A clogged bathroom sink may be very difficult to clean due to longstanding and caked dirt, that a mere plunger would do nothing to save the situation. If that sounds like you sink then here are some DIY cleaning techniques that are void of harsh chemicals and easy to do:

1. Boiling Water

This method works most effectively when your sink drains slowly and there's not a lot of tepid water already sitting in the sink. Experts say it works especially well for blockages caused by soap scum. To use this method:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Pour the water into the drain in three or four different stages.

If this method will work to unclog your drain, you should observe the changes immediately. If it doesn't, then try the other methods on this list.

2. Baking Soda and Salt

This list would be incomplete without a mention of baking soda, the holy grail of cleaning hacks. This method uses a combination of baking soda and salt to unclog your drain. To use:

  • Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and salt and pour the mixture into the drain.
  • Let it sit for fifteen minutes.
  • Pour boiling water down the drain.

This method is much more powerful than using mere boiling water and is therefore well suited to long-standing blockages.

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

This is an age-old method that has been proven very effective in unclogging sinks. To use:

  • Mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a measuring cup.
  • Pour the mixture down the drain.
  • Let it sit for an hour.
  • Pour hot water down the drain.

The fizzing action of the mixture can potently remove hair and grime.

4. Wet and Dry Vacuum

A wet and dry shop vacuum is an ideal appliance to help with particularly stubborn clogs. You might need to create a seal for the hose to effectively suction out the blockage (such as the top of a plastic soda bottle or a plunger head). Set your vacuum to the highest liquids setting and let the shop-vac do the rest. The powerful suction is usually strong enough to dislodge whatever is clogging the plumbing.

5. Wire Hanger

This method is saved for last because it is highly tasking. If you can unclog your drain using one of the methods above, you don't need to do this. If not, using a wire hanger can clear up the most stubborn of clogs.

You'll need:

  • wire hanger
  • pliers (to help bend the wire),
  • rubber gloves
  • and container (for excess water)


  • Turn off the water, clean out everything underneath the sink, position a bucket for excess water, and close the stopper completely.
  • Remove the stopper in the bathroom sink. To do this, get under the sink and release the stopper by squeezing the spring clip to remove the pivot rod from the clevis strap.
  • Once the pivot rod is removed from the clevis strap, the stopper should pop right up and out of your sink.
  • With the stopper loosened, you can pull it out of the sink drain. This is where you need to clean the stopper mechanism of all dirt, hair, and debris. Do NOT turn on your bathroom sink to do this! If you need water, use a different sink to clean the stopper. Bleach and rubbing alcohol should help.
  • After cleaning the stop-up mechanism, you will want to grab your wire hanger and bend it into a shape like a backscratcher that will help you hook globs of hair and gunk.
  • Once you have the right shape, lower the hook into the drain and once you feel a blockage, start twisting and moving the hanger to catch as much gunk as you can.
  • Try to remove as much gunk as you can with the wire hanger.
  • Put everything back together again. Run some hot water down the drain to test the results of all your hard work.

Good luck!