Clogged kitchen sinks with dirty water backed up are every home keeper’s nightmare. You’ve got the day’s dirty dishes to wash, but you’re helpless until the sink is unclogged. But don’t reach for the phone and start calling the plumber just yet. A lot of times, the cause for the clog could be something simple, and you might be able to fix the problem yourself. Learn how to unclog the kitchen sink using these DIY tips. 

We’re going to discuss how you can unclog a kitchen sink using everyday items, not necessarily industrial drain cleaners.

1. Use boiling water

Bring water to a rolling boil in a pot or a kettle. While the water boils, bail out as much standing water as possible from the sink using a mug or a small bucket. Pour in the entire pot of boiling water into the sink and let it sit for a couple of minutes. If the water is still standing as it begins to cool after a few minutes, it means the clog is persistent. Repeat the procedure of removing the stagnant water and pouring in building water a few more times. You ought to see positive results shortly.

2. Use salt and boiling water

If only building water doesn’t do the job, the net tip is to use salt and building water.

Begin by clearing as much standing water as you can using a mug or a cup. Next, pour around a half cup of table salt down the drain, followed by a quart of boiling water. Give it a few minutes to sit, and flush it with boiling water. You ought to see the clog clearing up.

3. Clear the garbage disposal

In the case of kitchen sinks with garbage disposals, the garbage disposal is often the culprit when it comes to clogged sinks. A clogged disposal can clog up the sink as well. The smart thing to do would be to run your disposal with the hot water running to clear up the disposal. 

If that doesn’t help, switch off the disposal and then check to make sure it is functioning properly. Garbage disposals tend to shut down automatically when they overheat. If that is the case, you will need to restart it from the base. The switch to turn it on and off is usually found on the side or at the bottom of the disposal unit under the sink.

Read more: How to replace a garbage disposal

4. Use baking soda and vinegar

Clear as much backed-up water as possible. Next, pour about a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a half cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar. The mixture ought to start bubbling. Once the bubbling subsides, plug in the stopper and let it sit for around 15 minutes. 

Run hot water after that time period to check if the clog is gone. If you see that the water isn’t draining out fast enough, you may need to repeat the process to completely clear your clogged drains.

5. Baking soda and salt work as well

Another homemade remedy that clears out sink clogs is the combination of baking soda and salt. Pour a mixture of a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of salt down your clogged drains and let it sit for a few hours. Run warm water down the drain, and the clog should have cleared. As always, repeat the process once more if necessary.

6. Go old school with the plunger

unclog kitchen sink

The hand plunger is one of the most old-school and effective ways to clear clogged drains. If you have a double sink, begin by plugging the other sink in with a stopper or a cloth.

Next, make sure you fill the sink that needs to be plunged with enough water to bell the plunger, creating a tight seal around it. Place your plunger over the drain and plunge until you hear it several times. Try not to spare the elbow grease on this one. The more energy you put in, the better the results.

Once you hear the satisfying sound of the clog being cleared by the suction, remove the plunger and let warm water run through the drain for a few minutes.

7. Use a coat hanger

While we’re using old-school solutions, here’s another one that never fails. Straighten out a wire coat hanger and push it down your kitchen drain, the same way you’d use a professional drain snake. You ought to be able to locate the blockage, and either push it down the drain or pull it out, unclogging the sink drain.

8. Check the P-trap

The p-trap is a curve in the drainpipe that is usually found in the cabinet underneath the kitchen sink. In some cases, cleaning the p-trap is the only way to clear a clogged sink.

Start by placing a bucket under the drain to catch any water and debris that may fall out when you open the trap up.

Unfasten the p-trap from the main drain pipe and clean out anything that may be stuck inside, obstructing the flow of water. Once you’re done, re-attach the p-trap and let warm water run through the pipes for a few minutes.

Regular maintenance

Avoiding clogs in the first place is better than having to deal with them later. Here are some handy tips to avoid drains from getting clogged.

  1. Never overload your garbage disposal. Always feed it slowly, and wait until things have been shredded before adding more.
  2. Never put coffee grounds, oils, or bacon grease down the kitchen drain.
  3. Always run plenty of water to flush the drain every time you use the kitchen sink.
  4. Keep your sink fresh-smelling by pouring equal parts of vinegar and baking soda down your drain every fortnight. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before flushing it with warm water. Lemon juice also works just as well.

While these DIY plumbing tips ought to hold you in good stead and help you clear clogs in your kitchen sink drain, if you see water still backing up and unhealthy odors increasing, the problem may be more serious than you anticipated. That is a sign that you ought to call in a professional plumber.

DIY tips: How to unclog kitchen sink was last modified: October 14th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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