Slow running or blocked bathroom sink drains are a common household issue often caused by hair or hygiene products that eventually build up and create a blockage. Many people rely on toxic chemical solutions as a quick fix, but there are plenty of other non-corrosive and healthier methods that will often solve the issue.

Using Natural Solvents

1. Gather your materials. Instead of relying on drain cleaner products, which are often corrosive and can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems, you can use household items you likely already have, such as rags, baking soda, vinegar, lemon, and boiling water.

2. Measure out your ingredients. Take ¼ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of white vinegar, and 1 large pot of water to boil. Have a rag or sink stopper handy.

3. Pour the baking soda into the drain. Make sure that most of the baking soda falls directly into the drain rather than around it in the sink.

4. Pour in the cup of vinegar. You may hear a fizzing noise or see bubbles come up due to the chemical reaction. This is completely normal and should mean that the chemicals are eating away at the blockage in your sink.

5. Plug the drain with a rag or sink stopper. Doing so will stop the bubbles from rising up and will keep the chemical reaction concentrated on the clog.

6. Wait fifteen minutes. Allow the baking soda and vinegar reaction to fully work their magic here! While waiting, you should heat up the pot of water to boiling point.

7. Pour in the pot of boiling water. This step will push down the baking soda, vinegar, and blockage. Watch as you pour in the water to see if the sink is draining any faster. If it is, but still not at its normal speed, there may still be a bit of a blockage. Try repeating the process once more if this is the case.

  • Prior to pouring in the boiling water, you can also squeeze in the juice of a lemon, particularly if you notice an unpleasant odor coming from the sink.  Bathroom sinks are often clogged by bits of hair which can eventually rot and smell bad. This extra step will neutralize the odor and also further help break down the blockage.

Using a Plunger

1. Gather your tools. For this method, you only need a flashlight and a plunger (you can buy a smaller one specifically made for sinks at any hardware store but a thoroughly cleaned toilet plunger works just as well).

2. Remove the sink stopper. This step is crucial otherwise you will just be plunging the stopper up and down rather than forcing up the clog.
Use your hands to pull the sink stopper up as far as it will go out of the drain. Then turn it to the left and continue unscrewing until it comes out.

3. Turn the sink on. You want to fill the sink with some water but just enough to cover the drain. An inch or so of water should be just fine.

4. Create a suction seal. Place the plunger directly over the drain and press down once until you feel rubber bottom tighten into a seal. You may have to stand on a chair to make sure you are positioned directly over the sink.

5. Plunge. Using the handle of the plunger, plunge vigorously up and down about 10-20 times.  Make sure that the plunger is tightly sealed around the drain, creating suction, so that the plunger is actually forcing the blockage through.

6. Remove the plunger and check for the blockage. Shine a flashlight into the drain to check for the blockage. If you can see it and can reach with your fingers and pull it out, do so. If not, repeat the steps until the clog comes out.