Removing a sink trap releases whatever is caught inside. If you know how to remove the sink trap you’ll be able to retrieve valuables that disappear down the drain. It’s happened to almost everyone:. The best rescue tactic is to remove the trap.

Don’t run any water through the drain — water may flush it farther away. Keep the bucket under the trap to catch what’s inside it when it’s removed from the drainpipe. Removing and cleaning the trap is easy, but wear rubber gloves and eye protection to shield yourself from sharp pieces of debris or drain cleaner (if you’ve used one recently).


Place a bucket under the trap (before taking it apart).

This way, you catch any debris or water that falls out when the trap is removed.


Unscrew the metal slip nuts a half turn or so, so that you can finish loosening them by hand.

To protect the chrome finish on the slip nuts, wrap tape around the jaws of your wrench or pliers. Plastic traps have slip nuts that you can usually turn by hand. Some traps have a clean-out plug instead of slip nuts. Simply remove the plug and allow the blockage to spill out.


Scrape out any blockage from the trap.

Be sure to knock the gunk into the bucket to make it easier to find your lost treasure — and to prevent the gunk from falling out into the bottom of your cabinet!


Tighten the slip nuts with your hands to ensure that they’re threaded on the trap correctly, and then tighten with a wrench or pliers.

Half a turn is usually all that’s necessary to stop the trap from leaking; don’t overtighten.