How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink

How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink

Got a Slow Draining Sink?

Did you brush your teeth or wash your face and notice the drain isn’t working? Does it take forever for the water to drain?

A slow sink drain might seem like a small issue, but it can lead to many complications. For one thing, you can’t get things done because you have to keep waiting for the drain to work! Imagine the struggle if you share a bathroom sink with three or four other people!

Fortunately, we’ve got a few remedies here for you. Check out our tips on how to fix a slow draining sink and everything you need to know about calling professionals.

πŸ”§ DIY Slow Drain Solutions

How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink

You can sometimes deal with a slow draining sink drain by yourself.

These are simple situations, often caused by dirt and debris clogging the plumbing.

A quick cleaning process can unclog your pipes and get the drain working again.

Some of the DIY solutions include the following.

βœ… Use Chemical Solutions

Bathroom Chemicals compress

When all else fails, you might need a light dissolving agent to melt the build-up stuck in the pipe.

There is a quick way to dislodge built-up residue in your pipes with these common household items.

⭐ Unblock Your Sink Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

Clean bathroom sink

Learn How to Use Baking Soda and Vinegar to Unblock your Bathroom Sink.

Total Time: 20 minutes

  1. Clean Out the Residue With a Special Mixture!

    Baking Soda

    Pour half a cup of baking soda down the slow sink drain and follow it with half a cup of white vinegar. The mixture of these two will start a fizzing and bubbling reaction that will melt the sludge.

  2. Cover the Drain and Overflow Hole.

    Bathroom sink overflow hole

    Plug both the drain and the overflow hole so the mixture can focus on breaking down the debris and not bubble out.

  3. Follow Up with Hot or Boiling Water.

    Boiling Water compress

    After 15 minutes, unplug the stopper and pour in hot or boiling water to fully flush down the baking soda-vinegar mixture.

    πŸ›‘ PRO TIP: If your home has PVC pipes which is mostly the case in newer homes, plumbers advise against using boiling water as it can damage both the pipe and the glue holding your PVC pipes together. Opt for hot water from the tap.

  4. Keep Rinsing With Hot Water.

    Running hot water

    Run the hot water tap for a few minutes to ensure your sink drain is flushed.


  • Drain Zip it Tool or Drain Snake

Materials: Baking Soda and White Vinegar

If the mixture cleans out the debris, everything should go down the drain as intended.  

You could also use a stronger chemical-based drain cleaner like Drano to really get in there and break up hair and soap scum.

However, some professionals don’t advise this procedure. You run the risk of damaging your plumbing. 

There’s also the hazard of harming yourself, given that you’ll have to handle acidic chemicals. 

If you perform this method, ensure you have someone with you or at least have a professional plumber’s number on hand.

This ensures you can call them in case something wrong happens.

βœ… Cleaning the Drain Stopper

Sink pop up stopper assembly diagram
Sink pop up stopper assembly diagram

There are times when the drain stopper gets clogged too.

Hair and dirt could build up on the gasket or down its main pipe.

You must take the stopper out and clean it so water can properly go down the drain.

πŸ›‘ However, you can’t yank the stopper out.

To properly remove and clean it, you might have to look under the sink depending on the type of sink stopper.

Most stoppers feature a nut to lock them in place.

Other sinks might have a more complicated setup, but you should still be able to see how your pipes connect to your stopper under the sink.

Related Reading: How to Remove Sink Stopper With These Easy Steps

Get a wrench and remove the nut. This should allow you to remove the stopper from most sinks.

Once it’s out, remove all the hair, built-up dirt, and debris. 

Make sure to rinse the stopper in hot water to kill potential mold growth too.

Once done, put the stopper back in, and the drain should work normally.

βœ… Clear the Overflow Hole

Bathroom sink overflow hole

See the hole at the upper edge of your sink, right below the faucet? That’s the overflow hole.

It’s meant to function as a second drain if the main one clogs.

Without it, water would quickly rise and overflow.

It also allows air to push into the drainage. You need air pressure for the drain to work.

If something’s clogging this hole, the main drain might not function properly since it won’t have that extra push from the overflow hole.

Keep in mind that this overflow hole can also clog.

You need to keep it clean and free from debris too.

Wipe the hole clean with a rag and dig inside a bit to remove any hanging or clinging dirt and hair.

βœ… Use a Sink Plunger

Plunging Kitchen Sink compress

Yes, plungers aren’t only for the toilet. You might need to use one for your sink.

Fortunately, smaller plungers are available specifically for this type of cleaning task.

Before you use the sink plunger, make sure you cover the overflow hole with tape.

This creates a seal, allowing the sink plunger to build pressure and dislodge all the dirt and debris clogging your pipes.

πŸ›‘ Take precautions before using a plunger! It might seem simple, but you could damage your drainage by putting too much pressure.

Weak pipes could crack when put under too much stress from a plunger. 

When in doubt, call a professional.

βœ… Get a Zip-It or Drain Snake

Zip it Drain Snake

Ever heard or seen a zip-it tool?

There are many available in hardware stores, convenience stores, and online shops.

These are cheap, often plastic, tools you can insert down a pipe to remove objects clogging the drain.

Don’t expect a zip-it to get everything.

These tools feature small hooks to take out bundles of hair and bundled debris, but they won’t clean the sides of the drainage. It can’t dissolve hardened buildup. 

It’s still a good, affordable fix for minor issues.

If you have a clogged drain, you might want to start with this method before doing any of the more complicated ones.

You can even repurpose a coat hanger to break up any blockages. Be careful, though, a steel coat hanger can damage PVC pipes.

πŸ›‘ Time to Call the Plumbing Professionals

woman calling a plumber on an old dial phone

When none of these DIY methods work to fix a slow draining sink, it’s time to call the professionals.

Plumbers can also handle issues with your water heater, HVAC system, and drainage.

Some people assume that hiring professionals is costly.

That’s not true, and you could save money by calling plumbers before doing any DIY methods.

Think of it this way:  

Experts go through extensive training. In some places, they have to carry a license to practice this job in the field.

They also have more experience than you since they regularly handle similar situations. 

Plumbers also have the proper tools. A zip-it and makeshift chemical solution can only get you so far.

Experts have industry-standard tools to guarantee quality repairs and maintenance. 

They get the job done right. If they make a mistake, most plumbers will come back and re-do the job for free.

If a part breaks, the warranty covers it, and you won’t have to pay twice for another installation. 

πŸ›‘ Never forget about safety concerns. A clogged drain might seem like a small issue, but it’s still better to let insured plumbers do the job.

πŸ”§ How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink with Phyxter!

Phyxter Approved Logo on Service Truck

Why wait? Use these methods today to fix a slow draining sink.

When all else fails, you can always call on professional plumbers to give you a helping hand.

Don’t know who to call?

Check out if Phyxter Home Services is in your area and get a quote from the best local and independent contractors in your area.

We’re always happy to help, so just contact us to find out how we can!

If you live in the Okanagan Valley region, give Phyxter Plumbing Services a call, we are more than happy to come and check out any of your plumbing system issues.

Want to learn more about your home’s plumbing system? Feel free to check out our other plumbing articles.

Related Reading: Toilet Gurgling? Your Quick Fix It Guide!

Related Reading: DIY Guide to 15 Common Plumbing Problems & Solutions

Jake Gibson

Jake Gibson is a force to be reckoned with in the HVAC industry. As the CEO of Phyxter, he has made it his mission to revolutionize how contractors work. With a background in HVAC, entrepreneurship, and technology, Jake brings innovation and expertise to this traditional industry.

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