Three Ways To Get Rid Of The Black Slime In Your Sink Drain

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Once you notice it, you can't unsee it. That black gooey substance spilling forth from your bathroom sink like something out of a horror movie. No, it's not the world's slowest moving blob that's invaded your plumbing pipes. It's just a mixture of substances that have gelled together into a disgusting clog. If you want to save your sink from that gunk monster, here are three ways you can do it.

What is that Stuff?

The creeping black slime in your sink is a mixture of dead skin cells, spit, toothpaste residue, hair, shaving cream, soap scum, bacteria, mildew, and essences of pretty much any and everything you have ever poured down the drain. Over time, the flow of warm water into the tight, dark space caused all these bits and pieces to amalgamate into the slimy biological film clinging to the walls of your pipes.

In addition to being smelly and unpleasant to look at, this goo is often the cause of slow drainage and can lead to respiratory and allergy issues if not eliminated as soon as possible.

Use Over-The-Counter Chemicals

One way to get rid of the gunk in your sink is to use an over-the-counter chemical dissolvent. The right type of product to get is one designed to treat slime buildup. These products typically contain enzymes and beneficial bacteria that eat away at the biological film. They are usually made of gel or foam to ensure the slime gets well coated and must sit for several hours. You won't be able to use the sink until the allotted time runs out, so you should administer the product before you go to bed or work, or during a time when you're less likely to use the sink.

Use a Natural Cleaner

If you'd rather not use a chemical agent or you're working on a tight budget, here is a natural alternative you can use to help get the gunk out of your sink.

  1. Put a gallon of water on the stove to boil.
  2. Pour half a cup of baking soda followed by half a cup of vinegar down the affected drain.
  3. Wait ten to fifteen minutes for the baking soda and vinegar to foam and begin acting on the slime. If the clog is particularly bad, you may want to wait a half an hour.
  4. Pour the hot water down the drain. If you have plastic pipes, use hot tap water instead. Pouring hot boiling water down plastic pipes will damage them.
  5. Wait another ten minutes and then pour a cup of bleach down the drain to kill bacteria and eliminate any bad smell. Let sit for about 10 minutes before using the sink.

Elbow Grease

If the problem is particularly bad or doesn't respond to either of the other two treatments, then you'll need to disassemble the pipes and clean them manually. To be honest, this will be gross. So you may want to avoid eating before tackling this job and wear gloves.

  1. Place a large bucket under the piping to catch the water while you work.
  2. Use your hands or a pipe wrench to remove the collars that connect the drainpipe (the vertical pipe directly under the sink bowl) and trap (the curved piece) together and remove the trap. Here's a how-to video for visual learners.
  3. Using a bottle brush, detergent and hot water, manually scrub inside the trap and the drain tailpiece until you've gotten rid of the slime.
  4. Rinse the trap in hot water.
  5. Reconnect the trap to the drainpipe, making sure the collars are secure to avoid any leakage.
  6. Pour a mixture of warm water and bleach down the drain to sanitize the pipes.

Making a habit of using one or more of these methods at least once per month can help keep your drain clear of the gunk. If you're still having problems with slow drainage after eliminating the black slime from your sink, have local plumbing contractors inspect your system for other things that may be causing the problem.

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23 April 2015

Exploring The Importance of Plumbing Pipes

Hi everyone, my name is Linda Strickerts. I am going to talk about plumbing pipes problems, repairs and upgrades on this site. Although the pipes hide beneath the floors and behind the walls, they are an integral part of the home. Without plumbing pipes, we would still be heading out to the outhouse to do our business. Washing clothes, dishes and ourselves would also not be possible without carrying buckets of water in and out of the home. I hope to explore the different ways plumbing pipes changed our lives for the better. I will talk about keeping the pipes in great shape as well. Thanks.