Two types of drain plungers are common for home use: the cup plunger, and the flange plunger (also called a toilet plunger). For working in sinks, showers, and tubs, use a cup plunger. Prepare for plunging, as appropriate: If you are working on a bathroom sink, seal the sink overflow outlet found at the top of the sink bowl, just under the rim. Cover the hole with a piece of duct tape or stuff it with a damp rag. If you are working on a bathtub, apply duct tape over the overflow opening at the front of the tub. If the clog is in a kitchen sink, lift out the removable basket strainer. If the clog is in a bathroom sink, remove the drain stopper. Try lifting it out or turning and lifting.
- Fill the sink bowl, tub, or shower pan with several inches of water. This will allow the cup of the plunger to form a tight seal.
- Place the cup plunger over the drain opening and make sure it has a good seal against the surface around the drain.
- Using quick, sharp plunges, pump up and down several times to attempt to clear the obstruction. You may need to hold your hand over the duct tape or wet rag sealing the overflow opening—the air pressure caused by the plunging motion may cause the tape to loosen.
- Let the faucet run for a minute or two after the drain is clear.
- Remove the overflow outlet seal and replace the drain stopper or sink basket.