How To Remove A Sink Stopper?

Sink stoppers are usually designed to stop water from flowing down the drain. This is useful for many situations, such as when you are washing the dishes and require the water to be stopped into the sinks but…

That’s not where things end.

The same sink stopper can also sometimes make things go worse. Such as, the water might now start to be drained very slowly or not even drain at all.

In such conditions, you might think about how to remove the sink stopper and end up giving away all your money to the plumber but wait.

What if we provided you with a perfect guide that will assist you in removing a sink stopper without wasting any money? So, let’s waste no more time and get to this method of removing the sink stopper. But before we start explaining the process, first understand what a sink stopper really is.

What Is a Sink Stopper?

A sink stopper is a tool used to slow down water drainage. Well, it helps people use less amount of water and also complete tasks conveniently. Just like, if someone is washing the dishes, repeated water use might result in wastage. However, if you use a sink stopper, you can use one that stops water in the sink to wash more dishes.

This was the general idea of designing this stopper, but where did things go wrong?

If you aren’t maintaining things as they should be maintained, a sink stopper might stop functioning properly, and this water will not flow at all. Yes! This will result in the water drainage system being affected, the kitchen getting smelly from the dirty used water and a lot more.

Tools Required To Remove A Sink Stopper:

This usually depends on what type of sink stopper you plan to remove.

However, here is a general list of things that will be required to remove some sink stoppers.


Pliers are versatile tools that can grip and twist a sink stopper. They can be particularly helpful for removing stuck or hard-to-reach stoppers.


If your sink stopper is attached to a lever or knob, you may need a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the assembly in place.


Some sink stoppers may require the use of a wrench to remove the nut or bolt that holds the stopper in place.


A lubricant such as WD-40 or a silicone-based lubricant can help loosen a stuck sink stopper.

Plumber’s snake

If you’re having trouble removing a stopper because of a clog or blockage in the drain, a plumber’s snake may be necessary to clear the obstruction.

Bucket or basin

Having a bucket or basin on hand can help catch any water or debris from the sink drain during the removal process.

Gloves and Safety Glasses

It’s always a good idea to wear gloves and safety glasses when working with sink stoppers or other plumbing components to protect your hands and eyes.

Types Of Sink Stoppers

Here is a list of 3 commonly used sink stoppers.

Rubber Stopper:

One of the most commonly used and basic types of sink stoppers. These stoppers are usually used for normal household purposes. Made from flexible rubber, they can easily fit into different sink drain openings without any problems.

Furthermore, even if a beginner plans to place them, they can just place them over the drain opening and press it to create the seal. When you want to drain the sink, just remove it by pulling the stopper upwards, and it’s a job well done.

Pop Up Stopper

Pop-up stoppers are also no way behind, as you can find them in almost 8 out of 10 bathrooms these days. They are designed in a specialized way with a knob mounted on the sink. These stoppers also have a rubber seal that creates a tight seal when closed.

When you drain the sink, simply push down the lever or knob, and the water will start flowing away.

Twist And Lock Stopper

Finally, moving onto this final stopper, the twist and lock stoppers are designed in such a way that they can be screwed into the drain opening. Like rubber stoppers, they are also used in kitchen sinks. These stoppers have a knob on the top that can be twisted to lock the stopper in place.

If you are draining the sink, simply twist the knob in the opposite direction to release the stopper.

With that being said, let’s move on to how to remove a sink stopper without creating any further suspense.

How To Remove A Sink Stopper

Here are some easy steps to remove the following three common sink stoppers.

1.    Removing Rubber Sink Stopper

First, make sure the sink is dry. You don’t want any water to get into the drain while removing the stopper, as it can make the process more difficult.

Next, try pulling the stopper up by hand. Generally, rubber stoppers are very easy to remove as they just need a slight pull.

However, if the stopper is stuck or difficult to remove, you may need to use some tools.

If the stopper doesn’t come out by hand, try using pliers. Use a pair of pliers to grip the stopper firmly, and then pull up with a twisting motion. Be careful not to damage the stopper or the sink while doing this.

If it is still not getting out by using pliers, you may need to use a lubricant such as WD-40 or a silicone spray. Apply the lubricant to the stopper and let it sit for a few minutes to loosen up any debris or gunk that might be causing the stopper to stick.

Once you’ve applied the lubricant, try pulling up on the stopper again with your hands or pliers. If it still doesn’t budge, try gently twisting it back and forth to loosen it up.

Finally, this should help you remove the rubber stopper.

2.    Pop-Up Stopper:

Moving onto the pop-up stopper, which is mostly used in bathrooms.

Look for a lever or knob on the sink that operates the stopper. It’s usually located near the back of the sink, behind the faucet.

Lift the lever or knob in the upward direction to open the stopper. If the stopper is stuck, get some pliers, as mentioned earlier.

Once the stopper is open, look for a small metal clip or bar under the sink. This clip or bar connects the stopper to the sink’s drain.

Use a pair of pliers to remove the clip or bar. Be very careful and focused on holding to the stopper. Your little mistake may cause the stopper to fall into the drain.

Once the clip is removed, you can lift the stopper out of the sink.

3.    Twist and Lock Stopper:

Finally, moving on to the twist and lock stopper.

Look for the knob or lever on top of the stopper. This knob or lever is used to lock the stopper in place.

Turn the knob or lever counterclockwise to unlock the stopper.

Once the stopper is unlocked, lift it out of the drain. If the stopper is stuck, you know what to do( use pliers).

If you’re having trouble removing the stopper, look under the sink for the locking mechanism. It’s usually a small metal bar that connects the stopper to the sink’s drain.

Use a pair of pliers to remove the metal bar, and then lift the stopper out of the sink.

That’s it. You’ve now successfully learned how to remove these 3 main sink stoppers without contacting a plumber or wasting any money but wait…

There are other types of sink stoppers as well, such as Push/ Pull and Lift/turn stoppers as well.

How To Remove Push Pull Stopper

Push/pull sink stoppers are commonly found in older sinks, and they are operated by pushing down or pulling up on the stopper to open and close it. Planning to remove it?

Well, start by grabbing the stopper by the top and pull it straight up to remove it from the drain.

If the stopper is stuck, you can use pliers, although it won’t be easy this time. These stoppers are sensitive so be careful not to damage the stopper or the sink.

Once the stopper is out of the sink, you should be able to see the drain opening, and it’s a job well done.

How To Remove Lift/Turn Stopper:

Lift/turn sink stoppers are operated by lifting the stopper and then turning it to release it from the drain. Here’s how you can remove it:

Lift the stopper up as far as it will go. ( You can also try some pulling)

Look for a small knob or lever on the side of the stopper that connects it to the drain mechanism.

Turn the knob or lever counterclockwise to release the stopper from the drain.

Once the stopper is released, lift it out of the sink.

How To Remove A Stuck Sink Stopper:

If you have a stuck sink stopper that won’t come out, there are a few things you can try to loosen it up.

Suppose you can grip the stopper by elegantly twisting it back and forth while pulling up. This may help to loosen the stopper and allow you to remove it from the drain.

Apply some lubricant to the stopper and the drain opening. You can use a lubricant such as WD-40 or a silicone-based lubricant. Allow the lubricant to sit for a few minutes before attempting to remove the stopper.

Pour a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain. This will create a chemical reaction that may help to loosen any buildup or debris that is causing the stopper to stick.

Use a hair dryer or heat gun to apply heat to the stopper and the surrounding area. The heat may help to loosen the stopper and allow you to remove it.

If you’ve tried these methods and the stopper still won’t loosen, we would recommend you try contacting a professional because this is no more a do-at-home thing.

A professional plumber will have the tools and expertise to remove the stopper without causing damage to your sink or drain.

How To Clean And Reinstall Sink Stoppers:

Sink Stoppers are a convenient tool. Using them will help you overcome many tasks, and if you clean them regularly, there won’t be any significant reason to remove them.

Here is how you can maintain your sink Stoppers.

Remove the stopper:

Though it may sound like a joke, removing a sink stopper is important for maintaining it. Remove the sink stopper depending on its type by the steps mentioned above.

Clean the stopper:

Once you’ve removed the stopper, clean it with a mild detergent or soap and water. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away any buildup or debris that has accumulated on the stopper.

Clean the drain:

While you have the stopper removed, why not use this opportunity and clean the drain as well? Like it’s a win/win deal.

Use a drain cleaning solution or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to remove any clogs or buildup in the drain.

Reassemble the stopper

After cleaning, reassemble the stopper. Ensure all parts are tightened securely, and the stopper is properly seated in the drain.

Regular maintenance

To keep your sink stopper clean and functioning properly, it’s important to perform regular maintenance. You might have done this once, but repeating the process after some weeks is important. This can include removing hair or debris from the stopper and drain and using a drain cleaning solution regularly to prevent buildup.

Final Words

With that being said, let us move to some final words of wisdom;

No doubt, plumbers are the expert at dealing with sink Stoppers, but you should only consider contacting one when it’s the last chance. Always try to remove sink Stoppers on your own.

However, if the process seems too difficult or the stopper is stuck, you should consider contacting a professional.

We hope this article helped you when removing the sink stopper.

Thank You!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all sink stoppers share a similar method of installation?

A: No, not all sink stoppers are the same. There are several different types of sink stoppers, each with its own unique design and functionality.

If you are installing a new sink stopper, it is recommended to read the instructions mentioned on the box by the manufacturer.

How do I choose the right sink stopper for my sink?

A: To choose the right sink stopper for your sink, consider the size and design of your sink, as well as your personal preferences for functionality and aesthetics.

Rubber stoppers are a famous and simple choice because of their easy-to-install and remove process.

How do I clean a sink stopper?

A: To clean a sink stopper, remove it from the sink and clean it with mild detergent or soap and water. Use a soft brush or cloth to scrub away any buildup or debris that has accumulated on the stopper.

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