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Tired of Clogged Lab Sinks?

This did the trick for me!

Trying to keep the sinks at laboratory stations clean and unclogged is a never ending nightmare.  My students hear me say "Please throw your solid waste in the garbage and not in the sink" on every single lab day.  For the most part, my students are conscientious and do a great job in cleaning their work area at the end of the lab.  But there are always those who get in a hurry or get distracted and dump items in the sinks that belong in the trash.  Microscope cover slips are the worst!  Students rinse their slide, but forget about the cover slip.  Invariably, a collection of cover slips covers the drain, preventing water from draining.

The solution to this age old problem is simple and relatively inexpensive. This (seen in the picture above) is a roll of rubberized sink liner that I found at a store that sells restaurant supplies.  A friend told me about it.

I simply cut strips of this material to fit each and every sink in my lab.  Water can still pass down the drain, but all solid materials are "caught" by the sink liner.  At the end of the day, I lift the liner and shake the debris into the garbage can.  It works like a charm.

I just wish I had thought of this many years ago!!


  1. I have to get some of this stuff - I have 8 lab sinks, and one is missing the drain strainer. It has been clogged with pencils, paper, pig parts, and all kinds of nastiness.

  2. It is a great solution. Also, the liner is a soft rubberized material so that test tubes that roll into the sink rarely break. I love this stuff! Thanks for visiting Science Stuff?

  3. That's fantastic! It's really awful to have a clogged sink. Would that idea work on the kitchen too? it's very interesting because it saves you a lot from the hassles of unclogging.

    Carmella Vancil

  4. Yes, Carmella, it would work in your kitchen sink. I got this idea from a friend who owns a restaurant. They use it in all of their sinks to prevent clogging. At the end of the day, the just clean or replace the sink liner!

  5. This makes our lives a lot easier, because having have to dissect which part of the pipe is clogged is a very stressful job. Thanks for this wonderful idea, Amy!

    Darryl Iorio

  6. I call this genius invention a sink mat. ^_^ I have discovered it many moons ago, and I am glad you discovered it as well. It saves me from all the trouble of having to use snake drain cleaner every time, therefore, effective for preventing clogged drains.

    Althea Tumlin

  7. Thanks. I'm doing it!

  8. Do you know who sells this? I cannot manage to find it anywhere.