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A close-up image of someone wearing rubber gloves and using a plunger to clear a clogged sink.

Fixed! How to Clear a Clogged Sink

From brushing your teeth to rinsing produce, your bathroom and kitchen sink drains are among the most used areas in your home. It's imperative that your plumbing works properly, so you can complete daily tasks and chores without any hassle. Without consistent cleaning maintenance in your bathroom or kitchen, it's not uncommon to have a clogged sink. Mississauga homeowners who use sink strainers can't expect that nothing will seep through, like food scraps, coffee grinds, grease, or fat. Eventually, this debris accumulates and causes a clogged sink.

Every Mississauga home’s plumbing fixtures are connected to drain lines, which ultimately send liquid waste down to the sewer line to prevent disease and infection. Even with maintenance for those lines, we still can’t help but worry about our plumbing systems in Mississauga. Clogged sinks could have many causes, from trapped hair to a faulty garburator to tree root intrusion underground or a collapsed pipe. It’s impossible to avoid all of them.

The good news is you can rely on your Mississauga plumber from Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga to get down to the root cause of blockages as well as bring preventive solutions to you to keep you and your property safe. We have the tools to further investigate the warning signs you experience and provide you with a fast and thorough diagnosis for clogs.

What Causes A Clogged Sink in Mississauga?

Mississauga homes will, at some point, experience standing water because of a clogged drain. It's an unpleasant sight, but you shouldn't jump to conclusions about the cause, especially if you're using preventative measures. Some of us merely trust the screwed-in sink stopper that catches hair or clunky food waste. But it never hurts to take additional safety measures like installing a sink strainer that you can easily lift and empty in the compost or garbage. As gravity pulls the water downward, you can't always guarantee that no hair or food waste will slip through.

These are the most common culprits for stubborn clogs that build up over time:

  • Soap scum
  • Solidified grease
  • Oil
  • Food waste
  • Clogged garburators (garbage disposals)
  • Hair

Other more serious causes that are responsible for drain line clogs in Mississauga are related to sewer line clogs or damage, including issues like:

  • Tree roots infiltrating underground pipes
  • Cracked, corroded, or collapsed pipes
  • A severe buildup of toilet paper, wet wipes, or tissues
  • Shifting soil
  • Blockages from other foreign objects

How To Unclog Your Sink

Several DIY strategies work wonders and are safe to practise before dealing with the worst-case scenario of a clogged sink. Mississauga property owners are encouraged to try out environmentally friendly methods at home before turning to any chemical drain cleaners that are highly corrosive and damaging to the pipes:

If you're not comfortable trying to clear clogged drains on your own, or your attempts seem to be doing nothing, contact your local plumber. We'll help unblock your pipes in no time! But, if you are ready to learn a few simple DIY tips and tricks to get rid of your pesky blockages in Mississauga, keep reading:

First, Remove Standing Water

Is your sink close to overflowing? Before you start working on a blocked drain, it's important to remove that excess water by following these steps:

  • Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from dirty water or sharp objects.
  • Use a jug, cup, or bowl and carefully remove water from the sink. Flush it down a toilet or pour it down a different sink. If there are food particles or other debris in the standing water, put a basket catch over any drain you pour it into. This prevents forming another clog.

Note: If you can remove the sink stopper, please do so.

Plunge Away!

Plungers are normally everyone’s first go-to option. Keep in mind that if you have a double sink, you must make sure you use a tight seal, like a drain cover, to block the side you are not plunging. If you don't, the dirty water in one half of your sink will be pushed into the other side.

  • First, it's important to choose the right plunger. There are three kinds: flat-bottom sink plungers, toilet plungers, and accordion plungers. For sinks, choose a flat-bottom sink plunger.
  • Ensure there’s about one inch of water in the sink to improve the plunger's suction.
  • Plunge a few times, starting gently and then getting more forceful.
  • Test by running some water into your sink and seeing if it drains.
  • If it's still clogged, repeat the process three more times and fill up a kettle of water. Once boiling, pour it down the sink.

Note: We do not recommend boiling liquid if you have PEX or PVC pipes or seals, as it could melt your pipes and even cause a more serious clog.

Pour Boiling Water

This solution is only applicable to metal pipes in Mississauga (iron, copper, galvanized steel). If the clog is not too severe, you might be able to dislodge it with hot water. This technique works for shower drains, as well as kitchen and bathroom sinks. Fill up a kettle or pot with water. Bring it to a boil and pour it down the drain. Repeat two to three times. It's important to use hot water, not warm water, so any hardened grease or soap scum will melt and get removed.

Note: While this is useful to treat Mississauga clogged sinks, it’s not recommended to treat stubborn clogs that are further down the pipe. If you suspect a more serious problem, call a plumber who will inspect your pipe and remove the blockage with advanced equipment like the HydroScrub® jetting technology used by Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Ottawa.

Try Baking Soda and White Vinegar

This is the best non-invasive method for dislodging stubborn clogs in Mississauga without reaching for a plunger or drain snake—mix baking soda and white vinegar. This is a natural and effective alternative to toxic chemicals. As a bonus, it works wonders to relieve stains and grime in your sink basin. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar powerfully dislodges debris. Simply mix one cup of vinegar and one cup of baking soda and pour them down. Use a drain cover to force the reaction through the pipe. You can flush with boiling water to ensure residual debris is washed away.

Clean the P-Trap

Also known as a drain trap, a P-trap is a curved section of pipe below your sinks that looks like a "U" or the top portion of a "P" (hence the name). Its primary purpose is to stop harmful sewer gases from seeping into your Mississauga home, but it also prevents debris and jewelry from falling into your plumbing system. Needless to say, it can get clogged from time to time. There's no fast way to clear out a full P-trap. It has to be cleaned by hand.

Follow these steps:

  • Put a bucket underneath to catch any dirty water or debris.
  • Remove any screws holding the P-trap to the wall.
  • Take out the P-trap and see if it's clogged.
  • Clean out any debris.
  • Reattach the p-trap and tighten the coupling nuts properly.

Check the Garburator

If there's an issue with your kitchen drains, it could be that your garburator (garbage disposal) is blocked. To avoid clogging it, don't put too many scraps down it at once. Also, certain pieces of food like bones, eggshells, and coffee grounds should never go in the garburator. Follow these steps to clear any blockages:

  • Turn off your device—do not put your hand down until it has been switched off.
  • Use a flashlight to look down the pipe.
  • If the block is due to food, you can use pliers to remove excess waste or manually turn your garburator blades using an Allen key.
  • If you have a clogged sink because a piece of jewelry is trapped in the garburator, you should call our expert Mississauga plumbers.
  • If you can’t reach the clog, try using a plunger. Clamp your dishwasher's drain line before plunging to prevent dirty water from being pushed into it.
  • Run hot tap water down the garburator to help remove any residual debris— never use chemical cleaners on garbage disposals.

Using a Plumber's Snake or Wire Coat Hanger

Typically, using a plumber's snake is your last option for clearing out clogged sinks. Mississauga homeowners tend to call a professional plumber for help with this because they have yet to get a snake or aren’t sure how to use one.

Drain snakes look like a coiled, metal rope with a crank on one side. The coil is inserted into the drain. As you crank the handle, it pulls up the coil and brings any debris with it. A makeshift option includes using metal hangers that have been straightened out as alternatives to snakes. For those DIY attempts, complete these steps:

  • Bend the hanger into shape: flatten into a straight line, adding a hook at one end.
  • Insert it into the pipe and fish around until you make contact with the clog.
  • Once you feel debris at the end of the wire, pull it up. You may have to repeat this process a few times to get all the gunk out.
  • Once you have removed as much of the blockage as possible, pour hot water down the sink to get rid of any remaining debris.

Sick of Mississauga Clogged Sinks? Here Are Some Prevention Tips!

Cleaning around your sink or any surface areas may be as second nature to you as scrubbing the toilet, but how often do you unscrew the stopper and investigate the opening beneath? If your answer is every month, you have exceptionally good cleaning habits! But it’s still possible that you have a serious clog deeper down the line that needs service from a professional in Mississauga. When that professional service is done, you will likely receive some useful prevention tips that will help maintain your plumbing system in Mississauga. Clogged drains will be history if you follow the advice of a plumber!

  • Clean Sink Stopper: You might naturally clean the sink strainer, but cleaning the stopper will require a little more effort. Depending on the type of stopper you have (e.g., lift and turn, push and pull or toe-touch), you might need a screwdriver, Allen wrench, or pairs of needle-nose pliers and channel-lock pliers to remove it.
  • Drain scrubbing: Take a look at your drain opening. Does it look nasty? The sludge buildup is a mix of soap residue and calcium deposits from hard water in Mississauga. Most plumbers recommend creating a cleaning mixture by combining peroxide with baking soda and using an old toothbrush to scrub off the debris, scrubbing inside and around the opening.
  • Compost Food Scraps: Our tip is not to chuck food waste down your garburator but throw it into your compost or garbage instead, especially for larger chunks.
  • No Grease: Don’t pour grease down the sink, as it can damage and block your drainage pipes faster than you think—and it can also affect the public sewer systems in Mississauga. Instead, pour it into a can or another container and let it solidify overnight before throwing it out.

Mississauga Drain Cleaning Services

Your sewer line and secondary lines are responsible for removing liquid waste from your Mississauga home, but debris and other dirt will still accumulate over time and create blockages that affect your pipes, starting with clogged sinks. Mississauga homes that have recurring sink clogs, toilet backups, and sewer gas smells might be facing signs of a serious drain clog that could lead to serious problems in the future when neglected. The best way to keep them spotless is to schedule a routine drain cleaning service with your local plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga. This is the best way to prevent the worst-case scenario for clogs, including those sewer backups that make Mississauga clogged sinks a minor concern.

If you haven't previously had a drain cleaning service with us, your plumber will do a plumbing diagnosis and inspection of your pipes to ensure they are in good shape and can handle the equipment we use for drain cleaning. While already in-house, our professional plumbers are happy to inspect and help unclog any other kitchen sinks.

Need Mississauga Clogged Sink Services?

If you've tried getting rid of a clog on your own or don't have time to deal with a problematic drain, call Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga. We proudly serve many communities throughout Mississauga, such as Applewood, Mineola, and Port Credit.

To book an appointment for drain repair, other types of clogged drain service, or even an emergency plumbing inspection in Mississauga, we invite you to give us a call at 905-817-0210. Our team is looking forward to meeting you and solving your plumbing issue fast and effectively, promoting healthier pipes and a better living environment for your home in Mississauga.