Some research says boiling water, other research and people I know warn against boiling water (too hot, bad for pipes or the glue or something). I am of the opinion to avoid boiling water. I also agree with people who say to avoid harsh chemicals (e.g. draino?) . What remains is a recommendation for copious amounts of baking soda and vinegar, not sure how effective this has been from past experience.

Altogether what is the correct way to maintain bathroom sink drains, keep them clean, avoid mold from soap/toothpaste. I know to avoid letting hair from shaving down them.

My current goal is to minimize mold build up.

  • must have is hair filter
    – asinine
    Jul 10, 2022 at 21:11
  • 3
    Mold should only be a concern if the drain is not used for weeks at a time. Could dump some bleach down the drain once in a while if concerned about mold.
    – crip659
    Jul 10, 2022 at 23:43
  • AFAIK, mold requires damp to grow, not thorough soaking wet. Are you currently having issues with mold in your drains? I don't think I've ever seen a drain (at least one used somewhat regularly) with mold growing in it.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 11, 2022 at 18:09
  • I do have some mold, and these drains were being used regularly but not being maintained/cleaned regularly enough. Jul 11, 2022 at 18:47
  • 1
    No need to concern yourself with hair from shaving unless you have a beard like a mullah. Long hair is what clogs drains. @JACK has it right - a cleaner with some bleach and a brush.
    – HoneyDo
    Apr 7 at 21:44

3 Answers 3


I'd stay away from boiling water since it can damage/warp some PVC fittings. A hair filter is good if there's a few long haired individuals running around. What I've used for years are tube brushes. They come in many diameters and have long handles so you can clean the drains down to and around the trap. This also cuts down on any odors coming up from the drain. Using a little bleach will kill any mold you're worried about. Once you finish cleaning the drain, the brush is easily cleaned with soap and water.

Picture from Justman Brush Co. which I am not affiliated with in any way.

enter image description here

  • 1
    It's quite doubtful that such a brush will make even the first turn in the trap, let alone both.
    – kreemoweet
    Apr 7 at 23:57

Outside of a hair screen, and every few years doing a quick swipe with a hair extraction widget, I have never had a need to maintain sinks.


By far the best method is to simply take the drain apart and thoroughly clean out the insides of the various pieces. If you have a drain construction that is not easily taken apart, then you have been done a serious disservice. Tubular drain parts are dirt cheap, and easily put together and taken apart with no special tools required. No amount of dumping various concoctions down the tubes will remove the thick, sticky layer of scum and hair that typically will eventually coat the pipes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.