How to Clean Bathroom Sink Drain
The pipes under your bathroom sink endure a daily barrage of greasy, oily substances from soap and lotion products to makeup and toothpaste, which can solidify when cooled. Over time, this gunky, greasy buildup accumulates, diminishing drain capabilities and eventually causing a blockage which can corrode the pipes.
Homes with newer plumbing containing PVC or copper pipes are somewhat better suited to handle these sticky, grimy materials. Older homes with more narrow iron plumbing experience clogs and backups more often, and all the gross drain smells that come with them.
The best solution is a preventative method for clogs, with a powerful solution that can help keep your drains clean, clear and deodorized.
The age-old drain cleaning method of using a cup of baking soda and white vinegar is ineffective. The fizzy reaction looks like the materials are dissolving, but they're not. Baking soda is a base and vinegar is an acid. Combining the two creates a chemical reaction which only produces water with trace amounts of salt, which is not strong enough to clear a stinky drain. Neither ingredient is a surfactant, either, so they will do little to help carry away the loose oil and grease.
Many commercial drain cleaners are packed with dangerous chemicals that pose a risk to both your health and your drainpipes. Bleach and anti-bacterial products are also not recommended, especially for septic tanks, because they must be used sparingly to reserve beneficial septic system bacteria and they can permanently damage plumbing systems.
However, you don't have to pull out the rubber gloves and resort to caustic chemicals to clean a smelly drain in your bathroom sink. Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner's biodegradable*ast; degreasing and deodorizing power helps prevent grease, fat and oil buildup that can cause clogs and bad smells.
Clean your drain once a month using the directions below.
Directions for Cleaning a Bathroom Sink Drain:
- Flush with boiling water. Boil about ½ gallon of water and carefully pour it down the drain to first dislodge stubborn buildup. Wait 5 minutes and follow with cool running water.
- Remove any clogs. Remove the stopper or drain guard and discard any debris it's collected. For more serious clogs, use a drain snake to remove hair. You can also plunge the drain to loosen any other blockages.
- If your sink stopper is attached, you can still remove it by unscrewing the nut on the back of the drain pipe and pulling out the retaining rod.
- Apply Simple Green. Pour 2 cups of full strength Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner into the drain in the evening.
- Let it sit. Allow the product to remain in the drain overnight.
- Rinse. Turn the faucet on and run hot water down the drain for a few minutes the next morning.
Tip: This method works well when used every 2 weeks for large households, or once a month for smaller households. Prevents grease buildup in kitchen sink drains, and soap scum and lotion buildup in bathroom drains. This is preventative maintenance. It will not correct hair clogs or unclog a long-term, badly clogged bathroom sink.
* Biodegradable formula: This formula decomposes into elements found in nature within six months after disposal into a typical sanitary sewer or septic system.