The steps of this instructable show you how to remove biological mysteries from your sink's drainage without using caustic chemicals that cost money, are bad to breathe, less fun and whose success as an unclogging strategy has a lot of uncertainty.
My bathroom sink is simple enough that the pipes and pop-up assembly do not require any special tools to take apart and put together. The only tool I employed besides my hands was an old tooth brush.
This job takes me about 15 minutes; less time than it takes to go to the store and back to buy those old chemicals.
I read that you can keep pipes from bioaccumulating by putting down 1/2 cup baking soda, then 2 cups very hot white vinegar, wait 1 minute, bubble bubble, then follow with 2 cups very hot water.
Step 1: Prepare for cascading water and biofilms
Take all your cleaners, electronics, Make magazines and paper supplies out from under the sink.
Install nice large plastic tub. I prefer a tub to a bucket so I can get my hands in there and so I can see the wonderful microbial masses that come sliding out.
Step 2: Detach and clean U-bend pipe
Step 3: Remove and clean tail piece
Slide tailpiece pipe from sink drain pipe. Yours may need to be unscrewed.
See culprit biofilm on inside of the pipe.
Push microbial communities out, screaming and crying, with your toothbrush.
Step 4: Clean sink drain pipe
The horrors that come out! Kind of thrilling, isn't it?
Thank goodness there are no instructables for a kefir-kombucha-pipebiomass hybrid fermented health drink.
Step 5: The stopper
Step 6: Decouple stopper and lift rod
Unscrew the pivot nut that holds the horizontal (pivot) arm onto the popup assembly.
In my sink, the horizontal pivot arm can come out of that hole, is not attached. I just disengage the connection and rest the end in the hole for a bit. The pivot nut stays on the horizontal arm so you don't lose it.
I found tips and vocabulary from the Natural Handyman website on bathroom sinks.
Step 7: Clean stopper and drain
Then push your toothbrush down into the drain and force the refugee masses down into your tub.
Step 8: Reattach popup assembly
Hold up the stopper by a cm or so with one hand, while reaching under the sink with the other hand adjusting the horizontal rod to get that plastic shaft into the hole at the bottom of the stopper so they are connected.
Step 9: Test connection!
Step 10: Reconnect things
Natural handyman recommends to slather some plumbers grease on the ball. I don't.
Screw on the pivot nut locking the horizontal pivot arm in place. Not too tightly, and not too loosely. If the lift rod doesn't stay up, you might need to tighten the pivot nut a bit.
Slide the tailpipe back onto the drain pipe (mine fits without tightening).
Reconnect the u-pipe by tightening each end a little in turn.
Step 11: Test, compost, maintain
Look below, are there leaks? Tighten nuts as needed.
What to do with this big biological party in the tub?
Every 3-4 weeks you can put 1/2 cup baking soda followed by 2 cups hot vinegar, wait 1 minute, than add 2 cups super hot water to keep pipes colony-free.
Hydrogen ions from the vinegar react with the bicarbonate ions from the baking soda to form carbonic acid. The acid acts on the biofilm while decomposing into water and carbon dioxide! So simple and clean! See this instructable by
I don't bother with that, I just clean out the pipes about 3 times a year.