This post will cover everything you need to know about how to clean overflow hole in the sink.

When maintaining your sink, you should pay close attention to the drain, tap, and sink top. Do what it takes to eliminate any accumulation in these areas.

The overflow hole in a sink is one of the most underappreciated parts of the fixture.

Likely, you’ve never given this particular function any thought or even entirely forgotten about it. However, the overflow hole serves as a drain when the washbasin is nearly complete. 

What Is The Overflow Hole In Your Sink?

An overflow hole is a little ditch that collects water that might otherwise overflow and swamp your space. When a leak or someone forgets to turn off the tap, the water is redirected elsewhere. 

This will stop water entering your kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Only 1 inch is allotted below where your vessel sink or bathtub will be mounted. 

Where Does The Overflow Hole Lead To?

The overflow hole takes water to a drain pipe running below the sink. This drain opening doesn’t have a stopper and can be utilized anytime. The water collected from the overflow hole leads through a hidden pipeline to the primary drainpipe. 

Do Sinks Need Overflow Holes?

Yes, overflow openings are a necessity for sinks. Overflow holes in the basin are common in restroom sinks and fittings. The overflow hole provides a dual purpose:

  • The hole directs water into the drain when the tap is left on without the drain stopper, preventing water from overflowing the washbasin.
  • The sink drains more quickly thanks to the overflow, which allows air to enter the system.

The Main Causes Of Dirt

There are many reasons your overflow hole could have a dirt deposit. Nevertheless, the most common include food particles, human hair, and soap scum. For example, accumulating food leftovers over time could clog the overflow opening, so you need to do thorough routine maintenance.

Other causes of dirt buildup include leaves, insects, and other debris you can bring in from outside. Keeping your sink clean and regularly cleaning the overflow hole can help reduce these issues and keep your sink looking its best.

Other probable causes of dirt buildup include insects, leaves, paper towels, sanitary products, and other hard-to-flush materials that can block the pipes. 

How To Clean Overflow Hole In Sink

Now that your sink overflow is unblocked let’s find out how to clean it and make it smell good again.

1. Clear All debris blocked in the Overflow Opening

You can start your overflow hole in the sink cleaning process with any thin yet flexible cleaning like a pipe cleaner or any other thing like a coat hanger. Use the available tool to clear debris and human hair from the hole. Take your time and ensure you are careful to avoid breaking the pipeline. 

How to Clean Overflow Hole In the Sink

Wipe the Overflow Hole with a microfiber cloth.

You can get the tart effect by using a moist microfiber cloth to wipe the interior of the small hole. Turn it while you continue to push it in the furthest it will go. You will likely discover that the sludge sitting on top of the drain is removed when you run the hot water.

Add in a Cleaning Solution

After that, you need to add some cleaning solution. This problem has more than one answer that we can choose from. You can make use of anything that is already at your disposal.

Many prefer washing soda crystals in combination with vinegar or hot water. However, you’ll need a good funnel as it may be challenging to get cleaning chemicals down the hole without one. 

Find one that can endure boiling water. You can then use deodorizing solution to clear off the stinky smell.

Dish soap method

Toss a substantial quantity of dish soap down the drain in the sink. Let it rest for at least an hour. Then, flush it with hot water.

Hot Water and Baking Soda method

Pour a mixture of one cup of baking soda and one cup of hot water into the drain. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes, then rinse it with hot water.

Hot Water and Washing Soda Crystals Method

Washing soda crystals work wonders as a grease remover and remove muck and grime. Drain the contents of a cup of soda and heat the water. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes and flush with hot water.

Vinegar method

You can also eliminate odors from your sink overflow using distilled white vinegar. Add the solution and wait up to 15 minutes before flushing with hot water.

Vinegar and Baking soda method

  1. Insert funnel.
  2. Fill with baking soda. Alternatively, applying washing soda crystals also work well.
  3. Pour vinegar into the funnel. Vinegar and baking soda fizz and dissolve overflow hole gunk.
  4. Wait 30 minutes.
  5. Run boiling water.
  6. Use a cleaning brush to clean the edges.

Enzyme cleaner method

You can also use enzyme drain cleaners to eliminate lingering odors in the sink’s overflow pipe.

Pour cleanser into the drain and wait up to 15 minutes, then flush with hot water.

You should use an enzyme cleanser, but if you don’t have any on hand, some diluted organic washing detergent or a diluted dishwasher tablet may also work.

Pour Down Hot Water 

Start by bringing your teapot or a jug of water to a boil in your microwave, then pour the hot liquid through the drain hole.

Clean Your Sink 

After cleaning the drain, you should clean the rest of the sink.

When you clean the drain, you could discover that unpleasant substances frequently splash into the sink. After placing a few drops of dish soap in the sink, clean it well with a fresh microfiber cloth and rinse it.

How Do You Clean Gunk Out Of Sink Stopper?

The smell in the bathroom sink could have been caused by hair, toothpaste, and other accumulated material in the drain. In addition to debris, the growth of mold and mildew in your gutter can cause it to get clogged or even stop draining altogether. 

Maintaining a regular cleaning schedule for your drain can prevent the accumulation of debris that can clog it. If you are ever confronted with a circumstance of this nature, you must know how to remove gunk from a bathroom sink.

Here is how you can go about cleaning gunk from your sink stopper. 

1. Detach your Sink Stopper

Start by removing the sink stopper. You can do this by holding and turning the stopper in the anticlockwise direction. 

How to Clean Overflow Hole In the Sink

2. Look for Any Debris on the Stopper 

Inspect the stopper thoroughly if you can spot debris or any other deposit like soap scum, leftovers, or human hair. You can use a toothbrush or toothbrush to scrub the debris or any other deposit. 

3. Submerge the Stopper into a Cleaning Solution

Soaking the stopper in an effective cleaning solution will remove all the gunk or buildup. You can use cleaning solutions like baking soda, vinegar, or any effective commercial cleaner. Leave the stopper for about 15 minutes, then scrub the remaining debris. 

4. Rinse 

After you are sure all the debris has been cleaned, rinse the stopper with clean water. This will sanitize all the areas and eliminate the chances of bacteria buildup

5. Reattach the Stopper

Reattach the stopper after ensuring that it’s clean and dry. Hold the stopper’s top and turn it clockwise until you’re confident it is tight enough. Once done, try out your sink to see any blocks or leaks in your drainage system. 

Your sink should now be in the best condition; no debris, gunks, or odors. 

How Do You Get Rid Of Mildew Smell In Overflow Drain?

  • Clear out the blocks: Start by clearing any clogs within the system. Do this using a drain snake or plunger
  • Pour heated water into the drain: This will remove debris within the drainage system.
  • Apply vinegar and baking soda: Pour about half a cup of vinegar and baking soda into the affected sections. This will cause an effervescent reaction which will eliminate clogs and other obstacles. Run heated water after a while. 
  • Apply disinfectants: organic and commercial disinfectants can sanitize sinks and eliminate mildew smell.  
  • Install a dehumidifier: setting up a dehumidifier lower the humidity and absorbs moisture, preventing the growth of molds. 
  • Clean the stopper; use Vineager or baking soda to eliminate the mold stench. 


Cleaning up sink overflows is a common household chore. The gushing water may become too much to handle and flood your floor if the hole is not opened.

Bathroom mold can also grow if the sink’s overflow isn’t cleaned regularly. The plunger won’t work in most sinks if the overflow gets clogged.

Using the right tools and techniques, you can prevent a sink overflow without damaging it.