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I want to clean inside the hole of the bathroom sink that is used to control overflow. I can stick my finger in there, and rub off a small circle's worth of stuff, but I'd like to clean it more than that. Any ideas?

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FYI, the vent is part of the drain lines inside the wall that runs up to your roof. Hopefully the edits help get some answers. –  BMitch Aug 25 '12 at 15:38
    
Ack, thanks @RoryAlsop. –  BMitch Aug 25 '12 at 15:39
    
No worries - I guessed you had just missed it while editing the other bits :-) –  Rory Alsop Aug 25 '12 at 15:42
    
Thanks for the edits. –  dangowans Aug 26 '12 at 1:17

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

First question: is the overflow blocked? If you fill up the sink and leave the water running, will it spill onto the floor?

If no, don't worry about it. There's may be some mold or soap scum in the drain. If that wigs you out, a bottle brush and some bleach should do the job.

Second question: is the drain blocked because your child pushed bits of toilet paper into it? If yes, then you'll have a solid mass of papier mache in the drain, and the only solution will be accessing it from the bottom (which means removing the tailpiece). My suggestion below won't help.

So, assuming that you have a "normal" clog in the drain, such as what might happen if you shave with a full basin and hair floats into the overflow, you can get a plastic mini-snake that is designed to pull hair out of a drain.

Here's one example that Home Depot sells: http://www.homedepot.com/buy/plumbing/drain-openers/brasscraft-zip-it-bath-and-sink-hair-snare-bc00400.html

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The overflow is not blocked. It's just a "wig out" from the previous owners. The bottle brush is a great tip. Thanks. –  dangowans Aug 26 '12 at 15:27

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