Unclog Sink Drains & Remove Odors


What on earth is the creepy black stuff that wants to come up out of the drain in our bathroom sinks?  It’s slimy and weird.   What can we do to get rid of it completely?

I have to warn you, this answer is going to gross you out.   If you’re reading this while eating your breakfast, you might want to come back later and finish reading it when you are done.

The nasty black gunk in your drain is made up of a combination of things, mostly decomposing hair, soap scum, toothpaste grit, shaving cream residue, skin cells, etc.  It’s a science experiment of mildew, bacteria and decomposing products that’s growing at a rapid pace due to the lukewarm water that you use to wash your hand, face, etc. {See why I told you to stop eating?!}

So what do you do about it?  Well there are a few things you can do to get rid of this gunk.  If you have a drain snake then get it out and snake the drain.  This is the simplest solution but not all of us own a drain snake.


Photo source

If you don’t own a drain snake then here’s what I recommend {and what I do}:

1. Put a pot of water on your oven and turn the oven on high to start boiling the water.
2. Meanwhile pour baking soda down the drain.  Baking soda has the ability to neutralize fatty acids so it will work and eating away the grime while you are waiting for the water to boil.
3. Once the water has reached a rolling boil remove it from the stove and pour it down the drain.
4. Let the water and baking soda work at decomposing and sterilizing the grime for 10 minutes.
5. After 10 minutes has expired pour 1 cup of bleach down the drain to completely kill any remaining mildew or bacteria.

Because we use our sinks multiple times on a daily basis I recommend repeating this process every few months.  Repeating this process on a regular basis will keep the “creepy black stuff” from accumulating and clogging your sink.  It will also keep the nasty mildew smell at bay.
Good luck and have fun conquering the “creep black stuff”!


About the Author

"Hi I'm Anna! Welcome to Ask Anna where I love to answer your household questions! I have always loved to clean, organize and decorate and this blog is a fun way for me to help you love it too! I am a busy mom of a beautiful little girl and I'm married to the love of my life. Together we fill our days with projects , laughter and love. I serve an incredible God and overall I'd say I'm truly blessed!"

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  1. Eeeewww! Thank you though, I have wondered in a weird way, what it is. We have those plugs which pop out, and they seem to get a coating of this, will be mixing a paste of baking soda to cover it with, thank you for sharing another great tip.

  2. awesome tip- I have a stinky sink and I think this is exactly what I need to do tonight. What a fun night I have planned :) I went ahead and pinned this to my pinterest board!

  3. Hey Anna, the baking soda is a great tip! However, if you have a septic system, pouring bleach down your drain is bad for it, it kills the bad bacteria, as well as the good. My hubby, the plumber, recommends purchasing bacteria, which can be bought at Lowe's or Home Depot, and putting this down your drain instead. It will replenish the good bacteria, which will help keep your drains from clogging. You should use it at least once a month.

  4. Gross!! Come stop by my blog and come find out the GROSS ingredient in your ice cream…you will be shocked! http://organicplanet.blogspot.com/

  5. How much baking soda do you use and do you pour the entire pot of water or juat a little nit at a time allowing bsoda to foam up?

  6. Wonderful tip! IT does get pretty gross in the drains! I'm going to do this when I clean my bathroom next!

  7. Yum Yum-haha. Makes perfect sense though, I suppose…just think what all we wash down that little opening! Now I feel justified in being grossed out if I accidentally drop my toothbrush and it touches the drain.

  8. Hi Anna! I was the office manager for a company that is the only state certified mold remediation instructor in Louisiana and Florida. My years there taught me that household bleach does NOT kill mold but clorox outdoor bleach does. You can check out their website Normi.org. There is a long technical reason, but the short version is mold is like a flower it opens and closes. There is a chemical that regular bleach has in it (and outdoor bleach doesn't) that causes the spore to close, protecting itself. Hope this helps!

  9. I have used baking soda and vinegar and that works too. Great blog!!

  10. How much baking soda do you use and do you pour the entire pot of water or juat a little nit at a time allowing bsoda to foam up?

  11. What about a kitchen sink? Is this still okay?

  12. wow – I've looked all over the web trying to find out what the gross black stuff is in on the stopper – it only happens in my kids bathroom, I guess they don't rinse the sink out as well as they should. I'll be trying this as soon as I get the bleach. Does the hot water produce a foaming affect with the baking soda?

  13. Could I use this down my shower drain too?

  14. Worked great; I was happy after pouring the hot water on the baking soda!