How to Fix a Bathroom Sink That Won’t Drain

Do you have standing water in your sink?

This can be a nuisance and should bother you whenever any appliance is not working the way it should. So, if you are using your sink and more often than not finding that the water is still 2 inches high and doesn’t look like it will drain in the next few minutes than you simply have a clog, it is about time we remove it. We will offer you some helpful solutions to help solve your bathroom sink drain, and a handful of them at that, so feel free some of them, or even all of them and see if any will do the trick.

Solutions we will cover in this post include:

  • Check the sink plunger for foreign objects
  • Using drain cleaners
  • Using a plunger
  • Using a drain snake in the sinkhole
  • Removing the drain trap
  • Using drain snake in the pipes

Solution 1: Check the Sink Plunger

Sink Plunger
A common problem that happens is a build up of foreign objects on the sink plunger. This is no surprise; we use our bathroom sink to shave and brush our teeth. These actions have lead to a build up of hair and grime going down the sink drain. So, lift up the sink plunger and see if there is hair or grime lingering on the plunger. The next step is to clear the plunger of all foreign objects and run the water. If clearing the plunger did not solve the draining issue then proceed to the next two solutions.

Solution 2: Use a Drain Cleaner

Natural – Begin with boiling a kettle of water. Pour in half a cup of baking soda down the drain. Pour the boiled water down the drain after letting the baking soda set. Let the solution sit for ten minutes before using your sink again. This process will work to break up any build up that is down your bathroom sink drain.

Chemical – If you are using a chemical drain cleaner be sure to check the specific instructions on whichever one you buy.

Solution 3: Plunge the Bathroom Sink


Take out the sink plunger and run water till the water pools, leave an inch or two of water to allow the plunger to use some pressure on the clog. Put your suction plunger over the drain hole and start giving some good plunges on your bathroom sink. Wait for the water to drain, if this solution worked and your clog is now relieved, then the water will start draining at the expected rate.

Solution 4: Using a Drain Snake

Drain Snake

Use the drain snake and force the auger down the bathroom sink drain. Extend the auger till it hits the clog. Once you feel a stop, then you have found the clog. Use the drain snake to break up the clog; this might take a few attempts, but it should relieve the blockage in your drain.

Solution 5: Cleanout the Drain Trap

P or U Trap

If the above methods were not effective than your clog is deep in the pipes. Look under your sink to find the pipes; you should see the drain trap while you’re down there; it looks like a P or a U. Place a bucket under this pipe to collect the water that might fall out of it when you remove it from the sink.

Loosen the rings and remove the drain trap and take it somewhere to clean it out. Once you have cleaned out the trap pipe, reassemble it onto the sink and run your water again. This should be the solution for your bathroom sink problem.

Solution 6: Use Drain Snake In The Pipes

Remove your drain trap again and use your drain snake into the wall pipe under your sink. Move the auger into the pipe, move it around to see if you can feel anything obstructing the pipe. Just feel around and gently push against anything in the way. If you hit something, then proceed to snake the clog.

If all these solutions have been tried, and you are still experiencing a pool of water in your sink, that refuses to drain then call a plumber for assistance. A professional plumber will be able to diagnose correctly where the clog is and can remove it.

Bathroom plumbing is a speciality of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Bay Area; our plumbers are more than capable with any of your residential plumbing needs.