Best way to clean a P-trap

In this blog post, you’ll read:Cleaning a P-trap is essential to prevent clogs and odors. To clean, turn off the water supply, remove the P-trap, and use a flexible brush and detergent to remove debris. Reassemble with new O-rings and check for leaks. Regular cleaning, every 1-3 months, ensures efficient drainage and prevents blockages. Follow these steps for a hassle-free, DIY solution

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Cleaning a P-trap is something everyone needs to do at some point. It is easy to clean a drain trap if you follow the proper steps—no need for assistance from a drainage supplier. Before the cleaning process can start, it’s important to understand the drain trap and why it is so important to clean it regularly.

Black pvc p trap
Black PVC P trap

Understanding a P-trap

With every sink or water drain you have, there will be some P-trap installed. It’s the part that is clogged the most frequently. This is something that anyone can clean if you have the right guide. Before you can learn more about the cleaning process, you need to understand more about the P-trap.

What is a P-trap

p trap components
p trap components

A drainage pipe supplier is selling different types of P-traps. P-traps are plumbing traps, also known as drain traps or sink traps. A P-trap is a U-shaped pipe under the sink. There is one in every plumbing system and under every sink. The main feature of the trap is to prevent fluid waste.

The U shape creates a gravity barrier that traps or stops undesirable odors and gasses from coming back up through the pipes. Another feature of the plumbing trap is that it keeps water in as a barrier between the sewerage pipes and your home. It is preventing the sewerage odor from reaching your home.

Components of a P-trap

Any plumbing trap, both old and new versions from drainage suppliers, has two basic components: the trap seal and the body. The trap seal is the bend in the U-pipe. It’s the most important part of the pipe and needs regular cleaning to prevent build-up in the trap. The body is the other part of the P-trap pipe. It is usually made from rubber or high-quality plastic.

Steps in cleaning a P-trap

These steps are easy to follow and will assist you in cleaning the P-traps without any problems.

Materials needed

It would be best if you had a couple of materials and tools to clean the plumbing traps. Even the P-traps of advantage drainage systems can be cleaned using these materials.

  • You want a bucket to place underneath the drain trap to collect any water and debris left at the bottom.
  • Pliers and an adjustable wrench. Turning the nuts at the pipe can’t be done by hand, especially if you haven’t cleaned the trap in a long time.
  • Flexible wire brush that will fit into the P-trap.

Turning off the water supply

The first thing that you should do is to turn off the main water supply. Accidents can always happen even if you aren’t working with the direct water pipes. Many will say that shutting down water is unnecessary, but this is the safest way to work. You can remove everything you store underneath the sink with the water supply shut.

This is important because you might damage the goods you store underneath with a water leak or incorrect removal.

removing the p trap dirty
removing the p trap dirty

Removing the P-trap

Before removing the bolts and the P-trap, you might want to put a bucket underneath the plumbing trap. When you remove the trap, it might cause spillage that can result in a huge mess.

Removing the trap starts with unscrewing all the bolts. Use pliers or the adjustable wrench for it. It is also called the slip joint nuts. There is one on each side of the J-section. It removes the trap and places it immediately in the bucket. This can be messy and smelly and needs to be prevented from spillage. Keep the O-rings on the pipes safely, and you will need it when replacing the trap again.

Clean it thoroughly

The worst part is to clean the P-trap correctly. You don’t want to clog things in the trap even further. Run water through the pipe to see what debris you can find. Use some detergent, a bottle brush, or a flexible wire brush to clean the whole U-bend. If you are unsure, you can ask the drainage pipe supplier for the right tools.

You are rinsing the brush and cleaning the U-bend again. You should repeat this process until the brush comes out of the bend clean. It is also advisable to rinse the bend regularly through water to ensure it’s completely clean. You can also clean the tailpiece coming from the sink and put it into the pipe and the wall to remove any debris that might be present.

install back of pvc trap
Install the back of pvc trap.

Putting everything back together

With everything cleaned, you start putting everything back together. Remember to add the O-rings again before fastening the P-trap to the other plumbing pipes. It is advisable to add new O-rings instead of using the old ones again. Use the pliers or adjustable wrench to fasten the bolts again. Make sure that it is tight and leak-proof.

It is important to ensure the trap fits perfectly into the other pipes before fastening it again. If the plumbing trap is old and outdated, consider buying new ones instead of reinstalling the old ones.

Testing to see if it is working and for leaks

Double-check that you have installed the P-trap correctly before reopening the main water supply. Test the pipe by running water through the pipes to see any leaks. With leaks, you need to switch off the water and inspect it to see the leak.

You don’t want leaks around the plumbing trap because it has a foul odor. If you are unsure about cleaning the trap and surrounding pipes, you can get more information by contacting a drainage supplier.

pvc p trap spare parts
pvc p trap spare parts

FAQ about cleaning P-traps

These are some FAQs you might have about the cleaning process of the P-trap.

Can you clean a P-trap without removing it?

There are no recommended ways to clean a plumbing or drain trap without removing it. You can add chemicals to the drain, but cleaning it with a flexible brush will not be as effective. Home remedies are not recommended to clean the U-bend.

How do you know that the P-trap is clogged?

The most common way to see the trap clogged is by the water backflowing into the sink. The first sign that there might be a blockage in the trap is when the water in your sink takes longer than normal to flow down the sink. There can also be a drainage smell in the kitchen or bathroom.

How often should you clean the P-trap

Depending on how frequently you use the sink and how many people live in the house. Usually, cleaning out the plumbing pipe every three months would be best. However, if there are many people in the household, cleaning the traps every month is recommended. It is not recommended to wait until you have a blockage to clean all the P-traps in your home.


With clogged plumbing traps, it isn’t necessary to go to the nearest drainage pipe supplier for new P-traps. A good cleanup is all that you need. Cleaning the pipes and traps isn’t as difficult as you might think. You need a bucket, pliers, and a flexible bottle brush. By cleaning the plumbing traps regularly, you will not struggle with clogged plumbing pipes again.

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