You’re brushing your teeth in the bathroom, and you lean over the counter to rinse and spit when you’re hit in the face by a wave of sewer smell in bathroom sink. This is a result of hair, toothpaste, soap, and gunk that has built up in the drainpipe over time.
Once you’ve gotten to this point, it’s time to learn how to clean a bathroom sink drain before it gets any worse. A bathroom sink drain that has a build-up of soap scum and grime will lead to a smelly drain, a slow drain, or even a clogged drain.
Stubborn clogs can also happen in the shower drain from hair clogs and the kitchen sink from food debris. You must use some form of drain cleaner before that smelly drain becomes a clogged drain. Check out our home remedies before you resort to using harsh store-bought chemicals!
How to Clean a Bathroom Sink Drain
There are so many different bathroom cleaners, both commercial and homemade, that can be used for cleaning this popular area of the home. If you have a clog, there are even more remedies you can choose. However, before calling a plumber, we have a few solutions that may help you clean out that bathroom drain.
Our natural cleaning methods clean and deodorize the sink drain without using harsh chemicals. If your sink has a slow drain or doesn’t drain at all, we’ve also included some tips for unclogging the bathroom sink.
1. Best Way to Clean a Bathroom Sink Drain
The best way to clean a bathroom sink drain and prevent a clog from happening is by performing regular maintenance. Removing debris from the sink drain every week will prevent the build-up of hair and scum. Cleaning the drain stopper is one of the best ways to avoid a slow drain.
Cleaning Drain Pop-up Stoppers
Bathroom sinks come equipped with an adjustable sink stopper in the drain. It is used to plug the sink and can be removed easily for cleaning. Pull the stopper from the drain and remove hair from the rod with your hands.
Use an old toothbrush to work thick gunk away. For an even better clean, put the stopper into the dishwasher through a cleaning cycle.
Inspect the inside of the drain for clumps of hair that may be stuck. Use pliers to pull any leftover debris from the drain before inserting the stopper back into its place. If the sink stopper works with a push and pull style rod located behind the faucet, you will have to remove the nut behind the drainpipe to pull out the retaining rod and remove the stopper.
2. How to Prevent Bad Sink Drain Smells
Bacteria thrive in moist, dirty conditions, and it can build up in the bathroom sink drain. This bacteria is the leading cause of those stinky smells that rise out of the sink. Hydrogen peroxide is a non-corrosive liquid with anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that kill bacteria, while baking soda absorbs and prevents odors.
Put all of the baking soda into the drain and allow it to rest for 20 minutes. Pour in the hydrogen peroxide and watch as the drain begins to fizz.
The chemical reaction between the two will line the pipes with a foam that will kill that fungus related stench. Rinse the sink with cold water from the faucet. Repeat this method once a month to keep those nasty drain smells at bay.
3. How to Clean Rust around Bathroom Sink Drain
It can be quite annoying going through the trouble of cleaning the bathroom only to be left with unsightly rust stains lingering around the sink drain. It’s relatively easy to clean rust around bathroom sink drain, and you only need one ingredient.
Bathroom Sink Drain Rust Cleaner
Put white vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the rusty areas of the sink, and allow it to sit for about half an hour. Use a soft scrubber brush to scrub the rust away gently. Alternatively, you can pour some of the vinegar onto the drain and follow the same steps.
4. Unclogging Stubborn Build-ups in the Bathroom Sink
If you have one of those nasty clogs that seem impossible to get rid of, you can try the following process. This method requires a homemade drain opener, some time, and a little bit of muscle.
Start by carefully pouring the boiling water into the sink drain to start the process of breaking down the gunk that has built up on the sides of the pipe. Use a plunger to force the hot water back and forth through the drain.
Slowly pour the baking soda into the drain and allow it to rest for about ten minutes. Pour the white vinegar into the drain over the baking soda. You can also use cider vinegar or lemon juice as a replacement for the white vinegar.
Cover the drain with a plug to speed up the process. The two ingredients will interact with each other and begin to foam up. Allow both elements to work for about an hour. Rinse the drain with hot water.
The final step in this ordeal is to use a drain snake. This is a long, thin plastic tool that has plastic hooks along its edges. You can pick up one of the inexpensive varieties at your local hardware store.
If you cannot find one, you can use a coat hanger as an alternative. Insert the drain snake into the drain and pull it out. Keep repeating this, as it will grab and remove any unwanted hair and debris from the sides of the pipe.
5. Cleaning a Bathroom Drain Using Baking Soda
You can easily clean a drain using our favorite cleaning ingredient, baking soda. This method can also be used to clean a shower drain. Baking soda is a non-toxic, mild alkali that dissolves greasy gunk build-up. It also works as an odor absorbent, so it will remove those nasty drain smells.
DIY Baking Soda Drain Cleaner
Start by boiling some water. Pour half a cup of baking soda into the bathroom drain. Allow it to sit while you wait for the water to boil to give it time to break up fatty acids and gunk in the drain pipe.
Pour the boiling water directly into the drainpipe. Allow the hot water and baking soda ten minutes to work, breaking up the clog. Turn on the faucet and run water down the drain to test that the clog is gone.
6. How to Clean a Bathroom Drain with Lemon Juice
This method is excellent for removing that black sludge from inside the bathroom drain. It’s also ideal for removing that nasty sewer odor that is a result of mold and mildew build-up in the pipes. The alkalinity of the baking soda mixed with the acidity of the lemon juice will break up and dissolve gunk while leaving behind a fresh, clean scent.
Pour plain baking soda down the drain, followed by the lemon juice. Plug the drain and walk away for about an hour as the two ingredients do their job. Finish by pouring some boiling water down the drain to wash away the cleaning products along with the black sludge and clog.
7. How to Unclog a Bathroom Drain Using a Drain Snake
Perhaps you have tried cleaning solutions to loosen a drain clog or even a plunger, and you still have a slow drain. When all else fails, use a drain snake to grab and pull debris from a bathroom drain.
You can pick up a coiled spiral drain snake at just about any hardware store, and they are relatively inexpensive. While a plunger works by forcing the obstruction through the drain, a snake will help you loosen the blockage while pulling it towards you so that you can remove it.
Drain Snake Method
You may need to wear rubber gloves for this process, as it can get a little messy. Put the end of the snake into the drain and turn the handle. As you turn the handle, the snake auger will start lengthening and moving down the drain.
While turning the handle, you may feel some resistance when you reach a bend in the pipe. Continue turning the handle with some force until you pass the turn of the pipe. Once you hit the clog, rotate the snake until you feel the debris break up.
This action will more than likely break up the clog and send it on its way. If it doesn’t, engage the clog and pull the snake from the drain.
The obstruction should pull loose with the auger through the drain toward you, where you’ll be able to remove it. Finish by running the faucet on full blast to flush any remaining gunk down the drain.
Cleaning and unclogging a bathroom sink drain can be quite easy if you have the right directions. Who would have thought that your bathroom clog woes could be taken care of using simple household items like baking soda, vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide? Gone are the days of brushing your teeth over a foul-smelling and slow draining bathroom sink drain!
Now that you know the steps on how to clean a bathroom sink drain with ease using the right ingredients, why not share these sink drain cleaning tips with your friends on Pinterest?