How to Get Items Dropped in a Sink

We’ve all dropped something down a drain before. We’ve handled plenty of instances in which a ring, silverware, skewers, or other items wound up down a drain. Fortunately, these items can usually be retrieved quite easily in a few simple steps.

Try the Easy Way First

The easiest way to attempt to get an item that’s dropped down a drain is to get a long pliers, reach in, and grab it.

Image of long pliers.
An example of long pliers that can get the job done.

Although this doesn’t work for all drains (it only works on drains with a removable basket strainer or stopper), we’ve seen it work plenty of times, and is definitely worth a shot.

Another simple thing to try is using a wire coat hanger to reach in and try to hook the lost item and pull it back.

Remove the P-Trap

If the basket strainer isn’t removable, the pipe is too long to reach and grab the item, or there isn’t a long tool available, you can remove the p-trap below the sink to get to items that have been dropped in.

Locate the p-trap below the sink. A p-trap is a section of pipe with a low dip in it.

In this image, the p-trap is the pipe in the lower left hand side, with a large dip in it.

On either end of the p-trap, there should be a nut (or plastic ring) that secures the p-trap in place. Put a large bowl or bucket underneath to catch water in the p-trap, and loosen the nuts to remove the p-trap.

P-Trap with item in it
Once the p-trap is removed, the item should be able to be retrieved.

To put the p-trap back on, just put it in place, and tighten the nuts back down.

If these methods didn’t work

If these steps didn’t work, you’ll want to get a plumbing company out to check if they’re able to get the items retrieved.

Decided that we’re the right fit for you?

Free Estimates

We offer free estimates to help you get a clear understanding of your plumbing project's scope and cost. Requesting an estimate is quick and easy—simply click the link below to take the first step toward quality plumbing solutions tailored to your needs.

24/7 Service

We're here to help you with plumbing emergencies anytime, day or night. Our expert plumbers are just a phone call away.

Posted on May 03, 2022