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How To Get Vomit Out Of A Bathroom Sink

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for made purchases.

Nobody likes to be sick. Whether you’ve caught a nasty bug or it’s a self-inflicted hangover, I think everybody can agree that it’s one of the very worst side effects of being ill.

One of the worst things about feeling sick is that it can strike at any time, and while the toilet may be your place of choice to vomit, you don’t always get to decide. 

Sometimes you just can’t hold it in, and then there you are, faced with a sink full of vomit and a whole lot of mess to try and clean. 

Now, this might be the last thing on your mind at the moment – after all, you’re sick.

However, it’s super important that you clean up after yourself because your sink can clog up. And I’m pretty sure vomit is fairly low on the list of things you want stuck in your sink drain pipe. 

So if you’ve been sick in your sink and don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll have your sink looking sparkly clean again in no time. 

To The Supply Cupboard 

Okay, so first things first, you need to grab all the supplies that you might need.

 I’d personally start with a pair of gloves because I know that I’d only be adding to the sink if any of it came into contact with my skin.

If you are also squeamish like me you might want a mask to block the smell.

You’ll also need some paper towels and some sort of bag – a trash bag or grocery bag will do the trick, but you’re going to want to make sure there are no holes in your bag or you’ll have leaking vomit. 

If your sink is badly clogged, you’re also going to want to grab your plunger. If you do not have one, you’re going to want to boil a pot of water. 

Getting Down To It

This won’t be the most glamorous job of the day, but it’s necessary to make sure that we clean this sink.

Using your gloves you’re going to need to scoop as much excess vomit as you can out of the sink and into your bag. I’d double bag, just to be safe. 

Paper towels can then wipe away anything left in the sink that you can’t scoop out.

The quicker we do this, the less likely you are to have sicky stains on the sink. It also means that you stop the bacteria from spreading. 

Once you’ve done this, tie up the bag and get rid. I’d throw it in your outdoor trash otherwise you’re going to have a not-so-nice odor around the home.

I know it can seem more of an appealing idea to wash those chunky bits down the sink rather than having to pick them up, but this is going to cause you problems down the line.

It slows down your drain and clogs up the pipes. 

If you’ve managed to make it to a kitchen sink and have a garbage disposal – you’re one of the lucky ones.

In this instance, you can just run the disposal and let it do the work for you without having to get involved with any of the grossness. 

Hopefully, this is where your journey ends. However, if you’re not as lucky and your drain is clogged or perhaps there is still a nasty smell or stain, then I’m afraid you’re not done just yet. 

You are in luck though, as I have plenty more tips and tricks up my sleeve. 

How To Unclog A Vomit-Filled Sink

When it comes to unclogging your sink, you’ve got a few different options. Which you pick will really depend on what you’ve got at your disposal.

We will go through these options now so that you can find the best pick for you. 

Boiling Water

This option everyone should have access to. Using boiling water is a great solution for draining clogs and you really only need the basics.

Literally, all you need to do is boil your water and then pour it down the clogged-up drain. 

Now, don’t go sparingly with the water. If you really want to wash out the build-up you’re going to need a lot of boiling water.

How To Get Vomit Out Of A Bathroom Sink (1)

You’re going to need to rinse and repeat a good few times with this method. 

Just keep in mind, that when I say boiling, I mean boiling.

Don’t be using water from the hot faucet because it’s not going to cut it and in fact, it’ll just cool down the boiling water and stop that from working too. 

And of course, it goes without saying that if you are unwell or hungover, and are handling boiling water please do so carefully.

The last thing you want is to be ill and scolded with boiling water. 

Baking Soda And White Vinegar

If your vomit is being a little stubborn and boiling water hasn’t done the trick, get searching for the baking soda and white vinegar buried at the back of your cupboards.

For this method, you simply want to pour a little baking soda down the drain and then wash this down the drain with about a cup of white vinegar. 

When the vinegar and baking soda react together, it will create a fizz which will loosen up the build-up.

Let it fizz like this for a little while (just a couple of minutes) and then rinse the drain out with hot water. You can use hot or boiling, but boiling water will work better. 

Similarly to the last method, you can repeat this process a few more times if it’s still being stubborn and it won’t damage your plumbing. 

Plunge Time

Now before I go into detail about this method, I just want to clear up some plunger-based confusion.

So believe it or not, you need different plungers for sinks and toilets. You should always use a cup plunger for sinks.

Toilet plungers are flange plungers – you don’t want to be using one of these.

However most basic plungers sold in stores will be a cup plunger, so it is likely that if you have one at home, it’s probably the right one for this instance. 

To get the best use out of your plunger, you need to make sure that you’re creating a vacuum seal.

You can do this really easily, just make sure that you cover the overflow drain so that air won’t escape this way.

Some duct tape should do the job fine, or even stuffing it with a damp rag. 

Then you’ll need to take out the drain stopper, the basket strainer, and any other devices that you may have purchased (and been sick on.)

Once that’s done add a little bit of water, you want the sink about 2-3 inches full to help the plunger set a good seal. 

Now you’re ready to plunge. Cover your drain with the cup plunger and press down once to make sure there is that firm seal we talked about.

If there is you can quicken up the pace, moving the handle up and down to force that clog out of the drain

Remember to ensure that the overflow drain stays covered. You might want to ask a willing volunteer to help you with that, just holding it in place. 

And then just with all the other methods, you can repeat this a couple more times, running water through the drain after each go. 

Try An Auger

If all else fails, fall to the auger. If you haven’t got one – you’re going to have to run to the store, or perhaps get someone to do that for you. 

How do you use one of these? Easily. Just remove the drain stopper and feed it down the drain until you get to that pesky clog.

Once you’ve hit it, extend it by about another foot. You can then tighten it to keep the length extended like this.

Next, you’re going to want to start turning the handle so that it rotates. While it rotates it should break up the clog in the drain.

If you need to go further down the drain then just extend the auger a little more. 

Top tip, if you’ve got bends in your pipe it can get a little trickier, rotating the hangle as you snake it down will make life a little easier. 

Once you’ve completely broken the clog apart, you can pull the snake out of the drain, clean it and rinse the drain with hot or boiling water. 

Avoid Chemical Drain Cleaners

So now you know what to do, let me just go over what you shouldn’t be doing. 

Please do not put chemical drain cleaners down your sink. Now, I know this may seem like a logical idea but it’s not the best.

They’re actually quite bad for your plumbing and can be quite dangerous to use, and then not only that but they are very rarely effective. 

Unbudging Smells And Stains

So you’ve got your drain flowing again fine, but that horrid vomit-stench just won’t go? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. 

How To Get Vomit Out Of A Bathroom Sink (2)

There are going to be two main reasons why this is happening. Either there’s still some vomit stuck in the drain, which if this is the case, you’re going to want to try and repeat a few of the techniques I’ve mentioned above. 

I’d recommend trying the baking soda and vinegar combination if you’ve got a stubborn smell as they are natural odor eliminators. 

If this isn’t the issue then the vomit has absorbed into the sink itself. So what can you do? That’s what I’m here for. 

  • Baking Soda + Lemon Juice – If you create a soda and lemon juice paste you can scrub the sink with it. Once you’ve done this soak the sink in water and vinegar for a while.
  • Enzyme Cleaner – an enzyme cleaner will break up the proteins from your vomit. If you don’t have this oxygen bleach such as OxiClean is a good substitute although it is not quite as effective.
  • Chlorine – Once you’ve tried all other options, there is always chlorine bleach. You want to be really careful with this though as it is a strong chemical. Make sure that you always rinse surfaces before and after using bleach. Never mix bleach with other chemicals as this is very dangerous.   

Final Thoughts

Being sick is a very common occurrence, if you do find yourself with your head over your sink do not panic. It’s not actually as hard to fix as you may think.

And although while hungover or under the weather, cleaning up sick is not on the top of your list, you do need to act fairly quickly to ensure that you aren’t left with a nice vomit-smell wafting its way all through your home. 

The quicker you start, the quicker it’s over, and the easier it is to clean.

Hopefully, the tips and tricks that I’ve spoken about will have you on your way to a clean, nice-smelling sink in no time. 

But just remember that if no home remedies do seem to work for you, there is also no shame in calling a plumber.

It may seem a little embarrassing, but I can trust you it’s nothing they don’t see every other day. 

I do hope it doesn’t come to that though, and that these quick fixes will have your sinks back to perfect condition in no time.

author avatar
Anthony Barnes
Anthony Barnes is the founder of Water Heater Hub and a second-generation plumber by profession. Before developing Water Heater Hub, Anthony Barnes was a full-time plumber, and he has undertaken a wide variety of projects over the decades. As a second-generation plumber, it was easy for Anthony to get used to the technicalities of all from a tender age


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