How to Fix a Slow Sink Drain: 7 Methods

Having a slow draining sink can be extremely frustrating. Not only does it take forever for water to go down, but it also allows dirty water and debris to collect in the sink. Luckily, there are several methods you can try to get your sink drain flowing fast again.

Use a Plunger

One of the easiest ways to try and fix a slow draining sink is to plunge it. Place the plunger directly over the drain and plunge up and down rapidly several times. This can help dislodge minor clogs and buildup that are slowing your drain. Make sure to cover the overflow hole in the sink with a wet rag to get a tighter seal. Plunge for a minute or two and then try running water to see if the drain has improved.

Use a Snake/Auger

For tougher clogs, you’ll need something stronger – like a sink snake or drain auger. Feed the end of the snake down the drain and twist it to work through the clog. Keep pushing until you feel the blockage give way. Retrieve the snake and run water to check if draining is faster. You may need to snake a few times to fully clear clog. Make sure to snake both from drain opening and overflow hole for thorough unclogging.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

For a DIY chemical-free option, try using baking soda and vinegar. Start by pouring 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup heated white vinegar. The reaction will cause fizzing and bubbling to help break up gunk. After 10-15 minutes, rinse with hot water. Do this weekly to maintain drain flow.

Boiling Water

Boiling water is an easy and effective way to melt and clear away debris in your drain. Boil a pot of water and carefully pour it down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes before running the tap. The hot water will liquify grease and soap buildup. For tough clogs, follow up with a plunger or snake.

Clean the P-Trap

The p-trap is the curved pipe underneath sinks where gunk loves to collect. Unscrew this pipe and clean thoroughly, removing any debris clogging it up. Use a wire hanger if needed to dislodge clogs. Rinse the p-trap and reattach. Check it routinely when you have drain issues.

Use a Drain Cleaner Product

For more serious clogs, a commercial drain cleaner product may be needed. There are various types – some contain harsh chemicals, while others are safer enzyme or bacteria-based formulas. Always read directions carefully. Allow drain cleaner to sit for as long as the product states before running water. Wear gloves when handling.

Call a Plumber

If DIY options aren’t working to fix your slow sink drain, call a professional plumber. They have advanced tools like power augers to clear tough clogs that regular snakes can’t handle. They can also inspect your pipes with a camera to identify any blockages or issues. Though pricier, a plumber can save you time and hassle in the long run for stubborn drain problems.

Fixing a slow sink drain on your own is possible in many cases. Try these 7 methods using common household items to get your sink flowing fast again. But don’t hesitate to call a plumber for professional assistance if needed, especially for fully blocked drains or complex pipe problems. With some persistence, you can troubleshoot annoying sluggish sink drains.