How to Clean a Drain Trap

The shape of your drain trap is the perfect shape for trapping hair, gum and other debris that ends up down the drain. Luckily, removing and cleaning your drain trap is a snap with our easy to follow steps.

Don't Disassemble Right Away

Before you pull off the trap try these steps first. Sometimes you can clear the clog without removing anything.
  • Boil water and pour it down your drain or run the water until it's as hot as possible. Sometimes it will clear the clog.
  • Use a plunger to try to force the clog out of the drain trap.
  • If these methods don't work then it time to start taking the drain trap off.

Disassembling and Cleaning your Drain Trap

    1. Find your drain trap - Your drain trap is the "J" shaped section of your drain pipe in the image.
    2. Use a bucket to catch water in the trap - There will be water left in the trap when you remove it so a bucket can avoid causing a mess
    3. Unscrew the slip joint nuts - Usually you can get the slip joint nuts off by hand, but if they're on too tight you can wrap a rag around the pipe so it won't get damaged and use channel locks to loosen the nuts.
    4. Remove the drain trap - Make sure that the bucket is in place or you'll end up with water spilled everywhere.
    5. Put the O-rings somewhere safe - Most of the time the O-rings underneath the slip joint nuts are tight enough to stay on the pipe, but if they slide off make sure to put them somewhere they won't get lost because your pipes will leak without them.
    6. Clean the drain trap - Bang the drain pipe against the side of your trashcan to get large debris out and then scrub the trap with a bottle brush to remove buildup on the walls of the pipe.
    7. Reassemble the trap -
    8. With everything clean you can reassemble the trap. Make sure to get the correct order if you had to remove your o-rings. The slip joint nut goes on first, then the o-rings slips onto the pipe underneath the slip joint, then the trap slips onto the pipe and the slip joint nut is tightened.
Make sure not to over tighten the slip joint nuts. They are easy to crack if they're put under too much pressure.Just like that your drain trap is as good as new. If you ever feel like a plumbing job is above your skill level make sure to call a Professional Plumber. The last thing you want is to have your plumbing damaged by improper repairs.
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