How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink: Our 5 Best Tricks

No matter how high-end your plumbing is, at some point you’re likely to experience a slow-draining sink, especially in the bathroom, where hair, soap and other debris can bring the drain to a standstill. Fortunately, there are a number of methods you can employ to clear the clog and get the water moving again.

How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink: Our Best Tips

There are many ways to figure out how to fix a slow draining sink. Below are five of the most common and most effective solutions.

Make Your Own Drain Cleaner

Before you run to the store for a jug of harsh chemical drain opener, try making your own drain cleaner from items you likely already have on hand. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda directly into the drain, followed by one cup of white vinegar. You may hear fizzing or see bubbles emerging from the drain, which tells you the desired chemical reaction is taking place.

Cover the drain with a stopper or rag to keep the solution concentrated on the clog. Wait 15 minutes and then slowly pour a pot of boiling water into the drain to help move the clog along. If the drain is still sluggish, repeat the entire process.

Clean the Drain Stopper

Pop-up drain stoppers are magnets for debris and soap build-up, so cleaning them off periodically can help keep your drain flowing smoothly. To remove the stopper, you may need to remove the nut located behind the drain pipe under the sink. Pull out the stopper, clean it thoroughly and reinstall it.

Use a Zip-It Tool

The Zip-It is an inexpensive basic drain cleaning tool that every household should have. It’s a long, narrow strip of barbed plastic with a loop handle on one end; simply slide it into the drain to catch and remove hair and other debris.

Check the Overflow

The overflow drain—the small hole on the side of your sink opposite the faucet—is designed to prevent your sink from overfilling. It also provides a route for air to enter the drain, which can keep water draining properly. However, like the primary drain, the overflow drain is prone to collecting hair, debris and build-up, so it too should be cleaned regularly.

You can use the same homemade drain cleaner described above, although you may need a funnel to get the baking soda and vinegar into the hole. You can also use a pipe cleaner, drain brush or the Zip-It tool to clear out solid debris. This is a great solution for how to fix a slow draining sink.

Plunge the Sink

If all else fails, a plunger may be able to get things moving again by dislodging the clog in the drain pipe. To create the necessary pressure for the plunger to work, block the overflow drain with a piece of duct tape or a rag and then place the plunger over the main drain. Press down firmly until you feel the rubber cup tighten, indicating that a seal has been established.

Push up and down on the handle 10 to 15 times to create suction and move the clog. Remove the plunger and look to see if the clog has been drawn into the cup or if it’s within reach of the Zip-It tool. If you are unable to remove the clog on the first attempt, repeat the process.

Slow Draining Sink: Plenty of Fixes

As can be seen, there are plenty of solutions for how to fix a slow draining sink. Which solution you choose boils down to what you have time for, what you have the supplies for, and your level of experience. Looking for the next step to up your plumbing game? Try out a touchless kitchen faucet. Here is our guide to the best touchless kitchen faucets.

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