spill out. Slowly unscrew and have a bucket at the ready to catch any of the water. It will only be a small part of the pipe, and it’ll be easy enough to clean once off.
You can use something as simple as a wire coat hanger to do this. Unravel the coat hanger and prod around until you see the blockage come out the other side.
You can then use one of the solutions we listed above to clean the part thoroughly. Simply screw the fixture back into place, and the water should run freely again.
If it is the bathroom sink, your problem is likely going to have been caused by a buildup of hair that has worked its way into the sink. Just like with the shower plug, it is easy enough to get rid of.
If your plughole does unscrew, simply take it off. You should then be able to reach down with your fingers to pull out any hairs. If it doesn’t unscrew, you can use a wire clothes hanger like with the kitchen sink.
This might be more useful as you can reach down further to the problem areas. You should also combine this with the vinegar and baking soda solution to make sure the sink is completely unblocked.
Finish the process off with a squirt of bleach to keep it fresh, and your problem should be solved.
If All Else Fails…
… it might be time to get a plumber in to look at the issue. It might be something much further down that you can’t get to that is causing a blockage.
But make sure you have tried all the above techniques first.