* From the tried and tested to the high tech
* Mechanical and chemical methods
* What to try before you call a plumber
Clogged sinks can be a sticky, hairy or even thorny problem. Nobody likes it when you’re trying to shave and the water just won’t go down. Likewise, there’s nothing worse than trying to brush your teeth and the fizzy toothpaste just sits there on the surface of the still pond that is your bathroom sink. And forget about doing dishes in a pond. Ponds aren’t clean. It’s the wrong vibe entirely. So here are six DIY ways to get your sink moving again. You don’t need to wait around for a plumber for most clogs, especially if you can catch them early.
1. Drain Cleaning Tool
This 20-inch long flexible grabber and puller tool is deceptively simple to use, but with the right technique it is very effective. The key is to gently twist it into the sink in one direction, and then twist in in the opposite direction as you raise it back up. You’ll want loose, flexible wrists (and maybe a pair of gloves) for this one.
2. Green Gobbler
For clogs out of reach of mechanical pullers, this product uses a non-flammable biodegradable solvent to dissolve hair and more. It also works for toilets. No relation to Spider Man’s enemy, although both are rather caustic.
3. Drain Auger
This electric drain auger is a worthy investment if you live in a place where the plumbing gets frequent clogs. Essentially a plumber’s snake tool, it uses a 25-ft flexible steel wire to remove blockages.
4. Sodium Hydroxide
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick fix on a budget, and/or are something of a chemistry nerd, this 99% sodium hydroxide is a… basic… solution. Anyway, you don’t have to be basic to appreciate the dissolving power of this (relatively) eco friendly lye. Try not to get it on your skin or clothes, though. It reacts exothermically with water – meaning it releases heat, for non-chem nerds – which makes it a very effective drain un-clogger. Of course, this can get violent so be sure to wear proper “lab gear:” goggles and gloves are a must.
The Zip-It, which some reviewers rather poetically compare to a long-stemmed rose – in the sense that it has thorns – uses these thorns to grab onto and pull out sink-clogging gunk. Works great in narrower and straighter pipes.
6. Whink Hair Clog Blaster
Specifically designed to get rid of hair clogs, this liquid formula is easy to use and safe for metal as well as PVC pipes. A great idea to have on hand if you shave or trim your beard over the sink regularly.