Your bathroom sink is used and abused on a daily basis. Each member of your family stands in front of that sink and do their morning routine, shaving, brushing their teeth, cutting hairs etc.

Bathroom sink
Bathroom sink

Black mold in sink drain

It is a fact that a lot of gunk and excess biological material go down the drain into your bathroom sink.

In case you are experiencing a severe odour in your bathroom even when everything looks clean, read my previous article “Sewer smell in your bathroom? Learn to get rid of it”.

Other than the bathroom sink drain, there is quite a bit of soap scum and limescale that get deposited in your sinks overflow hole. The overflow hole is the slit or hole that is usually located in between the drain and the faucet.

That is where water escapes through when you are filling up the sink with water, and instead of it overflowing from the basin, it passes through the overflow hole. This particular feature of the sink often gets overlooked.

Black gunk in sink faucets

A lot of soapy water, hairs, shaving cream, dirt has passed through that hole over the past months or years even. So you can imagine how much gunk has been accumulated in that overflow hole over time. Before you are done cleaning the sink, you would need to clean that overflow hole.

At times all the gunk that goes down the drain ends up causing water to slowly drain or worse the nasty stuff creates a clog in the pipes. There are several great methods on how to clean a bathroom sink drain, and I will be listing them all out for you here.

Of course, you can purchase chemical drain cleaners to dissolve any blockage in your pipes, but that may find its way out into the environment which cannot be a good thing. Manufactured chemical drain cleaners are an excellent last resort if nothing else will dissolve the gunk in your pipes. You can even call a local professional. If you live in Adelaide, then it’s best to contact an emergency plumber in Adelaide if DIY is not your thing.

There are natural ingredients that you can use to get rid of clogs, these elements are found in any well-stocked kitchen.

How to clean your bathroom sink drain?

The first thing we are going to do is clear any clogs in your bathroom sink. Prepare the tools listed below. You can use these same ingredients to clean your sink and make it sparkle as well

Prepare the needed tools for removing black gunk from the sink drain

  • Baking Soda
  • Vinegar
  • Drain stopper
  • Boiling water
  • Dishwashing liquid soap
  • Sponge

Removing gunk from sink drain by Boiling water and dishwashing liquid

Before reaching for the chemical drain cleaners, go ahead and heat up water until its boiling. Pour half a cup of liquid dishwashing soap down the drain, wait about ten minutes then follow it up by pouring the hot water down the drain.

Keep in mind that boiling water will damage PVC pipes which are rated to only handle water with temperatures of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Boiling water which is 212 degrees Fahrenheit will damage or outright destroy PVC pipes.

Boiling water is safe to pour down the drain if your plumbing is made of steel pipes. CPVC pipes which are a thermoplastic can handle boiling water as well.

If you are not sure what your pipes are made of, then you may need to investigate the matter before you proceed or if you’re not feeling up to it just use warm water to be safe. This is a list of all the different types of pipes that are used in the construction of homes.

This solution of dishwashing liquid and boiling water should dislodge any clogs made from grease or oils. If this did not do the trick, then please proceed to the next homemade solution.

Clean Black Gunk in Sink Drain Via Baking Soda and Vinegar

This is one of the most popular alternatives to chemical drain cleaners. If you recall your elementary school science experiment wherein you used the same ingredients, baking soda and vinegar to simulate a volcanic eruption.

Then that’s wonderful; you are going to recreate the same chemical reaction if your clogged pipes.First, pour about half a cup of baking soda down the drain, then follow it up with about a cup of white vinegar.

These are the very same ingredients you once used to make a paper mache volcano spew lava.

This chemical reaction is now happening inside your pipes which should help to push the blockage aside and down the waste water pipe.

Cover the drain with a drain stopper, rag or washcloth, something to keep the airtight seal on the drain, so the chemical reaction does not spill over the sink. Just Give the mixture about 15 minutes to work then pour hot or boiling water down the drain if you think your pipes can handle it.

Pouring the hot water should help dislodge the clog and flush all the loosened gunk down the wastewater pipes. This is one of the of the most popular methods on how to clean a bathroom sink drain

How to clean black gunk from bathroom sink

Now that your sink drain is free from any clogs, now you just need to clean the rest of the sink, meaning the basin, faucets and spout. The best homemade natural cleaner would be a combination of baking soda and vinegar.

Yes, the very same mixture you just used to clear your drains works wonderfully to clean your sink.You can certainly use Comet, soft scrub or any other store bought bathroom cleaner. Just make sure to read the directions carefully and check if it is compatible with the material your sink is finished in.

Clearing gunk from bathroom sink via sprinkled baking soda

Take a cup of baking soda and just sprinkle it throughout your sink, make sure to target the parts of your sink that have a lot of limescale and soap scum build up.

Put baking soda on the faucet, spout and around the drain as well.

Remove black gunk from sink drain via spray vinegar

If you have an empty spray bottle laying around, go ahead and use that to make things more convenient. Pour about a cup of white vinegar into the spray bottle and twist the cover closed.

Generously spray on the sink, particularly on top of the baking soda. As soon as you do that, you will notice the baking soda start to foam, wait about fifteen minutes for the mixture to work.

Remove black gunk from sink drain via elbow grease

Grab a sponge put it right on top of the mixture then start scrubbing, take this time to be thorough and clean every inch of your sink. Rinse the sponge when it gets too dirty. Make sure to rub the hard water stains on the faucet and spout.

Do not forget the scrub around the sink as well. When you’re done cleaning the whole sink, just rinse it with clean water and dry with a washcloth or paper towel.


It’s no wonder your sink tends to gather limescale, soap scum and gunk, that is the place where we shave, brush our teeth, cut hairs, and do most of our grooming.

So at times, we do have to deal with a slow draining sink, and of course, we have to keep it clean as well. Just follow the steps above to do all that, and you should not have a problem.

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Hi there! I’m Guy, the guy behind Guy About Home (that’s a lot of guy’s). I’m just your average guy (ok, I’ll stop) living in the USA who is really interested in making and doing.