Basin Waste

Your plumbing system could be damaged, or you could be installing a new sink in your kitchen or bathroom, and you might not have thought about it, but your sink plug can be an issue. If not fitted correctly or if it becomes damaged, it can cause water to leak into your home.

This blog post will provide you with some of the best options for sealing a sink plug hole which can prevent more problems down the line. The good news is that there are plenty of sink plug sealants on the market that works well to keep leaks at bay!

What is a Sink Plug Sealant?

Sink plug sealant is a substance that is made up of a variety of components that is used to create a waterproof barrier around your plug to ensure that all the waste goes down the plug hole and not any cracks or spaces that may be next to it.

This type of sealant will adhere to the inside and outside of the opening where you insert the plug, forming a barrier against leaks when in use.

What are the Main Types of Sink Plug Sealants?

The main types of sealants that you will find for your sink are silicone, putty, and rubber and all are relatively easy to use and can be done by anyone. Although if you are not sure how to do it right, call in someone who knows what they are doing.


Silicone is a flexible sealant that will be able to stretch around the plug opening and form an effective barrier. It can be used with all types of plugs, but it is best for high use areas such as kitchens or bathrooms.

One thing that you might need to consider when using silicone sealants is not to overdo it because there could be some difficulty in removing it if needed. Also, if it is too thick or applied improperly it could mean that you will have to clean up the mess.


Putty has a consistency similar to clay and many people think that this just acts as more of a temporary fix while you wait to have the job done properly. Used correctly though, putty such as plumber’s mait is certainly up to the task long-term.

Putty also makes a great sealant as it does not set or become hardened. If, for any reason you have to make some alterations or remove the waste, the putty can simply be removed and reapplied.


Many sink wastes come with a rubber gasket attached that will form a waterproof seal around the plug when fitted.

How Do You Choose the Right Sink Plug Sealant?

There are a few things to consider when choosing how to seal your plug. Things such as the age and condition of the sink, the material the sink is made from, and the shape of the plughole all play a role in deciding which product will get the finish that you are looking for.

Age & Condition of Your Sink

The age and condition of the sink are key factors to consider when selecting a sealant. If your plughole is already damaged, then you will need something that can fill in any gaps, so it will not leak water into your home.

If there is nothing wrong with your sink but want to prevent leaks from happening in the future, then silicone is a great go-to product as it will seal around the plug hole and be flexible enough to stretch with any movement.

If your sink is old or you have an antique one that has been passed down through generations, you may want to buy a waste that has a good quality rubber top seal and then back it up underneath with putty.

The Material of Your Sink

The material of your sink also influences the type of sealant that you will need. If it is made from cast iron or enamel, then putty might be a good option as it is able to fill in gaps and create a waterproof barrier around the plughole which will not break down when wet like silicone can do over time.

If you have a stainless-steel sink, then silicone will be the best option as it is less likely to stain and rubber sealants may not adhere if they are set in any grooves or cavities.

The Shape of Your Sink

If your plughole has an unusual shape such as square or unsymmetrical then again putty might be the way to go due to the flexible nature of the application.

The Best Sink Plug Sealant

The best sink plug sealant by a wide margin is Plumber’s Mait (Amazon link – Opens in a new tab).
There are some sealants that are better for certain types of sinks, but we find Plumber’s Mait offers the best coverage no matter what type it is.

Plumber’s Mait is a non-setting, non-cracking putty designed to provide permanent flexibility. It is ideal for bonding to copper, brass, steel, aluminium, fibreglass, and porcelain. Plumber’s mait can be used on sanitary joints and provides a watertight seal.

The other great reason for using this putty is that you are able to test it to ensure that it has worked immediately rather than waiting for many hours like with silicone.

How to Use Plumber’s Mait

Step One – Ensure the plughole is clean and dry.

Step Two – Grab a small amount of Plumber’s Mait, and roll it into a sausage shape with your hands approximately 1cm thick.

Step Three – Press the putty into place around the underside of the waste while ensuring that if there are any gaps or holes they are filled.

Step Four – Cover with a washer and tighten.

I have found a great video on YouTube right here if you need any help.


Although there are different materials that can be used to seal your sink plug, we feel that plumber’s mait putty is the best option for a clean, watertight finish.

Silicone is another option although this can be very messy and if you make a mistake or need to change something in the future, it is a real pain to get off again.

Plumbing Wizard Tips

“Ensure that when you press the plumber’s mait into place, you press it into the thread of the waste to ensure a watertight seal!”

“If your new waste doesn’t come with a washer, it is a good idea to buy one to complement the use of the plumber’s mait!”

“When you take off the trap, do not pour the dirty, stinking water back into the sink – yes, I have done that in the past!”

“Once you have begun tightening, you can remove any excess putty and put it right back in the tub for another time!”

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Plumbers Mait the same as plumbers putty?

Yes, plumber’s mait is a brand of plumber’s putty made by Evo-stick. It is primarily used in plumbing applications as a sealant.

Can you use plumber’s putty to stop a leak?

Plumbers putty is a sealant used to prevent a specific type of leak and is not a replacement for silicone in other areas such as between the sink and the wall.

Plumbers putty is specifically designed for high traffic, low-pressure joints such as around sink wastes (plugholes).

Does plumbers mait go off?

In a word no, plumber’s mait does not ‘go off’ as you may expect and it should stay pliable for many many years. If not used, plumber’s mait may dry out and crack – if this happens, the putty is unusable.

About Me

I’m Lee the Plumbing Wizard. I’ve been a plumber for over 40 years and have seen it all. People used to call me a magician because I could fix things so easily – hence the name Plumbing Wizard. I’m always happy to help out, so if you need any advice or just someone to talk about plumbing with, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

More You Might Like