The sink overflow’s main purpose is to draw air through the sink when it is full besides letting small amount of water through when the ink is full. Letting air through helps the sink to drain faster. If the sink does not have airflow, it is common to see the bubbles floating up the drain as it draws air. It is a good idea to keep checking the sink overflow from time to time to ensure that it is clean and allows for proper draining. The occasional water along with ambient dust can build up inside the overflow opening restricting the flow of air and water down the drain. Due to little access to overflow, it is tricky to keep it clean. However, a couple of tricks that can help you clean the overflow and keep the sink draining properly.
These are some options for cleaning the overflow.
Long zip-tie: These long plastic zip-ties work very well as they can be inserted in the overflow and easily bend around the corners. However, they are hard enough to dislodge any clogged material. After unclogging pull the zip tie back carefully ensuring that it does not drop inside and run the water to see if it is draining better.
A rubber hose to blow air through: Fill the sink up with water slightly higher than the overflow opening. Let some of the water run down the overflow. Put one end of the rubber hose against the overflow opening and blow several puffs of air through the other end. Drain the sink and blow air through the hose again. The air should blow through clearly without resistance. Repeat as needed.
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