Unblock sinks using effective methods to ‘loosen trapped dirt’

Home Depot expert explains how to unclog a bath drain

Blocked drains are what most homeowners dread, as it can result in lots of different problems when not solved immediately.

While many people may turn to Google to find out how to quickly unblock a drain, there are some quick DIY methods to know about.

Adam Logan, Training Manager at GROHE UK & LIXIL EMENA, who also used to be a plumber, said: “Clogged bathroom sinks are usually caused by an accumulation of debris, grime, soap and scum, which results in slow draining water.

“The first step is to run hot water from the tap itself down the sink to help start to loosen trapped debris.

“Never use boiling water for a bathroom basin as this can crack the ceramic. If this doesn’t aid in resolving the issue, using a good quality drain snake or plunger is a good next step.

“Take caution using a plunger as the suction can cause the compression joints under the sink to come apart if you are a little overenthusiastic.”

If nothing works, Britons can turn to using a specialist unblocking solution, but the expert warned that it is important to be careful with these products.

They tend to be highly corrosive and will “damage the sink” if spilt, as well as causing nasty burns when making contact with the sink.

The expert added: “Only use these products in well ventilated spaces as there is the possibility that they could give off strong noxious gas.”

White vinegar and baking soda are a great cleaning duo, known for their ability to target a variety of problems, including limescale and mould.

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To clear drains with it, sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda into the drainage pipe and then pour in around half a cup of vinegar.

The experts explained: “This causes a chemical reaction in the drain which releases carbon dioxide. The bubbling and fixing of the moisture loosens the blockage.

“Leave the solution to work for around 15 minutes and then rinse with hot water. If you don’t have any baking soda at home, you can use white vinegar and salt instead.”

To prevent the drain or sink from becoming blocked in the first place, it is important Britons never put certain items down their sinks, such as coffee grounds. 

“It is not a good idea [to put coffee grounds down the sink] as coffee grounds are not completely water-soluble, meaning when they mix with butter, oil or grease from cooking that’s already coating the pipes, you’re increasing the risk of your drain blocking up.”

Make sure to always dispose of coffee grounds in the bin, and never put them down the sink.

Cooking oils such as vegetable oil, coconut oil and olive oil can be a “huge contributor to blockages”, according to the pros.

No matter how tempting and easy it can seem to simply pour leftover oil down the sink, it is advised never to do so.

This is because it can mix with other debris inside the drains to create a build-up of sludge which can be hard to shift.

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