Woman with a leaking pipe in her kitchen

5 Ways to Unclog a Drain Without Draino

A slow, sluggish bathroom sink drain is a very common plumbing problem. Often the pop-up stopper will collect a lot of hair and debris because the sink is used daily. Another cause is the soap, hair products, and so forth that are washed down the drain can slowly collect in the drainpipes. The build-up that naturally collects over time reduces the size of the drain, effectively slowing the progress of draining water. This drainage issue happens naturally over time and usually cannot be avoided. The only solution is to clean the drain periodically to keep it flowing. A few regular cleaning options include:

Using a Zip-It Tool.

The first thing you want to do is clean out hair and debris. A Zip-It tool is a cheap but effective item that works wonders in just minutes. It goes down into the sink and pulls out all the hair and gunk that’s stuck in it within minutes. It can even be used if there’s a pop-up installed because it’s so thin.

Remove the Pop-up.

Another option is to remove the pop-up and clean it out. Most pop-ups are held in place with a nut attached to the drain just under the sink. To remove the pop-up reach behind the drainpipe under the sink to find the pop-up nut. Once you remove the nut, you can pull the pop-up out of the sink drain, clean it, and then reinstall it.

Clear the Sink Overflow 

One purpose of the overflow opening is to divert water into the drain if it accidentally rises too high in the sink. Another purpose is to allow air into the drain when the sink is filled with water. The air that comes into the drain through the overflow helps water in the sink to drain faster. The sink overflow is another place where debris and build-up can collect over time. If a sink is draining slowly and cleaning the drain does not seem to solve the problem, it is a good idea to clean the overflow as well.

Use Homemade Drain Cleaner 

A mild homemade drain cleaner can be used to clean the drainpipes after the larger debris has been pulled out. The reaction caused by combining two common and inexpensive household products can help to break down the mucky build-up on the inside of the drainpipes. Getting even a little of the build-up out of the drain can help get it flowing freely again. By using homemade drain cleaner, you avoid using harsh chemicals and save money as well.

Use a Plunger 

You can always use a plunger on a slow sink drain; it does not have to be reserved for a complete drain stoppage. A little plunging can help to loosen and dislodge hair and debris that is collected in the pipe. To be sure that the plunger is effective, cover the sink overflow with a rag or some duct tape before plunging. When you cover the overflow it helps create a seal, which is needed to clear any blocked pipe.