How to unblock a bathroom sink
20 October 2023
The purpose of the following advice is to provide useful tips for our Customers and is not designed to replace professional advice. It does not necessarily deal with every aspect of a topic and if you are in any doubt, you should consult a qualified expert for their help. You should never attempt to carry out any activity which may put you or others at risk or which may cause damage to your or anyone else's property and the activities described must not be attempted by anyone under the age of 18.
Always read any manuals and safety instructions alongside the advice.
How to unblock a sink with baking soda and vinegar
If you’re bathroom sink isn’t completely blocked but is draining slower than usual than this method is worth trying. This mixture will dissolve a blockage in an easy and accessible way using items you probably have in your kitchen already.
- Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- White vinegar
- Boiling water
- Rubber gloves
- First, make sure the water has drained away and your sink is empty and dry.
- Then, pour one cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by two cups of boiling water. Follow this up by waiting about 3 - 5 minutes.
- Once the time has passed, pour another cup of baking soda, followed by one cup of white vinegar, down the drain.
- Let the fizz and bubbles come out. Once they’ve disappeared, pour two cups of hot water down the drain.
- After about twenty or thirty minutes, check to see if the problem has been resolved.
How to clear a sink by removing the waste trap or U-bend
If natural products or the plungers haven't shifted the blockage, it’s time to get underneath the sink to remove the issue manually through the U-bend.
For this process, you’ll need:
- Rubber gloves
- Adjustable spanner/wrench
- Old towel or rag
- First, turn your water off at the mains and clear a space underneath your sink.
- Place a towel and bucket underneath the basin to catch any water that may come out once you’ve taken the U-bend off.
- Note down how the U-bend is constructed so that you’ll be able to put it back together properly later.
- Carefully loosen the fittings that connect the U-bend to the basin with a wrench or screwdriver. Make sure you’re ready for any water that comes out. Do not put your head directly under the u-bend as you are loosening or removing it
- Be careful not to lose any additional fittings, such as rubber seals or washers, that might be in place in the U-bend.
- Remove the U-bend and clear the blockage by pushing a piece of flexible wire through the pipe or even using your hands if you can see and grab it.
- Once you have cleared the blockage, refit the U-bend in the same way you took it apart, making sure it’s completely sealed at both ends.
- Turn the water back on.
A blocked bathroom sink can be extremely frustrating, but with a few simple steps, you can get your basin back up and running with little effort.
If you’re a Places for People Customer, and you haven’t managed to solve the issue or don’t feel comfortable tackling the problem yourself, you can arrange for professional support by reporting a repair on your online account or by calling 01772 667002.