How to remove a drain or sink stopper that is stuck in bathroom sink: 2 Easy Steps

If your sink has a drain stopper, you might be struggling to remove it from the sink. This is because the system to remove it might be hidden. Here are some tips on removing the drain stopper from your kitchen sink. Let’s explore how to remove a sink or drain stopper from a bathroom sink.


What is a drain stopper in a bathroom sink?

A drain stopper is a tube that is placed over the drain of a sink to prevent sewer gases from escaping into the air. It is usually made out of metal or rubber and it clamps onto the edge of the sink. It can also hold water in your sink, this can be handy if you want to wash something. In most sinks, there is an overflow drain that removes the water when the drain stopper is closed and the water reaches a certain level. This makes sure that your bathroom, toilet, or kitchen doesn’t get wet.

A drain stopper can be found in a kitchen, toilet, garage, or bathroom sink. Any sink can have one and it can be handy if you need standing water to clean something. It can be interesting to open and close the system from time to time as it has springs or other systems to move it. You can check the manual to see if you need to add some oil or other lubricant. Be careful that you don’t use things that can affect the quality of the water, especially if you have a sewage tank. 

Why does a drain or sink stopper gets stuck

A drain stopper can get stuck in a sink for a few different reasons. For instance, the stopper may not be fitting properly and is sticking to the bottom of the sink. Similarly, if there is too much build-up of dirt in the drain or around the stopper, it might get stuck.

Don’t flush cooking oils or sticky liquids. It is also possible that there is a problem with the system that controls the drain stopper. Hair is a common issue in bathroom sinks.

If you are experiencing this issue, we got you. We are going to discuss some ways to get it out of your sink.

It is often quite easy to remove the drain stopper. Remain calm and try to see how the system works. In most instances, the problem can be fixed quite easily. Let’s take a look at the best approaches below:

Remove bathroom sink stopper: How to

Remove the drain stopper from a porcelain bathroom sink

Example of a sink that has a drain stopper that is controlled on the faucet

If your sink is made out of porcelain and has a drain stopper, chances are that there are two metal rods that control the drain stopper (see image above). These rods are connected to each other. It is possible that this connection has broken down or has become loose. Give the control stick of the drain stopper a few nudges to be sure that it is stuck. If this is the case, you can get a screwdriver and remove the screw. Push the metal rods to see if you can get it to move. Often this solves the issue.

These two metal rods control the sink stopper. There is a piece that connects them both. You can remove this with a screwdriver.

You can give the drain stopper a nudge. If that didn’t work, you can try to use a plunger or hair removal tool if the sink stopper has a small opening.

While plumbers don’t recommend chemical cleaners such as Drano, you can often pour some down the overflow hole to open up the drain again. Be careful with this product though and make sure to read the instructions and wear protective equipment.

You can also try to use a strong magnet. This might be difficult if there is a vacuum under the drain stopper as this can be strong and might make it impossible to remove the drain stopper. Be careful with magnets as they can break your sink or get unstuck at any moment.

If that didn’t work, you might have to remove the piece in the following picture from your sink. This is an annoying repair as you have to remove the drain under the sink to get it fixed. Therefore you can try to add some lubricant first and see if this works. You can turn the piece where the sink and the rod connect. This will allow you to remove the rod and check what is going on.

If it doesn’t, we have to remove the drain. Grab a bucket and some towels.

There should be an s-trap or bottle trap under the sink. This trap should be connected to the rest of the drain with plastic or metal rings. The drain can often be removed by turning the plastic or metal rings. You can use an adjustable wrench for this.

Sometimes the PVC drain is glued together. It is possible that you have to cut the drain open or unglue the PVC by heating it up. Afterward, you can repair the PVC drain by gluing a new piece in place.

Once the drain stopper has been removed, you might have to add some plumber’s putty in the sink so that it doesn’t leak. Then you have to reattach the drain. Make sure that things don’t leak!

It is also possible that your sink has a push system. Simply push the sink stopper and it will pop up. If that doesn’t work, you can often turn it loose. Simply start turning on the stopper and it should come right off. 

Remove the drain stopper from a stone bathroom sink

A stone sink often has the same pop-up system with metal rods that we have discussed before. Simply push the rods to get it up and check if the connection is working well. 

Rubber drain stoppers have can be used as well. You can cut them into pieces or use a prying tool if they get stuck. These are a lot easier to remove than metal ones. Rubber is easier to deform than metal drains or sink stoppers.

Stone sinks can be quite expensive so you have to be careful when you work around them.

You should also make sure that the drain that is behind the wall doesn’t get damaged. It can be hard to reach this part if you break it. Don’t use excessive force when you are working on this!

Remove a stuck drain stopper from a metal bathroom sink

 If the stopper is made out of rubber, it often has a handle. You can simply pull this. You might need to use a prying tool or a screwdriver if you are having a hard time getting it out. If that doesn’t work, you can always cut it into pieces. 

If the stopper is made out of metal, it might be possible to open it by giving it a push in the middle. Turning it might work as well. If that doesn’t work, you might have to check under the sink to check the spring in the system. If there is a problem with it, you might have to use a prying tool. You can try to use a clog remover tool in the overflow hole and see if this can help you to remove some dirt from the sink.  Make sure that you don’t scratch the sink though!

If that doesn’t work, you might have to remove the drain. This is done by turning the plastic rings. Grab a bucket before you do this as it can leak some water. You should be able to access the drain stopper from the underside when you do this and give it a nudge. Reattaching the pipes is quite straightforward as well as you just have to turn the rings again. Don’t overtighten them though as they can break if you do so. Check to make sure that your sink doesn’t leak after this repair. 

To conclude, we can state that it is often quite straightforward to remove a stuck drain stopper. In most instances, you can get it out in a few minutes. In some situations, you have to open the sink to get it out. This can require more work as you have to remove the drain and reinstall it. This can be done by most people but you might have to call a plumber if you don’t want to do this.