How to Remove Bathroom Sink Stopper?

How to Remove Bathroom Sink Stopper?

We all have experienced slow draining sinks at least once in our lives and that could be really annoying. Nobody likes to stand and watch until all the water has finally drained. Now, what causes a bathroom sink to drain slow? The slow draining sinks could be the result of either a clog somewhere down in the pipe or most commonly, there might be a mixture of hair, soap scum, and shaving creams collected in the sink stopper, causing the sink to drain slowly.

Even in the case of toilets, if the toilet rises, then drains slowly, that is also because of some blockage or clog somewhere inside the toilet or drainpipe.

To deal with a bathroom sink that drains slowly, all you need to know is how to remove the drain stopper from the bathroom sink. Once you know the technique, you may simply clear up any clogs or mixture of soap scum, hair, and other drained-out products. And trust us, it’s no big deal! This entire article is going to be on that.

In case you’re wondering “how to remove a delta bathroom sink stopper?”, here’s an answer. Firstly, the tools you’ll need are a screwdriver and pliers. You may also need a headlamp to get enough light to work in. Now, here are the steps to follow.

  1. Determine the location of the clevis. You’ll find a screw connecting it to the lift rod. Pull the clevis off the pivot rod by removing the screw with a screwdriver or pliers.
  2. The clevis will be secured in place by a spring clip. You’ll have to remove the clevis by squeezing the clip and sliding it off, releasing its hold on the rod.
  3. Once the clevis is removed, now remove the pivot rod. A retaining nut holds the tailpiece in place. So, to remove the pivot rod from the tailpiece, loosen the nut with pliers, then remove it.
  4. The stopper can now be removed from the drain and cleaned.

Types of Bathroom Sink Stoppers

Depending upon the type of sink, there could be different types of sink stoppers used in sinks. Before you begin to remove and clean up your bathroom sink stopper, it’s important to know what type of stopper is there in your sink. Each type of stopper will have a different technique for its removal and cleaning process. Also, do remember the steps you followed to remove the sink stopper so you may conveniently re-insert it in the same way.

Types of Bathroom Sink Stoppers

Here are the five basic types of Sink stoppers:

  1. Lift and Turn
  2. Push and Pull
  3. Toe Touch
  4. Pop-up
  5. Trip Lever

Lift and Turn

Lift and Turn stoppers are also known as Twist and Pull stoppers as they can be removed by both, screwing and twisting. Sink stoppers of this type can be recognized by the small knob located on the cap. Turning the knob either opens or closes the plug. Set screws are located beneath the cap of lift-and-turn plugs, which are used to secure them. The removal of these types of stoppers can be tricky because they might be difficult to unscrew.

Here’s how to remove life and turn stopper.

  1. Remove the stopper base knob first.
  2. Next, use your screwdriver to loosen the stopper by unscrewing the screw inside the knob.
  3. Once the stopper is loose, you can easily pull it out.

Push and Pull

When it comes to design, this stopper resembles the lift-and-turn version. However, to open it up, you pull it up and push it down when you intend to close it. Additionally, it also has a screw under the stopper’s cap, just like the lift-and-turn stopper. So, they’re pretty much alike but pull and push stoppers are a bit easier to remove and deal with.

Here is how you can remove such stoppers.

  1. Remove the knob from the stopper base while the stopper is open and then press the stopper down to reveal the post in the center.
  2. To loosen the slotted screw inside the center post, loosen it with pliers or a flathead screwdriver by turning it counterclockwise.
  3. Pull out the drain stopper and that is it.

Toe Touch

Toe Touch

Toe-taps, foot-activated stoppers, and foot-actuated stoppers are all the names for this bathroom sink stopper. In many ways, this plug works similarly to a push-and-pull or lift-and-turn plug, but with the exception of having a spring. In place of using your hands, you open and close it with your foot. It’s the same as lifting and turning it.

This is how you remove it.

  1. Open up the stopper before you start uninstalling it.
  2. You must remove the cap by turning it counterclockwise. A silver top with “push” written on it is attached to a center screw. With a flat-head screwdriver, remove the screw and loosen the stopper.
  3. Now, hand-twist the stopper in the counterclockwise direction.
  4. Finally, remove the stopper.


Pop-up bathroom sink stoppers features a lever and a spring on the overflow plate. Both functions open and close the stopper. Even though they are high quality, they are a bit tricky to remove and clean, and they are prone to collecting hair. To remove these stoppers, there isn’t one fixed way. You might need to try one or two different ways to know which one works for you.

Here’s what you may try.

  1. Squeeze the drain stopper on both sides. Raise the drain stopper up and it will pop out. You can also wiggle it back and forth while you pull if it doesn’t come out.
  2. Twist the cap counterclockwise to remove it. You will then need to unscrew the base underneath with a screwdriver. Remove the stopper by lifting the entire unit upwards.
  3. This particular method applies to pop-up stoppers with rocker arms. The lever on this stopper can be pulled up or down to close or open the drain respectively. Now, to remove the stopper, reach out under the sink and unscrew the pivot rod arm connected to the sink drain pipe. A wrench or pliers may be needed to help you remove the arm. Remove the round plug as well as the arm. Now pull the stopper out of the sink.

Trip Lever

There is a lever on the front of this type of bathroom sink stopper. A strainer is all that is visible; there is no pop-up stopper. The overflow pipe of a trip lever bathroom sink stopper includes a plunger that opens and closes the drainpipe by moving up and down respectively. It must be removed by separating the lever from the opening underneath the sink.

Here’s how you remove it.

  1. Pay attention to the round lever with two holes on both sides and the switch in the center. Both holes are screwed. Unscrew both one by one, using a flat-head screwdriver.
  2. Lift the top out of place. Then gently pull up the lever, arm, and cylinder base.

Tools Required to Remove a Bathroom Sink Stopper

Tools Required to Remove a Bathroom Sink Stopper

To remove a bathroom sink stopper, you’ll need some tools and a few other accessories such as a brush and bucket to get your job done. For different types of stoppers, and depending upon the removal technique you’re using, you might need different tools.

Here are some basic tools you’ll need to remove your sink stopper.

Wrench or Pliers – Using a wrench and pliers may be necessary for loosening the nut-based on how tightly it is fastened.

Flashlight – An ordinary hand-held flashlight may be useful since you might not be able to see what’s going on underneath the sink without one.

Brush – You might need a brush to clean the stopper.

Regular Detergent – When cleaning the stopper, you may need some regular bathroom cleaning detergent.

Vinegar – Cleaning the stopper with vinegar can be useful – although it isn’t essential if you don’t have any on hand.

Bucket – Buckets are regular containers. You can use them in the event the sink leaks when the nut is unscrewed.

Hair Clog Removal Tool – You can pull out any hair or gunk that is blocking the sink with a hair removal tool after the stopper is removed. For the purpose of pulling hair out of sinks, these cheap tools consist of a long plastic piece with hooks on the end.

Drain Cleaner Liquid – Drain cleaners are not to be necessarily used. However, because you’ve removed the stopper and cleaned up the inside of it, it’s a great idea to clean the entire drainpipe using a drain cleaner before you assemble everything back up.

How to Remove Drain Stoppers in Steps

How to Remove Drain Stoppers in Steps

Although it isn’t much big of a deal to remove the drain stoppers but still, you cannot just go and grab the sink stopper, remove it, clean it up and put it back in place. There are certain ways and techniques involved in dealing with the removal of different types of drain stoppers.

To get the job done in the best way possible, here are a few step-by-step ways and techniques we recommend removing drain stoppers and cleaning any clogs inside to get rid of slow draining sinks.

  • Try Removing by Hands
  • Remove Things Under the Sink
  • Look for Horizontal Plunger Rod
  • Find Attached Clip with Pivot Rod and Strap
  • Unscrew Nuts
  • Remove the Stopper

Try Removing by Hands

Starting from the simplest thing you can try, make a try to remove the stopper with your hands. Most of the common sink stoppers can easily be removed by simply lifting them up and then turning a bit. So, you might not need any tools to get the job done.

Remove Things Under the Sink

Remove Things Under the Sink

In case you’ve tried and couldn’t remove the stopper with your hands, reach out to underneath the sink in order to release the stopper. Make sure you put aside everything that was under the sink to provide yourself with the maximum workspace.

Look for Horizontal Plunger Rod

Grab a flashlight because you would definitely need one to look into things clearly under the sink. There exists a horizontal rod under the sink that you need to look for. This rod basically links the stopper to a strap in order to give easy access to the stopper. The strap is actually a metal strip with holes in it. Just dig your head down under the sink and you’ll be able to locate this plunger rod as well as the strap.

Find Attached Clip with Pivot Rod and Strap

Next, look for a small metal clip. This is the same clip that is usually found at the junction points of pipe connections. When you locate the clip, you’ll see that the rod and the strap both are fixed together with the support of this clip. Take off the clip to disconnect the rod and strap. Make sure you remove the clip from the rod after you have identified the hole that it is attached to. This way, you’ll know where to assemble it back.

TIP: Carefully keep the clip somewhere safe so that you’ll know where to find it when connecting it back.

Unscrew Nuts

Unscrew Nuts

Now that you have detached the rod from the strap, you need to remove the pivot nut it is attached to. Before you do so, you should place a bucket under the sink in order to catch any water that leaks out when this nut is loosed.

Then, with the help of your hands, loosen the nut while the bucket is in place. The pliers or wrench will be needed if it does not come loose.

Remove the Stopper

When you’re done with all these steps, the stopper could be easily pulled out. Stand up from under the sink, reach out into the sink and pull out the stopper. It might be dirty and disgusting so you may use a brush to clean it up. Also, it would be a great idea to use vinegar or some regular detergent to completely wash the stopper.

Now that you’ve successfully removed the stopper, you can continue with clearing up the clogs, hair, soap scum, or whatever has caused slow drainage in your sink. We recommend using a drain-leaning product at the end to ensure thorough cleaning of the sink pipes as well. When you’re done, put back and re-assemble everything in the same way you removed it.

How to Clean Drain Stopper Step by Step

How to Clean Drain Stopper Step by Step

Now that you’ve removed the stopper, the next step is to clean it up before you put it back again. Here are a few things you’ll need to continue with.

  • Remove Hair with Hair Removal Tool
  • Use a Drain Cleaning Product
  • Put Everything Back in Place
  • Fix Back the Sink Stopper

Remove Hair with Hair Removal Tool

The main reason that bathroom sinks have slow draining or get entirely blocked is due to the collection of hair beneath the sink stopper. So, when you’ve removed the stopper, your job is to now pull out and remove any hair using the hair removal tool. With the help of this plastic tool, you can easily reach out and pull out all the hair and gunk collected inside the sink.

Use a Drain Cleaning Product

After removing the gunk, thoroughly clean up the drainpipe using a good quality drain cleaning product. Pour some product into the drainpipe and let it work for around 10 minutes. Now pour some hot water down the drainpipe to ensure everything is cleared up.

TIP: Working process of different drain cleaners might be different. So, make sure you read the instructions on the product before using it.

Put Everything Back in Place

Now that the drain has been cleaned up, put everything back in place by following the same steps but in reverse sequence.

Fix Back the Sink Stopper

Place the stopper back in its hole. Reach down under the sink and tighten the pivot nuts back as they were before you disassembled things. Tighten them up back using pliers or wrenches. Connect back the clip joining the strap and plunger rod. Make sure everything is fixed back into place. Reach out into the sink and ensure that the stopped is fixed back.

A Few Tips and Tricks

A Few Tips and Tricks

What we think is, removing or re-installing the sink stopper isn’t a difficult task. But in some cases, it might be a little tricky to get the job done, depending upon the type of sink stopper your sink has and the technique you’re using. While doing a job related to fixtures, tips and tricks always make it convenient to get things done.

So, here are a few tips and tricks we would want our readers to know about. They are surely going to help you better with your task.

  • Try to find matching parts if needed to replace
  • Get a tray to keep parts safely
  • Always use rubber gloves
  • Take actions as soon as possible

Try to Find Matching Parts if Need to Replace

If any of the parts need to be replaced, make sure you look for the exact matching parts. You might need to make an effort to find them, but it’s best to find the exact matching parts, from the same brand. If possible, you may remove the damaged part and take it with you when purchasing a new one, so that you could easily find what you’re looking for.

Get a Tray to Keep Parts Safely

While doing the job, you’ll need to remove several parts which would need to be fixed back after you’ve resolved the issue. To make sure these tiny parts of fixtures do not get misplaced, we recommend having a try by your side and keeping them all in it until you would need them again.

Always Use Rubber Gloves

Always Use Rubber Gloves

Whenever doing some technical work, always wear rubber gloves. In the case of removing the sink stopper and cleaning it from inside to get rid of slow draining, it is most important to wear gloves. You’ll need to remove the gunk, clustered hair, and other dirty stuff which you wouldn’t want to do bare-handed. So, it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves.

Take Actions as Soon as Possible

When you notice your bathroom sink is draining slowly, try to take action as soon as possible to take control of excessive clogging. If you don’t get the issue resolved sooner, it would only get worse. So, get your sink stopper removed and drainpipes cleared as early as possible.


How to remove pop up stopper from bathroom sink?
To remove pop-up stoppers, reach down under the sink. You simply need to locate the pivot rod arm which would be connected to the drainpipe and unscrew it. Use a wrench or pliers to unscrew it and pull the pivot rod out. Now, reach out to the sink and pull the pop-up stopper out.
How to remove sink stopper that is stuck?
If the sink stopper is stuck and doesn’t come out easily, here’s what you need to do. Wear your rubber gloves first and then push the stopper as hard as you can and turn counterclockwise. It would turn loose and will come out.
How to remove sink stopper without pivot rod?
Reach out under the sink and remove the lift rod by simply unscrewing it with your hand and pulling it out. Then take your pliers and loosen the lock nut. This might be sometimes challenging, depending upon the amount of corrosion built up. After unscrewing, push up on the pop-up assembly, loosening everything up. Now, from inside of the sink, the stopper unscrews on its own. If it doesn’t just rotate it with your hand and you’re done!



If you ask us, removing the bathroom sink stopper is quite an easy job. You don’t need to call a plumber to get things straight for you. Just focus a bit, follow the steps and you can do it on your own!

We hope our article has been helpful for our readers.

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