When it happens, resist the urge to pour a chemical drain cleaner down the sink, as these are toxic liquids that can cause burns to your skin, and may be harmful to your plumbing. We recommend you try a "greener" solution by following these steps for unclogging your drain.
1. First, remove the stopper from your sink and then clean off any debris that may be stuck in the top of the drain. Run water down the drain to see if it's still plugged up. If it is, fill the sink half full of water.
2. Get your toilet plunger, put it over the drain, and pump it up and down about 10 times. On the last stroke, be sure to lift it quickly from the drain. If the water drains down the sink, then you know you've unstopped it. If not, repeat the pumping with the plunger several more times try to clear the drain.
3. If you can't clear the drain with the plunger, the next step is to open up the curved piece of pipe underneath the sink known as the trap. Put a bucket directly under the trap to catch the water you're going to unleash. Unscrew the plug located on the bottom of the trap with a wrench to let the water run into the bucket. Some traps do not have a plug, and if not, you'll need to remove the trap. Unscrew the two coupler nuts attached to each side of the trap and clear any blockage you find with a bent clothes hanger wire or with your hand. When you've removed the debris, re-attach the trap or put the plug back in. Run water into the sink to test water flow.
4. If cleaning out the trap didn't work, your next step will be to use a plumber's snake. These are available at hardware and home improvement stores. Insert the end of the snake into the sink, twist the handle clockwise and push in and out of the drain until you can clear the obstruction. This will usually do the trick for most sink blockages.
5. Should the previous steps fail to clear your drain, you have a problem thatwill need the services of a qualified plumber, who will have the special tools and expertise to clear the blockage in your plumbing system.
The best way to keep a drain clear is to avoid putting things down the sink that will clog it up. Avoid pouring cooking oils or grease down the sink, as this can lead to a residue build up over time that will cause a blockage. Put oils and grease into a used coffee can or milk carton. Also, avoid putting kitchen scraps, leftovers, coffee grounds, and so forth into your drain unless you have an in-sink garbage disposer which will grind it up into tiny pieces.