There are various ways to unblock a household sink. The method and tools you’ll need will depend on the severity of the situation. This video takes you through the main ways to clear everyday blockages. It shows you how to correctly use a plunger or blaster cup for minor blockages, and includes advice on chemical drain cleaner. For more stubborn blockages, there are instructions on using a plumber’s snake. And for the most stubborn obstructions, there’s a guide to cleaning out your plumbing and trap directly.

Preparation & Planning

Most sink blockages are caused by a build-up of everyday debris and food. But sometimes it can be caused by a larger, single object or a lump of solidified meat fat or oil. If this is the case, chemical drain cleaner or a plunger won’t be enough. You’ll need to manually remove the object from the pipe or call in a professional.

Aftercare

Using an eco-friendly drain cleaner regularly can help prevent blockages. If you have a septic tank, avoid using bleach as this will damage the septic tanks's ecosystem and always check all manufacturer's instructions.

Hints & tips

It might seem obvious, but if you have to unscrew the trap to unblock the sink, make sure you wash out the blockage in a different sink with a strainer. Once the blockage is lose, throw the waste into the bin to avoid any further problems! If you use the Blaster cup, soak the end of the plunger in a bucket of hot water before using to ensure a decent seal.

Safety

Always wear rubber gloves when handling drain cleaner and avoid contact with skin and eyes.

Related how to videos