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How to Get Jewelry Out of a Drain

It might feel like the end of the world when your earrings, necklace, or engagement ring have gone down the drain, but the reality is that it’s not that bad.

Better yet, you don’t even have to call a plumber to retrieve it.

Here are a few strategies on how to get your jewelry out of the drain.

How to Get Jewelry Out of the Sink Drain

Before you give up, try these strategies first to try to safely retrieve your lost jewelry that went down the bathroom sink drain.

Get a Four-Pronged Tool

If you’re looking to retrieve lost jewelry from the bathroom sink drain, one of the first things you can do is get a flashlight and check if you can see your jewelry in the drain. If you can see where the jewelry fell, all you need is something you can use to catch and retrieve it.

You have two choices: get a four-pronged pickup tool or unwound a metal coat hanger to make a long snake-like pickup tool with a hook at one end. Whatever option you choose, you can use either one to try grabbing the jewelry from the sink drain. But make sure to grab the jewelry slowly to avoid accidentally damaging it or dislodging the jewelry.

Use the Magnet Trick

Now, if you can’t locate your jewelry from up the sink drain, your next option is a simple magnet trick. Surely, gold and silver are not magnetic. But jewelry made of gold and silver often has a metal chain or clasp, so a magnet could work.

Get a strong magnet and a long piece of string or shoelace. Tie one end of the string to the magnet and start slowly and carefully lowering it down the sink drain. Then slowly pull the magnet back up when your metal jewelry is stuck to the magnet.

However, be careful when pulling the magnet back up the drain. If you do this carelessly and quickly, jewelry can fall off the magnet and go further down the sink drain.

Take Apart the P-Trap

Taking apart the P-Trap would be your last resort if the first two tactics didn’t work in retrieving your long-lost jewelry from the bathroom sink drain. Things can get a bit messy, so wear appropriate protective gear and clothing and make sure you’ve turned off the water.

  1. Place a bucket underneath the sink’s P-trap or that curved-looking pipe under the sink to minimize the mess.

  1. Loosen the slip nuts located on either side of the P-trap or the overflow/curved pipe.

  1. You can dump the overflow water into a bucket, and along with it, there should be your lost jewelry.

Reconnect the overflow pipe to the rest of the P-trap by screwing and tightening the nuts back into place after cleaning.

How to Get Jewelry Out of the Shower or Bathtub Drain

If your jewelry slips and falls down the sink drain, you can take apart the pipe and p-trap, but that’s not possible when the jewelry falls down the bathtub or shower drain  – you just can’t get to those pipes easily. So there’s only one place you can possibly access your lost jewelry – through the drain itself.

Here’s how to do that.

1. Turn Off the Water

As soon as you notice your jewelry has fallen down the shower or bathtub drain, make sure to turn the water right off. You don’t want the water flushing your jewelry further down the drain.

2. Unscrew the Strainer and Try to Spot the Jewelry

Next, remove whatever type of drain cover you have. It should be simple to take the drain cover off in most cases. But if you see any screws, remove them with a screwdriver before taking off the cover.

3. Use a Wire Hook

Find your jewelry using a flashlight. Use whatever retrieval tool you have available. You might use a plumber’s snake with prongs or hooks on the end or a wire hook made from an old coat hanger.

4. Get a Strong Magnet and a String

Now, if you can’t locate the jewelry from up the drain, use the magnet trick mentioned earlier.

5. Get a Vacuum

While you can’t take apart the pipes connected to your shower or bathtub drain, you can use a vacuum to retrieve your lost jewelry as the last resort.

Make sure that you’re using a wet/dry vacuum and set it for ‘wet’ use. Otherwise, you risk being electrocuted.

With your vacuum ready, aim it to the drain hole and suck up your ring into the vacuum.

Check the hose if your jewelry got stuck there. If not, it should be in the vacuum tank. Sifting through the debris inside the vacuum tank could be messy, but you will probably find your lost jewelry there.

6. Put the Drain Cover Back

Don’t forget to put the drain cover back in place.

What to Do After Getting Your Jewelry Out the Drain

Now that you got your jewelry out of the drain, you might be itching to wear it again. But considering what nasty stuff it has fallen into, be sure to clean and sanitize your jewelry before wearing it.

  1. Begin by soaking your jewelry in warm, soapy water. You can use liquid dish soap or any antibacterial soap for this.

  1. Leave your jewelry soaked in the water for at least 20 minutes.

  1. Now, take a soft-bristled brush and start cleaning the jewelry’s surface, making sure to include the hard-to-reach areas like behind the stones where dirt and grime could be trapped.

  1. You can also rinse your jewelry with isopropyl alcohol as a finishing step, unless your jewelry contains porous stones like opals, pearls, emeralds, and tourmaline as these can cause surface-level damages.

  1. If you’re unsure how to sanitize your jewelry after retrieving it from the drain, you can have it cleaned by a professional.

Important: If you’re cleaning your jewelry in the sink, make sure to plug or cover the drain. Ensure that the jewelry does not fall down the drain again if it slips out of your hands or you will have to start over.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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