How to Get a Cap Out Of a Bathroom Sink Drain

How to get a cap out of a bathroom sink drain

In rare instances, the sink cap can become lodged within the bathroom sink drain. Typically, the sink cap rests fittingly atop the sink drain. Despite, it sometimes happens if the cap size is inexact or the edges have been damaged. Similarly, smaller items may effortlessly pass through the sink drain when there is no cap or strainer in their passage.

In such an event, often, an incident occurs, and it is natural to experience a sense of panic. However, we have formulated a comprehensive guide to assist in how to get a cap out of a bathroom sink drain and other small items.

By following this guide, you can safely remove caps, lids, and other things from your bathroom sink drain and thus relax, eliminating moments of unease or apprehension.

Without further word, let us proceed directly to the primary steps for removing a cap from the sink drain in your bathroom.

How to Get a Cap Out of a Bathroom Sink Drain (5 Effective Methods)

A sink cap or strainer is positioned over the drain to prevent smaller objects from entering the drain. Nevertheless, when one’s luck is not on their side, the cap may end up inside the sink drain. Besides, the sink drain typically contains a P-trap at a distance of several inches; the cap will not descend to the floor drain.

Instead, the cap will become trapped a few inches beneath the opening of the bathroom sink drain, causing slow water draining. In the worst-case scenario, the cap may obstruct the water flow entirely, leading to the drainpipe becoming wholly clogged.

Therefore, it is imperative to promptly remove the cap from the sink drain to avoid any inconvenience. But the question remains: how does one remove a cap from such a tiny drain hole?

Don’t worry; there are various methods available for removing the cap. Let us explore them.


1. Explore the Cap’s Position:

Regrettably, when the cap has fallen into the sink drain, observing its location is essential. Utilize a flashlight to obtain better visibility through the drain and locate the cap within the bathroom sink drain.

It would help if you also evaluated how deep the cap has gone into the sink drain. You can use tweezers to reach it if it is within a few inches of the sink drain.

You can grasp the cap with the tweezers and attempt to pull it out. This approach is ideal when the lid is easily accessible with the tweezers in the sink drain. If the cap is positioned between 3 to 5 inches inside the drain, you can easily retrieve it with the tweezers.

However, you must be careful not to drop the tweezers inside the sink drain while trying to grab the cap.

2. Try with a Plier Set:

In case the cap has fallen too far inside the sink drain, using tweezers may not be effective. You can use pliers set as an alternative in such a situation. Most households have a plier set readily available, making it a convenient tool to remove the cap from the sink drain.

Using a pliers set is an excellent alternative if the cap has gone too deep inside the bathroom sink drain and cannot be reached with tweezers. Pliers’ sets are typically available in most households, making it easy for you to use them to remove the cap from the sink drain.

They are also easier to hold and operate than tweezers, making working with and removing the stuck cap simpler. Both plier sets and tweezers work for metal and plastic caps, so the material of the cap should not be a concern.

However, be careful while holding the cap to prevent it from slipping deeper into the sink drain and causing a blockage. If the cap does get stuck at the mouth of the P-trap, the drain may become clogged, and you will have to disassemble the P-trap and drain to remove the cap.

3. Use a Shop Vacuum:

Do you have a shop vac at home? If yes, then it can be a helpful tool to remove the cap from the sink drain. First, correctly set up the shop vac and plug it into a dry electrical outlet. Since bathrooms are usually wet, ensuring everything is dry before using any electrical appliance is essential.

That’s correct! You don’t need to use high settings on the vacuum. Instead, use low or medium settings to avoid any damage to the pipes. Hold the vacuum hose securely over the sink drain to create a suction to pull the cap out.

Although the vacuumed technique works excellently, the shop vacuum might fail to remove the cap from the bathroom sink drain in rare cases. However, you can still try other methods to remove the cap, such as using a drain snake or disassembling the P-trap.

You can use another method to remove the cap from the sink drain if other methods have failed. This method involves using a drain snake, known as a plumbing auger.

4. Using a Drill Bit and Magnet to Remove the Cap:

If the cap or strainer of your bathroom sink is made of metal, you can attempt to remove it using a powerful magnet. This technique should work well if the metal cap is light enough for the magnet to lift. Even if the cap is made of plastic, you can still use a magnet to extract it with a clever trick.

To use a magnet. You have to remove a plastic cap from the bathroom sink drain. Therefore, you can attach a screw to the lid using a Phillips drill bit. It will enable you to lift the cap using a magnet. Alternatively, you can use a plier set or tweezers to remove the screw and cap from the sink drain.

5. Removing the Sink Drain to Retrieve the Cap

If all the previously mentioned methods fail to retrieve the cap from the sink drain, your last option is to remove the sink drain itself. It is the final step to extract anything that remains within the sink drain.

  • First, use an adjustable wrench or screwdriver to remove the coupling nut of the filter. Then, remove the screws that secure the strainer over the sink drain. You can use a screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws.
  • To remove the sink drain, if the strainer section has a locknut, you will need to use an adjustable wrench to loosen it. Once it’s facilitated, you can take down the strainer section of the bathroom sink drain.
  • After removing the sink drain from the sink, you can access the cap inside it. However, if the cap is still lodged too far down inside the drain, you may need to use the tweezers or pliers set to retrieve it.

Following these steps will help you remove the cap from the sink drain, even if it’s deep inside. However, trying other methods before resorting to this option is always recommended as it requires more time and effort.

Precaution You Need to Take

When removing a cap from a bathroom sink drain, you must take a few precautions. Have a look.

  • Wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges or debris in the sink drain.
  • Avoid using excessive force when removing the cap to prevent damaging the sink or plumbing.
  • Be careful when using tools like pliers or tweezers to avoid scratching or damaging the sink or drain.
  • Turn off the water supply and ensure the area around the sink is dry before removing the cap to prevent accidents.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any tools or equipment.
  • If you are unsure or uncomfortable with any step of the process, seek the help of a professional plumber.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you open a sink drain?

Answer: To remove the sink drain strainer, use an adjustable wrench to loosen the traditional locknut. Then, detach the tailpiece underneath the sink to quickly open the drain.

How do you unscrew a drain?

Answer: To unscrew a drain, use an adjustable wrench or pliers to turn the locknut counterclockwise. It will loosen the drain and allow you to remove it from the sink or bathtub.

How do you remove a sink cap?

Answer: To take off the sink cap, you have to start by unscrewing the pivot rod. The pivot rod arm is fastened to the drainpipe using a screw, so take a screwdriver and loosen the screw to detach the pivot arm. Once the pivot arm is removed, you can easily remove the sink cap.

How do you open a stuck pop cap?

Answer: To open a stuck push-down and turn cap, you can use rubber gloves or a rubber grip pad to get a better grip. Apply downward pressure and then turn it counterclockwise to unscrew it. You can also use pliers or a strap wrench if the cap is particularly stubborn.


We know seeing the bathroom sink cap fall into the drain can be frustrating and worrying. Fortunately, there are several ways to retrieve it. We have suggested using pliers set, tweezers, or a vacuum on the process of how to get a cap out of a bathroom sink drain.

Therebefore, depending on how far down the sink drain the cap has fallen, you may need to use one or more of the techniques we’ve suggested. So, if you see the strainer or cap disappear into the sink drain, don’t panic – there are ways to retrieve it.

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