5 Common Causes of Slow-Draining Sinks and How to Fix Them

Have you ever stood there, impatiently watching the water swirl down the sink, only to realize it’s moving at a snail’s pace? 

Slow-draining sinks can be quite annoying. But don’t worry. To help you, here are some causes of slow drains and how you can fix them. But, keep in mind that you might need to call in drain cleaning experts to solve the issue if it is a bit complicated.

Hair and Soap Scum Buildup

Let’s begin with a common one: hair and soap scum. As you go about your daily washing and grooming rituals, bits of hair and soapy residue slip into your sink’s drain. Over time, they team up to create a stubborn clog.

How to Fix It: Start by removing that drain stopper. Then, get creative with a long, flexible tool like a wire hanger or a drain snake to fish out the tangled hair and the icky scum. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can try a chemical drain cleaner, but make sure to handle it with care and follow the instructions to a tee.

Food Debris in the Kitchen Sink

Now, let’s head to the kitchen, where we often deal with food scraps slowing things down. Those little bits of food that accidentally slip into the sink can accumulate and form a traffic jam in your pipes.

How to Fix It: Before you call up the plumbers, consider grabbing a plunger designed for sinks. Plop it over the drain and give it a few hearty plunges. If that doesn’t get the wheels turning, you might need to roll up your sleeves and clean out the P-trap lurking beneath your sink. If nothing works, leave it for the experts.

Mineral Buildup

For those of us living in areas with hard water, mineral buildup in your sink’s pipes can be a recurring headache. Those minerals, like calcium and magnesium, slowly stack up and narrow the water’s path.

How to Fix It: Here’s a kitchen-sink science experiment for you: Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and secure it to the faucet. Let it sit there for a few hours, working its magic to dissolve the mineral muck. But if the clog is hiding deeper within the pipes, it might be time to consider a chemical drain cleaner. Proceed with caution and follow the safety instructions carefully.

Foreign Objects

Every now and then, a tiny foreign invader—like a ring, earring, or even a toothpaste cap—decides to stage a sink invasion. These little rascals can wreak havoc in your pipes, leading to slowdowns.

How to Fix It: If you’ve got a hunch that something foreign is behind the curtain, grab a pair of needle-nose pliers and go on a rescue mission. Carefully fish out the object, making sure not to push it further down the pipe.

Grease Buildup

In the sink, grease and oil are your worst enemies. When they go from hot, runny liquids to cool, sticky solids, they can create a real mess in your pipes.

How to Fix It: Here’s a trick to try – pour boiling water down the sink. This can help melt and wash away the stubborn grease down the drain. Follow it up with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, which can work wonders to break down the greasy residue. If that stubborn grease isn’t budging, it might be time to reach out to a professional plumber or a drain cleaning service.