Toilet Plunger Vs Sink Plunger: A Detailed Comparison

Written by

Paulk Webb


Freddie J. Hagopian

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toilet plunger vs sink plunger

When clogs bother you, you turn to a plunger. This problem can happen to areas in your house with pipes like the bath, toilet, sink, etc. If you’re not particular about it, you may think that there’s a common plunger for all situations. But there are actually different types of plungers. Continue reading about toilet plunger vs sink plunger in this article.

A toilet plunger has a rubber cup to solve any jammed issues in your toilet. You can identify a sink plunger by its flat rubber end to match with the flat surface of sinks and bathtubs. So, can you use a sink plunger for the toilet? You’ll find the answer as you read the entire article about sink plunger vs toilet plunger, and you can learn why you need to have different plungers.

Know More About Toilet Plunger

A toilet plunger, also called a flange plunger, has a bell-shaped cup with a soft rubber flap. To be precise, it’s a fold-out flap that matches the toilet drain. This type of plunger is flexible and durable enough to get into any type of drain.

Types of Toilet Plungers

  • Beehive

This looks like a beehive with a wide midsection. It’s round and cylindrical and can work on both narrow and wide drains. An amazing example for this is the Korky Beehive Max Universal Fits All.

  • The traditional flange

With its cup shape and narrow, tiered flange, this traditional flange can seal the toilet’s bottom. But it requires more pressure compared to other toilet plungers. Check out the traditional flange of MR. SIGA, Clorox Toilet, and Mr. Clean.

This bowl-shaped plunger is collapsible and works with a massive push and pull force. It has a better water displacement than the traditional one. Additionally, it has the shortest handle among the three types of plungers for toilets.

Apart from knowing different toilet plungers, you should know that you’re going to get a good deal of bellow-style plungers from Professional Bellows, Master Plunger, JS Jackson, and Luigi’s Toilet.

Sink Plunger Info


A sink plunger somehow looks like a toilet plunger. To differentiate the two of them, it’s a flat bottom plunger with a flat rubber end that is compatible with the flat surface of the sink, bathtub, etc. Unlike toilet plungers, this has no flange. It applies suction to make seal on a flat surface. It’s flexible because it can work on different forms of sinks. You can get sink plungers like Liquid-Plumr and PHKOK Sink Plunger.

Since the shower drain and bathtub have flat surfaces like the sink, you can also use this type of plunger to unclog these sections. You can have one that serves as both a kitchen sink plunger and bathroom sink plunger. However, it’s not advisable to use it in the toilet. There are other reasons aside from it not being effective.

Guide on how to use a sink plunger

Resolving a clogged toilet is plain and simple to many but handling a sink plunger can be confusing to some. You may wonder why you can’t end the issue. When tending to blocked sinks, shower drains, and tubs, most individuals will use wire hangers. After taking out garbage and hair, the blockage still exists. This means you need to turn to the plunger.

  • When blocking overflow opening, it means that you’re also closing the airhole. This step ensures that there’s a complete seal on the plunger. You can find the opening below the faucet and it’s the hole near the tub rim and sink.
  • Put the plunger on the train and let the water run on it until fully covered.
  • Pump the plunger around ten times. The compressed air shoves the blockage downwards when you press it down. Pulling it up jerks the blockage up. Doing this back and forth releases the clog.
  • Ten thrusts will be enough. Check if the water can flow through the drain.
  • If it still doesn’t work, repeat the previous steps. When it’s successful, let hot water run to flush the entire blockage. You may need to do the pumping multiple times before it works. It takes patience.

Reasons Why It’s Necessary to Use Separate Plunger


You now have the answer to the question: ‘How does a plunger work?’ Also, you’re now familiar with the differences between the two plungers. It explains why it’s necessary to use the appropriate one in certain areas of your house.

Sink plungers can’t be an effective toilet plunger as they only touch the water without eliminating blockage. You can use a toilet plunge as the sink plunge by folding the flange upward and outward but it’s best to get the right type of plunger that can meet your needs.

It’s also crucial to have separate plungers because of hygiene concerns. For obvious reasons, you do not want water from the toilet to be anywhere near the water you use for your hands and face.

Comparison: Sink Plunger Vs Toilet Plunger

Here are some features that you have to look at: sink vs toilet plunger.

Features Toilet Plungers Sink Plungers
Usage Solution for clogged toilets; applicable for sinks and tub drains Clogged sinks, shower drains, and bathtub
Appearance Bell-shaped cup with a rubber flap Open cup
Functionality The cup folds out from the inside to bring out the suction No soft rubber and suction
Surface For non-flat or flat surfaces For flat surfaces
 Cost Costs more Affordable

Tips for Purchasing a Plunger

Whether purchasing a toilet or sink plunger, you have to choose one that has a metal or plastic handle. Wood is nice to the touch but it encourages the growth and accumulation of bacteria.

You should store plungers in plastic dip trays to prevent soiled water from dripping and keep your plunger dry.

Final Words

The comparison of toilet plunger vs sink plunger is not complicated. The toilet plunger has suction that can work on flat or non-flat surfaces. With an open cup, the sink plunger is designed for a flat surface. The bottom line is that both of them are tools for freeing blockage.

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