How to Remove Bathroom Sink Stopper

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Are you sick of those horror-filled moments when you see the sink slowly filling up with water? It’s time to learn how to remove bathroom sink stopper. 

This guide is packed with tips and tricks on removing bathroom sink stoppers in both pop-up and ball-joint sinks. You’ll need a few tools and some elbow grease, but once you’re done, you can say goodbye to the water retention issues and hello to a better sink.

So, grab your tool belt, and let’s do this. Oh, and don’t forget, there are plenty of weed killers out there to get your garden looking great too.

What is a Bathroom Sink Stopper?

Do you know about the sink stopper at the bottom of your bathroom sink? It’s controlled by a lever or knob on the faucet and stops water from disappearing down the drain.

When the lever or knob is pushed or pulled, the stopper either rises or lowers to either allow water to flow down the drain or collect in the sink. An additional tip is that you can remove sink stoppers for cleaning or repair purposes.

Gathering the Necessary Tools

Here’s everything you need to remove a bathroom sink stopper like a pro:

CRAFTSMAN Adjustable Wrench, 6-Inch (CMMT81621)

Wrench (pliers or pipe wrench)

ForPro Disposable Nitrile Gloves, Chemical Resistant, Powder-Free, Latex-Free, Non-Sterile, Food Safe, 4 Mil, Black, Large, 100-Count


Rubbermaid Roughneck Square Bucket, 15-Quart, Blue, Sturdy Pail Bucket Organizer Household Cleaning Supplies Projects Mopping Storage Comfortable Durable Grip Pour Handle

Bucket (to hold water)

RECHOO High-Powered LED Flashlight S2000, Upgraded Powerful 2000 High Lumens Flashlights with 3 Modes, Zoomable, Water Resistant Flash Light for Camping, Outdoor, Emergency, Hiking


Klein Tools 32500 11-in-1 Screwdriver / Nut Driver Set, 8 Bits (Phillips, Slotted, Torx, Square), 3 Nut Driver Sizes, Cushion Grip Handle

Screwdriver (if screws are present)

Make sure to grab the right-sized wrench for the nut underneath, protect your paws with gloves from any sharp edges or chemicals, keep a bucket handy in case of spills, and switch on a flashlight if visibility is low.

Depending on the sink, screws may need to be removed with a screwdriver. So, score all the stuff ahead of time to make sure the sink says Sayonara with maximum ease.

How to Remove Bathroom Sink Stoppers

1. Accessing the Drainpipe

To remove a bathroom sink stopper, start by pulling it into the open position and then gently pulling it out. If it is stuck, try twisting it counterclockwise to release it from the pivot rod. Don’t use excessive force if it won’t come out, as this may damage the drainpipe and make the situation worse.

Some sink models might require you to unscrew a retaining nut beneath the sink before you are able to remove the stopper. If this is the case, use a wrench to find and unscrew the nut.

2. Loosening the Nut

To avoid damaging the sink and drainpipe, be gentle while loosening the retaining nut. If the nut is difficult to remove, use some penetrating oil and allow it to sit for a while before trying again. You can also use pliers or a wrench, but be careful not to use too much force and harm the nut or drainpipe.

3. Removing the Stopper

So once the nut is removed, wiggle the pivot rod until it pops out from the drain body. Then, the stopper can be lifted out from above the sink. But wait, don’t rush to clean the stopper just yet!

Take a peek to see if it needs any servicing. If it looks too worn out or damaged, you might have to replace the entire drain body and pop-up assembly.

4. Cleaning the Drainpipe

To keep your bathroom sink working at full tilt, you should clean it regularly. After removing the stopper, clear out any visible blockages with a plunger. Next, use pliers or tweezers to extract any debris while a cleaning solution breaks down the buildup.

Rinse with hot water and scrub the pipe with a brush. Ensure you wear gloves and protective eyewear while working with cleaning solutions. Do remember to stick to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Follow these measures for a clog-free bathroom.

5. Replacing the Stopper

When it comes to replacing a bathroom sink stopper, here’s what you need to remember:

  1. Check the size and type of the current stopper
  2. Find a replacement that matches these specs
  3. Take out the old stopper and ensure the area and drain are clean
  4. Fit the new stopper and ensure it’s properly in place
  5. Tighten screws or adjust the linkage as needed
  6. To ensure the stopper works, fill the sink with water and ensure it holds water

By following these simple steps, you’ll be able to change your bathroom sink stopper easily.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t my sink stopper come out?

It seems like there’s a problem with the sink stopper. But don’t worry, it’s a common issue that can be caused by the accumulation of grime or hair or being held in place by a screw. Before trying to remove it, try cleaning around the stopper. If there is a screw, simply use a screwdriver to loosen it.

What if the stopper won’t stay up?

If your sink stopper is not staying in place, it is possible that the linkage connecting it to the lift rod is broken or disconnected. Fixing it is simple, and you can either do it yourself or call a plumber for help if needed.

Can I remove the stopper without taking apart the drain?

Yes, you can indeed remove the drain stopper without disassembling it. Simply locate the small lever or knob on the back of the faucet where the lift rod is connected. After that, gently pull or push this lever to release the stopper.

How do I clean my sink stopper?

To clean your sink stopper effectively, remove it from the drain and rinse it using hot water. If there is any dirt or debris on it, you can use a toothbrush or a small brush to clean it. For tougher grime, immerse it in a mixture of hot water and vinegar and let it soak. This will leave your stopper looking shiny and brand new.

What if none of these solutions work?

If you’re struggling to remove your sink stopper, it’s best to contact a plumber. They have the necessary tools and knowledge to do the job efficiently. Trying to fix it yourself could be frustrating and not yield good results.


Great news! You can change your bathroom sink stopper like a pro without drowning in frustration. Just arm yourself with the right tools, follow safety precautions, and keep an eye out for wear and tear. With these tips, you’ll soon be a stopper-swapping superstar! All the best.

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