House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Clean a Bathroom Sink Drain (Quick & Easy)

bathroom sink

bathroom sink

Even if you diligently clean your bathroom, bathroom sink drains are likely to get a clog every now and then. When that happens, the clog can cause many problems, preventing you from washing your hands properly or creating a dreadful smell.

Luckily, you can easily clean your bathroom sink drain, preventing it from getting clogged in the first place. Keep reading to learn how to clean your bathroom sink drain and keep it from getting clogged in the future.

divider 1

Regular Cleaning: The Tried-and-True Water Method

The best way to keep your bathroom sink drain clean is to clean it regularly. Most people prefer doing this whenever they clean the rest of the bathroom, once a week. This step doesn’t require any soap or other items, and it only adds a couple more seconds to your cleaning routine.

For regular cleaning, all you have to do is remove the stopper and drain guard whenever you are cleaning the rest of your sink or bathroom. Remove any large pieces of debris and rinse with water. This simple step will keep your drains clean and prevent clogging from occurring in the future.

Cleaning bathroom sink drain

Cleaning with Vinegar and Baking Soda

It may be wise to step up your drain cleaning game with vinegar and baking soda about once a month or so. This will help remove any residue and debris that a simple rinsing can’t remove. Plus, the option beats tough odors and keeps your drain functioning as it should!

What You’ll Need

  • 2 gallons of boiling water
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup white vinegar


Begin by boiling one gallon of water. Pour it down the bathroom drain. It is important for the water to be boiling because it will break down any large blockages and debris. Regular water will not be as effective for this step.

Once you have gotten rid of all of the boiling water, spoon one cup of baking soda down the drain as well. Allow the baking soda sit for a few minutes. With the baking soda still in the drain, pour one cup of white vinegar down the sink as well. Don’t have white vinegar on hand? Use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice instead.

Immediately after pouring the white vinegar down the drain, shut the opening. This will create a foam in the clogged area. Let it sit for one hour. After the hour is up, boil another gallon of water and pour it down the drain to clear the baking soda and vinegar mixture. Depending on the state of your drain, you may need to repeat this more than once.

Image Credit: NatureFriend, Pixabay

divider 4

Beating Tough Clogs

Some clogs may be too tough for either of the above-mentioned tips. If that’s the case, you’re still in luck. There are other options that you can keep on hand for some of the worst clogs.

Drain Snakes

If you know that the source of the clog is a large piece of debris or hair, you might want to use a drain snake. A drain snake is a great choice because you can keep it under your sink, and they last a long time. Any home improvement store or Amazon would have drain snakes to choose from.

Begin by finding the P-trap finding the P-trap and remove the fasteners. Place them aside and remove the P-trap slowly. Insert the pipe snake into the opening and feed it until you hit the clog. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your individual pipe snake.

You’ll know that you have cleared your clog whenever there isn’t any more resistance. Replace the P-trap and see if the clog is cleared.

See Also:

Pipe Cleaner

For tougher jobs, you might need to get a chemical pipe cleaner. It’s best to select non-corrosive options since they will not damage the drain or your health. Stop by a supermarket or home improvement store for options. Hydrogen peroxide can also work in place of mixed solutions.

cleaning product
Image Credit: ds_30, Pixabay

Wet-Dry Vac

If pipe cleaner is not enough to breakdown your clog, select the wet-dry vac option instead. This will obviously require a wet-dry vac, which is much more powerful than regular cleaners.

Begin by placing it beneath your P-trap and remove the P-trap. Make sure to place the screws somewhere nearby where you won’t lose them. Attach the wet-dry vac hose to your stopper pipe. If you don’t know what this is, it is a vertical pipe that leads to your sink basin. Put the other end of the hose on the vacuum.

Place the wet-dry back to the wet setting. Put the sink stopper in place to plug the drain. If you don’t have a stopper, create a seal using a towel or rag. With the pipe clearly sealed, turn on the wet-dry vac and pulse the power to remove the clog. Finally, reinstall the P-trap and see if the sink flows smoothly now.

divider 1

Hair Removal

Hair clogs are unsightly but unfortunately common. This is especially true for the shower drain. Long hair easily gets caught in the drain, causing clogs and foul odors. Hair can also get caught in the sink from when people brush their hair or shave.

To remove hair from the drain, remove the stopper. In most cases, the hair clog will be close enough to the surface for you to reach. If not, use an unclogging gel from the supermarket or home improvement store. You could also use hydrogen peroxide or the baking soda and vinegar mixture.

Other Maintenance Tips

Once you remove a clog from your bathroom sink, you likely want to avoid the nasty mess anytime in the future. As we already said, the best way to beat sink clogs is by preemptive care and cleaning. Here are some other maintenance tips to keep your sink clear and clog-free:

  • Do not wash hair or shave over the sink. Even small hairs can build up over time.
  • Clean the stopper regularly with the water method.
  • Use the boiling water, baking soda, and vinegar method once a month.
  • Add a grate or screen to high-use sinks and the shower. The grate will catch hairs and soap scum, helping to prevent clogs.
bathroom sink drain
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

Divider 2


It’s sometimes easy to forget about cleaning your bathroom sink drain, but it is essential to prevent clogs and foul odors from building up over time. By merely rinsing out the stopper and drain once a week, you can keep your sink flowing smoothly. Opt for harsher options whenever clogs do arise.

Related Reads:

Featured Image: Brett_Hondow, Pixabay


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools