How to Properly Clean Your Sink Drain

Sink drains can become clogged, smelly, and full of bacteria if they’re not properly cleaned. From grease and fats to soap, toothpaste, and makeup, there are lots of substances that cause a drain to slow up or be entirely blocked, which can strain and corrode pipes in your plumbing system. Cleaning the sink basin is as simple as wiping it down with a sponge. A sink drain requires a different approach because it’s harder to reach.

First, remove the drain cover or, if there’s a pop-up drain stopper, turn it counterclockwise to remove it, and expose the drain (discard any debris that’s stuck on the cover/stopper). Remove any excess food, hair, or other material from around the top and make sure the sink is empty. You’ll want to make sure there’s nothing in there that can flush into the drain and cause a more serious clog.

Prepare Your Sink Drain for Cleaning

Heat up a pot of water on the stove. About ½ gallon will do. Once it’s boiling, pour the water down the drain. The hot water will remove smaller particles that have accumulated and possibly soften up whatever else may be down there. Wait about five minutes before running cool water down the drain.

Cleaning the Drain

There are options when it comes to clearing out the drain in your sink. It’s best to avoid most commercial drain cleaners. They have toxic, corrosive chemicals that can be harmful to your plumbing and your health. Bleach is not recommended; nor are anti-bacterial products. But you don’t have to resort to purchasing caustic chemicals. In fact, you may already have what you need.

  • Baking Soda and Vinegar: This fizzy solution is among the most suggested drain cleaning solutions, despite being somewhat controversial. Whether it proves effective in your case, it is safe to try. To start, pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, using a measuring cup to get the precise amount (pour the powder down slowly). Then pour ½ cup of white vinegar down to start a chemical reaction.

The mixture will then start to fizz. Let this reaction continue for about 10 minutes as the solution works its way down the drain. Once it has time to loosen any buildup, pour more boiling water down the sink. Continue pouring water into the drain if there is a vinegar odor.

  • Lemon and Vinegar: This is an effective way to clean a garbage disposal drain. First, cut a lemon up into slices about the size of ice cubes. Put them in an ice cube tray and top them with vinegar to sanitize and deodorize the drain. Then place the tray in the freezer for the lemon and vinegar to freeze. The next morning, place the ice cubes in the disposal drain and turn the unit on, while running cold water. As the blades break up the ice, the vinegar/citrus solution should clean the disposal drain and leave behind a fresh smell. Rinse the drain with cold water.
  • Lemon, Salt, and Ice: Cut up a few wedges of lemon and add them directly to the disposal drain. Add ice cubes and salt (preferably rock or sea salt) while running cold water. Turn the garbage disposal on to break up the ice. As it runs, salt will scrub the blades and the ice will dislodge grime and buildup. You’ll also get the fresh scent of lemon once your disposal is clean.

Preventing a Clogged Sink Drain

It’s possible to prevent clogged drains in the first place by not allowing food, hair, grease, or coffee grounds to go down. Dispose of oil in a jar and throw it away. Also use boiling water to rinse the drain after each time you wash dishes, which can avoid dealing with odors. In the bathroom, use paper towels or bags to catch hair when you shave. To prevent materials and items from going down any drain and causing a clog, use a drain cover or mesh screen to catch material.

Contact Fetch-A-Tech for Professional Sink Drain Cleaning

Fetch-A-Tech is trusted for high-quality drain cleaning, sewer repair, and a complete range of plumbing services in the Las Vegas area. We know how to properly deal with any type of drain clog using our expertise and the latest tools. If you need assistance unclogging a drain in your kitchen or bathroom sink, book service online or call 702-745-5898 today!

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