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Respectful guest and a clogged sink

Last week I had a group of 20-somethings come to my 3 bedroom 3 bathroom and stay for a week. They informed me of the nature of their stay and said that 4 of them would be staying in the rental. I am not naive to the fact that they were going to be drinking and having a good time in and outside of the property. I let the guests know that many of the surrounding residents are older and won’t hesitate to call the police if there are any inappropriate disturbances. I wanted them to understand that they are welcome to have a good time as long as they comply with the rules I laid out for them and that the property must be respected.

Well, at the end of the week I was pleasantly surprised with the communication that the guests upheld and that the state of the house was quite acceptable. However, upon further inspection I found that the upstairs bathroom was clogged and had an acidic vomit-like aroma to it. After a few hours of trying to clean it my self before my cleaners arrived I decided to contact the guests and ask them straight forward if somebody puked in the sink. Again, I was surprised by their transparency and they owned up to the fact that there was vomit in the sink. I told them that I appreciate their honesty but unfortunately I will have to charge them for an additional cleaning fee. I hire my cleaners on TurnoverBnB and I was forced to assign an additional cleaner to the property due to the extra time the sink required.

As I mentioned, the sink was the only con to these guests staying on my property and still wrote them a great review. They have also told me to send them the estimate for a plumber or whatever charges I incurred for the sink. I am wondering if anyone has any advice for unclogging the sink without drain-o or a snake as I have already been unsuccessful with these methods. I don’t want to hire a plumber if it isn’t necessary but my cleaning team and I are currently stumped.

Thank you in advance!

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My advice would be to hire a plumber or handy person @SamWong


Okay, thank you for the advice!

If it’s newish PVC under the sink, just take out the p-trap and clean the mess. That’s probably where it’s stuck if you can smell it. That’s why I would try. OTOH, if they really are going to pay for the plumber, then I’d go that route.


yeah definitely can smell it, so I’ll try this before the plumber but maybe it is the better idea if expenses are covered. Thanks for replying!

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Over the years our soapstone kitchen sink was not draining well anymore. It was accumulation over time of fats/oils in the line from the sink to the vertical drain stack. We tried a LOT of stuff including salt, drain cleaner, etc.
What finally DID work was just very hot water, dawn dish soap and THIS plunger. The agitation this sucker creates, combined with the oil breakdown power of dawn with hot water released all the bad stuff and voila!

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I swear by Clorox bleach. Pour it in, let it sit for a few minutes then pour boiling hot water down the drain.

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It’s an easy fix.

Either take the waste off underneath, or get some caustic soda which dissolves most organic matter.


I have to get a plumber to one or the other of our apartments every month or so to unblock a bath.

They generally have about half Fort Lauderdale beach down there. Yes, there are showers on the beach and yes, guests should think about these things but for me, half the beach in the 70 year old plumbing is a regular thing.

With rentals, my opinion is that you can’t be too sure and it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’m pretty good at most household repairs (thanks to YouTube) but with plumbing, especially in an old building, I prefer to get the experts.


Easy job

Either use air pressure from a wet vac to clean the blockage. If that doesn’t work (and it will), manually clear the blockage by undoing and cleaning the trap.

When the blockage is clear, stick some bleach in the sink, then pour hot water down the drain. This will get rid of any lingering smells

I do a couple of things, dump baking soda then white vinegar down the drain, maybe a time or two, then pour some boiling water in. Try plunging. It probably won’t be that hard to get rid of.
Regarding bleach, never in my life do I use it for anything. Nasty chemical that then goes into waterways.


No advice here, but a funny story.

I worked in the maintenance dept at a university. There was an ancient maintenance guy on staff who was working out his last few months to retirement. I’ll call him Jim. All of us who took calls knew not to send Jim out on any calls, because he was no longer reliable.

A temp took calls one day, and Jim was the only guy in the shop. A student called because her bathtub in her university apartment wouldn’t drain.

The temp sent Jim with an inexperienced student assistant. Jim had an air gun for clearing drains. He instructed the student assistant in how to use it. Unfortunately, Jim told him to load (or charge or whatever) the air gun with far more power than it was supposed to use.

The student discharged the gun and the bathtub started draining instantly. So they both left.

A few hours later, the maintenance shop got a call from the apartment downstairs. The ceiling above their bathtub was soaked and dripping and falling apart.


Oh wow okay, thanks for the advice @Jefferson! plunger seems to be the key to this issue.

Sounds too good to be true, i’ll give it a try! thanks @Ritz3

@RebeccaF Jim sounds like a great character hahaha, thanks for sharing! The air gun is defiantly an interesting tool to use for clogged pipes but maybe with less power it could be pretty effective.

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Let me know if it worked for you.

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It was a surprise to us that this was really so important - but WITH a few gallons of very hot water and Dawn Blue dish soap.
The agitation of the plunger, over and over, really shook everything loose. No issues since, and now we are more careful about any oils with our drain.

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@Jefferson thats actually really good to know, I was worried that this will happen again after clogging so badly once.

So it’s been more than a day, what did you do?

I literally just unclogged it as you replied @KKC haha! We went with bleach and hot water with a plunger for a bit and then we tried the same method but with dish soap and some baking soda. The sink drain cleared up a little bit but wasn’t draining properly. I decided to get my hands dirty and take the bottom pipe apart and wash it out by hand. Admittedly, I had to watch a youtube video a couple times before I was successful but it worked! I’m now just sanitizing the whole area to get rid of the smell…it’s gross.

Thank you to everyone who helped me through this issue, I was really starting to think about calling a plumber. At the end of the day I knew I could get it unclogged with some of these recommendations and without charging the guests any extra cleaning fee (for the plumber). Thanks again, really appreciate the help from everyone.

I think i’ll make a note to younger groups in the future that the toilet should be utilized for any vomit lol.

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