If you see black slime coming up form your sink, it isn't a monster. Black sludge or slime is a common sink problem, which derives from hairs, soaps, and shaving creams, and dead skin cells adhering to pipes. It is possible to clean the slime yourself, however; simply pouring hot water alone won't do the trick Remove the slime by following these tips.
Prepare to Clean the Slime
To clean the slime, gather:
- Plastic work gloves
- Scrub brush
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Liquid detergent
- Large bucket
- Drain snake
Wear gloves to keep slime from sticking to your hands. Remove the stopper, and scrub it thoroughly outside, then reattach it.
Plunge or Snake the Hole
Try to plunge the hole first before using water. If that doesn't help, boil one-half gallon of water, and pour it down the drain to help loosen some slime. Run hot tap water down PVC pipes, because boiling water will damage them.
Baking soda is a non-abrasive substance that deodorizes the smell and dissolves the slime. Sprinkle some baking soda into the drain, and let it stand several minutes. Add one cup of white vinegar to create a chemical reaction, then cover the drain, and wait several minutes. You may need to wait fifteen to thirty minutes for bad clogs.
Plunge the hole several times. If the plunger doesn't work, try to run a drain snake down the drain. Crank the handle as far as it will go into the drain to break up the gunk.
Use commercial cleaners as a last resort. Commercial drain cleaners are made from gel or foam which contain enzymes to break up the debris. Since you won't be able to use the sink for awhile, try to pour it into the sink when you go to work or to bed, and instruct other members of the house not to run water in it.
Clean Pipes Under the Sink
If nothing else seems to work, you may need to detach the drain pipe under the sink. The drain pipe is commonly located directly under the basin. Slide a large bucket under the pipe to catch water, and use the wrench to detach the drain pipes fittings.
You will also need to remove the P-trap, which is commonly a curved-shape. Detach the lock nuts on each trap end with the wrench. Clean inside the pipe using a bottle brush and liquid detergent, and reconnect the parts. Pour baking soda or vinegar down the drain to disinfect the pipe.
To learn more, contact a company like All American Construction & Plumbing.