When a clogged kitchen sink won’t drain, it can feel hopeless. It could be tempting to pick up the phone and call the plumber to fix the issue for you when water is backing up and there are plenty of dirty dishes on the counter that need to be cleaned.
While you can certainly do that, a better option is to educate yourself on the best ways to unclog a kitchen sink. You can take on this do-it-yourself job at any time with a little perseverance and professional advice.
1. Verify the trash disposal.
Unclogging the garbage disposal should be one of your first priorities if your kitchen sink is clogged. Check to see if the clogged drain is cleared by running the disposal for one or two minutes while the hot water is running. If it doesn’t work, make sure the garbage disposal is off and give it a thorough inspection to make sure it’s operating properly.
The disposal might need to be restarted at the base if it overheated and shut off automatically. The base “on/off” switch for the disposal unit underneath the sink is often located on the side or bottom of the device.
Find out more about natural trash disposal deodorants and what to put in a garbage disposal to keep it smelling clean and fresh.
2. Pull the plunger out.
It’s time to get a standard household sink plunger if flushing the garbage disposal didn’t dislodge the clog in your kitchen sink. Get a kitchen sink plunger, which is smaller than the one you use for the toilet, from your neighborhood hardware shop.
If you have a double sink, first use a damp cloth or a stopper to block the drain on one side. Fill the side of the sink you want to plunge into with enough water to cover the bell of the plunger since you’ll need to make a tight seal around it. Firmly place the plunger over the drain and make numerous hard plunges. Remove the plunger and run a few minutes of warm water through the sink drain well after you hear the suction dislodge the clog.
3. Water on the Boil
If a plunger doesn’t work, the best course of action is to attempt boiling water because it is the simplest and least expensive kitchen sink drainer available. Here’s how to unclog your drain with hot water:
Bring water to a roaring boil in a kettle or saucepan on the stove.
Use a cup or small pot to empty out the water from the sink as much as you can while you’re waiting for the water to heat up.
The entire kettle of water should be poured into the sink, where it should sit for a few minutes. The clog is still present if the water in the sink doesn’t drain.
Give the water five minutes to cool before removing it. Do this by scooping up as much cooled water as you can with a mug or pot and discarding it in a different sink.
This method frequently works on many different types of blockages, though you might need to repeat the procedure several times to clear the obstruction.
4. Create a DIY drain cleaner with items from your pantry.
You can unclog your kitchen sink without always using harsh cleansers, did you know that? A natural drain cleaner can be waiting for you in the kitchen. Here are a few concepts:
Use boiled water and salt. Salt can occasionally unblock a drain. Pour around half a cup of table salt down the drain after getting rid of as much standing water from the sink as you can. Add about a quart of boiling water after that. After letting it sit for a while, clear the mixture with hot water by flushing it.
Try making your own vinegar and baking soda drain cleaning. Before attempting this procedure, empty the sink of any standing water. A cup of baking soda and an equal amount of white or apple cider vinegar should be poured down the drain. Soon the solution will begin to bubble; once it stops, insert the stopper and wait for about 15 minutes. Run some hot water after that to check whether the obstruction gets cleared. If the water is draining, but at a slower rate than usual, repeat the procedure once more to ensure the clog is completely removed.
Use salt and baking soda. Pour one cup of baking soda and one and a half cups of salt down the drain. After many hours, flush the mixture with boiling water. If this doesn’t remove the clog, try it again.
5. Hang up your coat.
If your kitchen sink is clogged, a wire coat hanger might be a very useful item. Even though it can’t reach as far into your kitchen sink plumbing as a plumber’s snake can, it might be long enough to clear some obstructions.
If you can reach the blockage, push it through the kitchen drain or “stub pipe” with the hanger wire that has been straightened or pull it out. Avoid using the wire to scratch your sink.
To aid in clearing the gunk, you might also want to make a purchase of a plastic drain clog remover tool. This gadget can be used to trap hard-to-remove food particles in your clogged kitchen sink in addition to removing hair from slow-draining sinks and showers. Just be careful to move carefully and slowly because the thin plastic can splinter and cause extra damage.
6. Use a snake from a plumber.
If the coat hanger didn’t work, get a plumber’s snake from the hardware store. A plumber’s snake, also known as an auger, is a useful device that can unclog obstructions lodged further down the drainage system under your kitchen sink.
To reveal the “stub pipe” or “stub out” that runs under the cabinet wall, you will need to unscrew the drainpipe and P-trap that are located beneath the kitchen sink. To unclog the pipe, enter the snake here and hold it there until you encounter resistance.
7. Make the P-trap clean.
Your kitchen sink’s P-trap is located at the curved portion of the pipes, typically inside a cabinet. It might be essential to clean the P-trap in your kitchen sink to unclog the obstruction.
To capture any water or debris that may spill out of the drain, first place a pan or bucket underneath it.
Then, remove anything that is stuck by unfastening the P-trap from the drainpipe.
Replace the P-trap and then run warm water through the pipes for a few minutes, making that all connections are snug.
8. Give attention to preventive.
Although sink drain clogs are common, there are several strategies to avoid them. Don’t overburden your kitchen garbage disposal if you have one. Items should be added a bit at a time, and you should wait until they have finished grinding before adding more. Use garbage disposal cleaning advice to keep the device in good operating order.
Never dump coffee grinds, oils, or bacon grease down the sink or through the garbage disposal. Additionally, make sure to flush the drain with lots of water after each usage.
To keep everything functioning properly, it’s critical to understand how to maintain and care for all of your home’s plumbing systems and components.