How to Fix a Slow Draining Sink

You’ve noticed the drain in your sink is a little slow lately, what do you do?

You could ignore it, but the problem will build until the sink takes 20 minutes or more to drain. Or it’ll sit stagnant all day.

A slow draining sink is usually a quick fix you can do yourself. See the methods below.

Snake the Drain

Drain snakes are awesome to keep around the house. You can get them at home improvement stores or even from the home section of a Dollar Tree.

These long plastic sticks have hooks on both sides and are quite sharp. You stick the long, hooked part down the drain and push it up and down as the pipe allows.

Then wiggle it as you pull up. We suggest wearing gloves and a face mask if you’re sensitive. Wet and mangy hair plus sink gunk doesn’t smell good when it comes out!

Over a trash can, take a paper towel and wipe the gunk off in the opposite direction than the spikes. Just like you would clean a cheese grater.

You can repeat a few times if you feel like there’s more down there. Even the cheap drain snakes are reusable until you feel like the hooks aren’t as sharp or intense.

Make sure you wipe them down with a bleach wipe or disinfectant before storing.

The Drain Plug

You know the thing that makes your drain plug go up and down? Unscrew the drain cover and you’ll see a four-pronged white plastic piece.

Sometimes you’ll see things stuck in the white piece and be able to pull it out with tweezers or your fingers.

Other times you need to take the whole unit out to clean it. Turn off your water (for good measure) and go under your sink. You should see a metal stick with holes connected to a rod coming out of the top of your P trap.

Using your fingers, unscrew the rod from the big pipe unit. The pressure on the metal stick will lessen and you’ll be able to push the rod out of its metal-stick hole.

This is the tension rod that controls your drain-plug handle. With it gone you can go back up over the sink and pull out the white plastic piece.

Most likely you’ll see some nasty stuff come off the bottom of that plastic piece. Treat it like you would treat a drain snake and clean it off.

It’s not uncommon for there to be gunk or slime in between the folds, so soak the pieces in a bleach/soap solution.

You can do this and then snake your drain for less difficulty as well.

Then, put the white plastic part back in and push it until it’s in the starting position. Add the rod back to the main pipe unit and screw it in.

Carefully re-attach the metal stick tension rod and screw the drain cover back on. Voila!

Slow Draining Sink Fixed

One of these methods or a combination of both above will unclog a common slow draining sink. If they don’t work, your problem may be more complicated.

You can try cleaning your gunk trap yourself, but that’s an even grosser process. Leave that to the professionals.

They’re on call and waiting for you!