Toilet Plunger vs Sink Plunger (Updated March ’20)

toilet plunger vs sink plunger

Nothing annoys us more than clogged drains, be it a kitchen sink clog, toilet or bathtub clog. Welcome to the plumber’s helper, popularly known as the plunger. It is a cost effective tool and can be found in all homes. If you have a plunger in your bathroom and haven’t used it till date, then you are using it as a decoration piece. It is best to learn its function now as it comes in handy during emergencies. Learning how to clear a clog with a plunger is super easy. You could do it each time yourself and you do not even need to call in the plumber – which means that you would be saving on costs as well as time.


Most of us do not know that there are different kinds of plungers to get the job done in a correct way. This handy helper saves us a visit to the plumber and easily unclogs drains and sinks using a little suction force. The Same tool cannot be used to get all jobs done perfectly. Plungers are differently designed based on the need and place of action.


A basic shape difference can be used to decode the difference between a toilet and a sink plunger. Sink plungers have a cup-shaped rubber cup and toilet plungers have a bell shaped rubber cups. Sink plungers cannot be used in toilets as it does not form a tight seal in curved toilets to create a vacuum. Usually, in hardware stores, the bell is pushed inside which makes the toilet plunger look like sink plunger.

Most people are not aware of the bell-shaped plunger because of this reason. Any kind of plunger has a wooden stick and a rubber/plastic base. Rubber works best to create a strong suction pressure. So, what is the difference between a toilet plunger vs sink plunger?


When you find that your sink is draining the water slowly or nothing is passing through, it is an indication of clogged sink. On placing the plunger over the drain hole, fill the sink to cover the rubber part completely with water.

The base of rubber cup lies flat on the surface of the drain and creates vacuum pressure. With up and down strokes, a positive and negative pressure is created respectively which results in unclogging of the drain. Some sinks have a stopper or an additional basin to catch the debris. In such cases, it is ideal and logical to remove that before plunging.


A toilet plunger has a rubber cup like that of a sink plunger and additionally has a flange which gives the plunger its bell shape look. The flange is shaped in a way that it forms a fit into the offensive hole of the toilet.

Tilt the plunger a bit after inserting it and let the water enter. This creates suction. With quick and short strokes move the plunger up and down till clog is cleared. The flange should be devoid of air in order to create a strong suction.


Before you start off with a sink plunger, you would need to know more about the toilet plunger vs sink plunger. These plunging tips will help you to effectively remove clogs.

  • The plunger should always be in straight position.
  • The rubber cup has to be submerged in water completely.
  • Air should be cleared out by slow strokes in the flange.
  • The suction seal should not be broken during this process.
  • Some kitchens have double sinks, where unclogging one drain automatically clears the next one. Make sure to block the second sinkhole while working on the other.
  • Enclose the drain opening properly and pick a plunger of suitable size.
  • The flange and cup should be devoid of any tears and breaks.
  • It is best to close any other outlets present before plunging to create positive pressure for sinks or toilets.
  • Forceful thrusts for few seconds will be sufficient to break small clogs.

If plunging fails to remove the obstruction, do not use any chemical treatments on your own. It is best to call a professional plumber at this point. We hope you liked the toilet plunger vs sink plunger article and know when to go for each one from now on!

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