Dentists recommend brushing your teeth 2 -3 times a day with quality toothpaste that helps remove plaque and tartar. However, a bright smile can lead to plumbing issues, such as a clogged bathroom drain in a PVC pipe. What do you do when you find out that your toothpaste is clogging up the sink?
In this PlumbingNav guide, we will cover:
- How does toothpaste clog up the sink?
- How to tell if your bathroom sink is blocked?
- How to clean your drains of toothpaste?
|What's In This Guide?|
How Does Toothpaste Clog Up The Sink?
Your toothpaste does more than clean your teeth, keep them free of gingivitis, and ensure that you have fresh breath. It could also create a sink clog. Unfortunately, this isn’t something you will notice until you realize that you have a slow drain. It might even stop draining completely.
The thing about your toothpaste is that if you use it properly and thoroughly, it pretty much melts in your mouth and comes out as a foam. Which is quite harmless to your sink.
However, there are incidences when you may be in a rush or your kids don’t know how to use the toothpaste carefully yet. In these scenarios, you will find that chunks of unused toothpaste find their way into your sink and down the drain.
When these chunks fail to wash away completely, they slowly solidify into a rock-hard residue that builds up within the pipes.
Slowly, these chunks get bigger and bigger and, with time, this gunk begins to clog up the drain.
How To Tell If Your Bathroom Sink Is Blocked
This question might sound strange to most, but the truth is most people only tell that their drainage is blocked once the bathroom sink gets completely backed up and can’t drain any water at all.
By this time, it’s probably too late, and the inconvenience will have been caused. Letting it get this far could lead to calling a professional plumber who comes with a bill in tow.
There are other ways to tell when there is a blockage problem in the works:
- Your sink doesn’t drain as quickly as it used to drain
- It makes a loud gurgling noise when draining
- You see some grime residue once the water has drained
- It doesn’t drain completely anymore
- There is a black sludge that creeps out of the drain
Any of these signs will tell you that you need to start showing your drain pipes some TLC, or they’ll block all the way through.
It’s natural to think that this might take a long time to occur, especially if you live alone and tend to be on the road a lot. The problem is that, when it comes to bathroom sinks, it’s not only toothpaste that you have to worry about.
There are other potential “blockage-causing” substances such as hair, shaving cream or lather, soap, shampoo, and even body lotion.
How To Clean Your Sink Drain Pipes Of Toothpaste
You can use several tips and tricks to make sure that your sink either doesn’t get blocked by the toothpaste you use, or even if it does get blocked, you can unclog the pipes and continue using your sink. Here are some tips you can try today:
Use Drain Clog Dissolvers or a Drain Cleaner
Granted, there is an ongoing heated debate about the efficacy of using chemical drain cleaners on your drain pipes; one camp says that these dissolvers do more harm than good, while the other camp believes that they are the simplest, most ideal way to get rid of a clogged drain.
The truth is that if you use a drain cleaner that is made out of harsh chemicals such as sodium hydroxide, there is a good chance that you are going to have to replace your drain pipes at some point since these chemicals eat through them. Which, most people would argue, is a much bigger evil than simply unclogging the pipes.
However, if you use drain clog dissolvers made out of safer chemicals, you could very well kill two birds with the same stone. Something like the “Green Gobbler Drain Clog Dissolver” saves you from the headache of using plungers and drain snakes by simply dissolving whatever clogs might be causing your drain pipes to be backed up. These could include soap scum, hair, toothpaste, grease, and other organic causes.
Use a Drain Snake
You could also make it a habit of using your drain snake every so often. While most people wait until their sink is completely clogged up before they whip out the old drain snake, you can choose to go in a more proactive direction.
Any time you find yourself carrying out general bathroom cleanliness, running that drain snake down your bathroom sink drain pipes isn’t such a bad idea. For the most part, you won’t find much debris down there, but you could very well get rid of whatever toothpaste residue that might be slowly building up.
Use Baking Soda and Vinegar
These two ingredients are one of the handiest DIY tools you have sitting around your house. This combination is a great mixture to include for almost any drain cleaning solution, but here’s how to use it for unclogging your drain:
Step 1: Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain first – this should help loosen up the toothpaste or anything else that’s clogging the drain.
Step 2: Take 1 cup of baking soda and then 2 cups of half vinegar and half water (1 cup of each), and pour it down.
Step 3: Cover the drain plug and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Step 4: Again, grab some boiling water and pour it down the drain. It might also be a good idea to let some hot water run down the clogged sink for a couple of minutes just to be safe.
Prevent Toothpaste Drain Clogs from Happening
Finally, one of the best things you can do is to try and prevent these clogs from occurring in the first place. No, that doesn’t mean that you should stop brushing your teeth or start brushing them outside like you are camping. It means that you can put measures in place to prevent lumps of your toothpaste from accidentally going down the drain.
One of the best ways to do this is to use something called a “Sink Strainer.” This device fits over your sink drain and catches everything that goes down the sink, preventing debris and other possible would-be sink clogging material from going further down the drain.
Since brushing your teeth is a daily occurrence, the best way to help keep your sink drains clog-free is to use both preventive and corrective measures. Of course, if all this fails, maybe the problem is far more advanced than you initially thought.
Sometimes, the best option is to call a professional plumber. Yes, it will cost you, but they do a thorough job, and give you tips on how to keep your drain pipe clean and free of debris.
FAQs On Toothpaste Clogging Sink
Can gel toothpaste lead to a clogged bathroom sink?
Yes. Gel and regular toothpaste, as well as the toothpaste cap, can create a clog in the bathroom sink, kitchen sink, or shower drain.
How do I stop toothpaste from causing a blocked drain?
Look into getting a drain stopper. You can also avoid using too much toothpaste, and not rinsing too much soap down the drain line.
What will dissolve toothpaste from a bathroom sink clog?
You can start by using a plunger, normally used for a toilet clog, to break up the toothpaste.
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