How to Clean Out a Sink Trap

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How to Clean Out a Sink Trap. Sometimes sinks get blocked up and drain slowly. Even worse, sometimes they just won't drain at all. If you've tried plunging the sink and pouring hot water down the drain and even used a "drain snake" to try and get it running and it still runs slowly, you've got one more option: remove the sink trap and clean it out. It sounds complicated and a lot like heavy-duty plumbing, but in reality, removing and replacing a sink trap is a job any handy person can do with a few of the right tools. Here is the way to do it.

Things You'll Need

  • Channel lock pliers or pipe wrench
  • Old towel
  • Old rag
  • Bottlebrush
  • Bucket or dishpan
  • Masking tape or duct tape

Tips & Warnings

  • Some plastic traps have a cleanout on the bottom. To clean these, you simply undo the nut on the bottom of the trap and use a stiff wire to hook any blockages. There will be water in the bottom of the trap.
  • Knowing how to remove a sink trap can come in very handy (and save you some big money on plumbing bills) if you ever drop anything valuable down your sink.
  • When replacing the trap and tightening the slip nuts, be careful not to overtighten them--particularly on plastic traps. They'll crack if tightened too much.

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