What Can Cause a Sink to Clog

sink clog

Thankfully, a clog sink is relatively easy to deal with, but the cause of it can be triggered by many things. To avoid a clog in the future, here’s a list of what probably caused it in the first place. 

The most common things to a clog a sink are hair, food, soap scum, or grease. 

What Clogs a Bathroom Sink

If your bathroom sink is draining slowly, or not draining at all, the culprit is likely hair. It’s the perfect material to clog drains: it clumps, is stringy, and easily sticks to surfaces. Pipe walls often catch hair clumps as they travel down the drain, so the hair sticks and gathers more and more hair as time goes on. This is also what causes your shower or bath to slowly drain. 

All hair clogs drains: from men’s hair, to women’s hair, from thin hair to thick, and even pat hair — it’s all a culprit. To reduce the number of clogs in the future, try to catch the hair before it goes down the drain using a drain straining device, or pick up the hair manually instead of flushing it away with water. 

Soap Scum

Soap scum can clog any sink, but is particularly common in the bathroom and laundry room. Soap scum occurs when chemicals in the soap react with calcium and magnesium ions in water. It looks like a filmy substance that clings to the bottom of the sink and the walls of pipes. Overtime, it can cause clogs and build ups. Like hair, it catches itself and other falling materials, creating a clog over time.

 Soap scum can create particularly frustrating clogs because it’s sticky. It’s not easy to clean away with a pipe snake or professional tool, or chemical to dissolve it. 

Having a water softener helps tremendously with reducing soap scum build up. The filter cleans out the calcium and magnesium ions, making it harder for the chemical reaction with the soap to occur. Heavier chunks of soap may also catch in the p-trap, so having a drain strainer will help with that too. 

What Clogs a Kitchen Sink?

The biggest thing that stops up a kitchen sink is food. It seems obvious, but certain foods aren’t meant to go down the drain, especially if it’s larger chunks. Any food that’s washed down the drain can get trapped in the P- or J-trap in the pipe system. Overtime, anything that’s caught in the pipes will catch other things, thus causing the build up to grow. 

To remove them you’ll need to use a drain cleaner or plumbing snake, or a drain friendly cleaner. 

To avoid getting food stuck in the drain, avoid putting it down there in the first place or installing a garbage disposal. 


Grease kills pipes and drains because it is notorious for causing clogs. Grease creates sticky sediment that acts as glue in your pipes. It catches and traps other things and they get stuck for a very long time. A garbage disposal can’t dissolve grease either, so there is little you can do without chemical cleaners, professional tools, or new pipes all together. 

To avoid these clogs, don’t pour grease, fat, or oils down the sink. They should always go in the garbage. If you do put fat down the drain, run the garbage disposal and use cold water to help chop the fat up and move it through your piping system. 

Damaged Pipes

All kinds of pipe damage can cause clogs. When pipes corrode, the rust built up on the inner pipe walls can constrict water flow. Dented pipes will constrict or completely block off water flow if they’re damaged significantly enough. Even pipe joints can wear out or come apart, which could cause pipes to sag and block water flow. If pipes aren’t securely fastened, they could shift over time until they become displaced or disconnected.

Pipe damage is difficult to avoid because all pipes get worn down over time. 

Need a Plumber? 

Some clogs are just too stubborn to get out on your own, or you may need new pipes. If that’s the case, call a reliable plumbing service. If you’re in Tucson, give Economy Plumbing Service a call. Their plumbers are experienced and can get into any space to repair your pipes or unclog a sink. 

Economy Plumbing Service trucks are fully stocked and ready to repair all kinds of plumbing leaks and issues. Water heaters, toilets, faucets, stems, or cartridges, and all makes and materials of piping and fittings.

They will always answer the phone to help. Contact them today

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