A blocked sink is a pesky ordeal that many of us will eventually have to face. Whether it is an obvious blockage or you have mysterious and foul smells coming from your plug hole, they are a real inconvenience that isn't always solved with a handy plunger. If you have tried your plunger and this method isn't working or you simply just don't have one, there are other magical ways in which you can restore your sink to its wonderful draining self.

These methods consist of many household items that can be found in the cupboard under your sink. If not, they are less of a stretch to find than a plunger so check them out below and unblock your sink!

  • Bicarbonate of Soda & White Vinegar
  • Washing Powder
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Bleach and Water
  • Unblocking the U-Bend
  • Rangemaster Grange Belfast Matt Black Ceramic Kitchen Sink
    Rangemaster Grange Belfast Matt Black Ceramic Kitchen Sink

    Bicarbonate of Soda & White Vinegar

    White vinegar and bicarbonate of soda are staples to cleaning routines that can be used for most problems and in this case, heavy blockages. With just a few teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and 500ml of white vinegar, your blockage may be gone.

    1. Spoon 3 teaspoons of soda into the drain

    2. Slowly pour 500ml of white vinegar through

    3. Leave for 5 minutes

    4. Boil a full kettle of water

    5. Flush the blockage with the boiling water

    6. Repeat if needed

    Teaspoon the soda into the drain and slowly pour in your white vinegar. Leave this for 5 minutes so that they can react and begin to break down any mould and food. Whilst this is happening, boil a full kettle of water. Once you have waited 5 minutes, pour the boiling water down the sink to flush your blockage. This can be repeated if needed.

    Washing Powder

    There may be other items in the cupboard that are versatile enough to not only be for the one use, such as a biological washing powder. Using washing powder to unblock a sink is a great technique due to the enzymes it contains. These enzymes are used to break down fats, oils and grease in your clothes, which is why it can be used to unblock your sink.

    1. Boil a full kettle of water

    2. Spoon 3 teaspoons of washing powder (biological) into the drain

    3. Immediately flush the washing powder through with boiling water

    4. Repeat if needed

    Again, use a few teaspoons of washing powder to put down your drain and immediately flush this through with a full kettle of boiling water and repeat the process if there is still slight blockage.

    Alka Seltzer

    Another common household item that can also be used for unblocking your sink is Alka Seltzer tablets.

    1. Put 2 Alka Seltzer tablets into the plug hole

    2. Pour 500ml of white vinegar over the tablets

    3. Leave for 5 minutes

    4. Boil a full kettle of water

    5. Flush the blockage with the boiling water

    6. Repeat if needed

    Popping a couple tablets into your plug hole and following this up with 500ml of white vinegar can also help in lifting tough grease and oils that can be found down there. Give this another 5 minutes to take effect and then flush it through with another full kettle of boiling water. Again, repeat this if it is needed.

    Basket Strainer Sink Waste - Stainless Steel
    Basket Strainer Sink Waste - Stainless Steel

    Bleach and Water

    If it has come to your last resort before ripping out the pipes, bleach and hot water could be your answer. Ensure your safety when using bleach by taking precautions such as wearing gloves and being careful not to breathe in fumes or getting any in your eyes.

    1. Boil a full kettle of water

    2. Pour 250ml of bleach into the drain

    3. Slowly pour the boiling water through to flush the bleach

    4. Repeat if needed

    Get 250ml of bleach and pour it down your drain. Once you have done this, get a kettle of boiling water and slowly pour it through the bleach so that it can begin to lift any mould and food.

    Unblocking the U-Bend

    If you have made it this far then you have a real tough blockage on your hands: it's time to pull out the big guns and unblock the U-bend. First you will need to ensure you prep, turn off your water and get a bucket to direct any left over water into when you remove the pipe. Also get some towels to put around the floor so that any water can easily be soaked up if it runs wild.

    1. Prep your area

    2. Unscrew the U-bend and remove it

    3. Wash out the U-bend using warm water, antibacterial spray and soap

    4. Reattach the pipe securely in place

    5. Test for any leakages and blockages

    Once you have done this, unscrew the U-bend with your hands or a spanner, remove it and make sure any water is going into the bucket. Take the U-bend outside or to another sink and clean it thoroughly with some warm water, antibacterial spray and soap.

    Once you have cleaned it, reattach the pipe and securely screw it back into place. Test it to make sure there are no leakages and that the blockage is fully removed. Clean up and live your life being blockage free!

    If you still have a blockage then you’re in a sticky situation and it is time to call in the experts!

    Venice Undermount Composite Kitchen Sink
    Venice Undermount Composite Kitchen Sink

    Prevention

    Now, one thing to remember is that prevention is always better than the cure. Ensuring that only liquids go down your drain (apart from oil) is key to minimising the risk of blockages. Also maintaining a clean and healthy drain will help to tackle any small blockages that could become a big problem. So ensure you are bleaching your drain every week to prevent this!

    We hope this blog has helped you realise that plungers aren't always the answer to keeping your sink blockage free. Now enjoy your fully restored sink and remember, prevention is better than the cure!