10 December 2008

Cleaning a Bathroom Drain

What you will need:

bucket or pail
paper towels
a long, slim, stick such as an old chopstick
pipe wrench and cloth(if your pipes are not plastic)

  • Firstly, I emptied all the things that get stored under the sink; it's amazing how much stuff accumulates under there

  • Place the bucket under the p-trap (the U-shaped pipe)

  • Running your hands down the Tail-Piece (the straight pipe that leads from the sink to the P-trap), you should feel a straight metal rod attached by a nut.
    This is the rod which raises and lowers your drain stopper

  • To remove, unscrew the nut and then, with one hand on the stopper, remove the rod from the pipe

  • Remove the stopper from the drain

  • unscrew the nuts which attach the P-trap (be sure not to remove the nuts from the pipes, unless you plan to change the washers) and place the P-trap in bucket

  • Rinse/ clean out the P-trap while still in bucket (that way you can dispose of the gunk outside)

    • If you are working on brass (usually chrome plated) or other metal pipes, wrap the cloth around the nut (this will help ensure that you do not damage or scratch the pipes with the teeth of the wrench)

  • Take a paper towel and crumble it and place inside the drain

  • Using the chopstick, push the towel all the way through the pipe

  • repeat

  • This should clean out all the soap scum that has been slowing down the water flow

  • Once the P-trap and the tail-piece have been cleaned, reverse the process

  • When you tighten the nuts, be sure to not over-tighten

  • For plastic pipes, hand tight is usually sufficient

  • For metal, hand tighten and then give maybe a quarter turn with the wrench (You can always tighten it further, if needed

  • Replace the drain stopper and feed the rod through the hole in the bottom of the stopper and tighten the nut...again only hand-tight

  • Take your paper towels and make sure the pipes are nice and dry

  • With the bucket back under the P-trap, turn the water on and test for leaks

  • Use your paper towels to make sure everything remains dry

  • If there is a leak, tighten the appropriate nut until the leak stops

If you have any questions, please let me know.


  1. Thanks for the tips on cleaning out the drain, but you lost me at rinse the p trap. :) LOL I have never been handy at doing these kind of things. I would be wore out before I got started. So how had adgetize been on you.

    Chronic Chick Talk

  2. Chronic Chick Talk: I've only had it a few days but so far its been okay. I am still trying to figure out how it all works. I'll let you know:)

  3. this is informative.

    hi..have a tag for you here:

    have a nice day!

  4. Chubz: Thank you, I'll be right over.

    schizoshrink: Thank you. I'm glad it was helpful.

    BeadedTail: Thank you.

  5. thank you!! Mine is always clogged. I should buy stock in Draino

  6. Thank you for this helpful info. Also, THANK YOU so much for NOT taking a picture of what you found in the drain or the trap! :-) (I know when I clean mine out I can barely do it without gagging...)

  7. Carole: You're welcome. I never even thought about taking a picture. This shows that my mind is slowly going. IT'S just as well, because like you said, it isn't a pretty sight:)

  8. Stiletto Sports Jen: You're welcome. I know what you mean, I get it unclogged and a few weeks later, it's slowing down again. I think it's because we use bar soap and not the liquid stuff.


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