8 Ways to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain

In my experience, clearing a clogged kitchen sink drain is often a lot simpler than most people realize, and saving money by not contacting a plumber is always a plus. Even though you may have to put in some time and effort to address the issue yourself, it's typically worthwhile. By using a few very simple and uncomplicated procedures and instruments, the majority of blockages may be cleared. After clearing the clog in the sink, you should take steps to reduce the likelihood that it will happen again. For preventative tips, read the section at the conclusion of the article.

8 Ways to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain in 8 Steps

Clear the area of any water.

A waste disposal check (if you have one).

Use a plunger to clear the obstruction.

Spruce up the P-trap.

Utilize a plumber's snake (also sometimes called a "toilet jack" or an "electric eel").

Use vinegar with baking soda (the natural alternative to chemicals).

Make use of cleaning agents.

Call a plumber.

In my experience, a combination of more than one of these techniques may be necessary to unclog a kitchen sink drain.

Depending on the kind of obstruction, clearing a blocked drain might take anywhere from 10 minutes to more than an hour. If chemicals are being utilized, caution must be used since chemical splashes may burn skin or cause worse.

Except for hiring a plumber, most of my recommendations are affordable or free since they make use of items and equipment you should already have at home. I'll describe each approach in greater detail below.

1.Clean the clogged kitchen sink of any standing water.

When water enters the sink after the blockage has developed, standing water results. You should put on your rubber gloves before handling it since it is unhygienic.

How to unclog a kitchen sink that has standing water in it.

In order to have unobstructed access to the drain, remove the extra water using a jug, cup, or other container.

Then you should manually remove as much waste as you can from the drain and the area surrounding it.

Keep your hands and fingers away from trash disposal blades if one is present (see # 2 below).Sometimes just removing the trash is enough to solve the issue, but more often, further steps are required.

2. Inspect the trash can

You must inspect your kitchen sink's trash disposal for blockages if it has one. Food fragments may easily clog them up.

How to check for obstructions in a garbage disposal

Turn off the garbage disposal before attempting to identify the clog's cause. You should turn off the electricity before flushing anything down the drain.

Look down the drain with a flashlight to attempt to identify the nature of the blockage, including its location and its root cause. This will influence the methods and tools you use.

Food particles lodged between the blades are the most likely culprits; if it's anything heavier or more precious, like jewelry, you may want to consult a plumber. If it is food, try manually spinning the garbage disposal's blades to break up the particles.

An Allen key is used to operate the manual operator, which is often at the bottom of the garbage disposal. For complete instructions, see the disposal handbook.

To remove any stray food particles, use pliers. You'll need to use a plunger if the disposal is still blocked. The complete disposal unit could be taken out for examination. But first, be sure to crimp any connections to the dishwasher.

If the disposal unit proves out not to be the issue or if one is not installed, you will need to look into alternative options.

Utilize a plunger.

The traditional flat-bottom sink plunger, the accordion plunger, and the toilet plunger, which has an extra bell-end at the bottom, are the three different kinds of plungers. For this task, a plunger with a flat bottom is preferable.

How to Use a Plunger to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain

To help with suction, run a few inches of water into the sink. Then, start plunging.

If you have a garbage disposal, give it another try after that. Avoid overheating the garbage disposal as it may result in damage.

Fill the sink with water and run it. You're set if the drain works without a hitch.

If it doesn't, you'll need to dive once again or try another approach.

4. Make sure the P-trap is clean.

The elbow-shaped pipe beneath the sink is known as a P-trap. You may wish to disassemble it and clear away the debris that is clogging it up if it becomes blocked with food or grease.

How to Clean the P-Trap in the Kitchen Sink

Make sure you have a bucket below the P-trap to collect any backed-up water in your sink before you begin.

The connectors to the pipe and wall must then be unscrewed.

Check for debris in the P-trap after removing it.

If the obstruction is not in the P-trap, you should attempt to use a plumbing snake to clear the clog from the drain.

5. Use a plumber's snake, no. 

If cleaning and plunging the P-trap does not clear the blockage, you may need to use a plumber's snake.

This instrument consists of a coiling spiral serpent with a handle on one end that is generally 1/4 inch thick. The handle is turned when the coil has reached down the drain to loosen and draw up the obstruction. Some snakes are powered manually, but others use an electrical motor for added power.

If you don't have a snake, you can use a wire coat hanger.

A wire coat hanger may be used to fish out the blockage if you don't have a plumbing snake on hand. All you need for this simple, inexpensive solution is a wire coat hanger and a pair of pliers.

Straighten the hanger as much as you can by unwinding the wire that was wrapped around the hook's neck. To achieve this, you may need to use pliers.

At one end of the wire, make a tiny, one-inch-long hook with the pliers. Make sure it can pass through the drain by checking its narrowness.

In order to locate the obstruction, lower the wire's hooked end into the drain and gently wiggle it about. Avoid pressing down too forcefully, as this might push the obstruction farther down the pipe.

Pull the wire up and out of the drain if you detect anything at the wire's end. Try once again to see if anything more manifests itself, as you may not be able to clear the obstruction entirely at once. To make sure you have everything, turn on your hot water faucet.

If you use this method and still can't locate the obstruction, it's possible that it's further down the drain than the wire can access. Try one of the other strategies outlined in this article in this situation.

6. Combine vinegar and baking soda.

Chemical cleansers are omitted while using this technique. One cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar are all that are required.

Baking soda and vinegar are two methods you may use to unclog a kitchen sink drain.

Pour boiling water first down the sink's drain. Then, using a spatula if required, push the baking soda down the drain. Give it five to ten minutes to sit.

Pour vinegar down the drain next. By inserting the stopper into the sink, you may direct the vinegar toward the obstruction and prevent the mixture from rising again.

Finally, run hot water down the drain again.

Although this approach doesn't always succeed, it is still worth a try.

When it comes to clearing blockages, a mix of vinegar and baking soda might sometimes be effective. The vinegar is then added after the baking soda. The ensuing reaction should then be controlled by pushing the stopper in.

7. Should I Use Drano or Other Chemicals to Unclog My Kitchen Sink?

I would strongly advise against using a chemical cleaner if your sink has a trash disposer since it may damage the blades and spray back into your sink.

If you have a total blockage rather than simply an issue with delayed emptying, I would also NOT advise using a liquid chemical cleanup. There is always a danger that poisonous chemicals may back up in the sink along with still water and pose a possible health risk whenever you use chemicals.

The type of cleaner you should buy will be determined by the type of material you believe is causing the blockage.In general, clogs brought on by biological waste demand a more acidic cleaner, while blockages brought on by grease are best handled by alkaline cleaners.

Always carefully read the cleaner's label and follow all use directions. If handled improperly, chemical cleaners may be dangerous.

8. Make a plumber's call

Call a qualified plumber if the aforementioned solutions don't work or you think the issue is beyond your capabilities. When nothing appears to work and you don't want to start tinkering with the plumbing, this is the least expensive alternative, but it may save time and hassle.

If you're budget-conscious, try the other solutions first since a plumber may cost anywhere from $175 to $450, depending on how long it takes to remedy the problem. However, it can be the least problematic to just hire someone to solve the issue if you are not concerned about the expense.

The Most Common Signs of a Blocked Sink Drain

The first issue you'll probably encounter is poor drainage. If you open a faucet, water will take a while to drain. If this is not fixed, the water may ultimately start to back up and the drainage may potentially stop. So it's best if you can unclog your sink as soon as possible.

Standing water is unsanitary, disorganized, and may make it more challenging to identify the kind of obstruction.

What Leads to a Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain?

Food residue from dishwashing caused your blockage, most likely if your kitchen sink has a trash disposal.

Although theoretically all kinds of food might result in blockages, certain foods are far bigger offenders than others. It is far preferable to compost them, toss them away, or otherwise appropriately dispose of them rather than flushing them down the trash disposal.

The following foods may block kitchen sinks:

meat or grease that may coagulate and trap other things, like bacon fat.

If not properly drained, coffee grinds may condense into hard, compacted lumps.

foods high in starch, such as pasta, potatoes, and rice.

foods high in fiber, including several types of greens, maize husks, and celery.

bones from chicken and beef.

Mango, plum, peach, apricot, and banana peels and pits from these fruits.

Despite the fact that food is often to blame, a wide variety of other items, including napkins, paper towels, prescriptions, food wrappers, bottle caps, hair, and jewelry, may block your kitchen sink.

Will bleach clean the drain in the sink?

My recommendation is to NOT try to unclog the blockage using bleach.

First off, bleach is a very hazardous material that may react with other compounds within the pipes and lead to a variety of additional problems.

Second, although pouring a cup of bleach down the drain and then flushing it with hot water may disinfect an obstruction and lessen unpleasant odors, it won't do much to dissolve the oil, food particles, and other substances that often form blockages in a kitchen sink.

Can Coca-Cola Clear Blocked Drains?

Because Coca-Cola is caustic, you could theoretically unclog a blockage by pouring a bottle of this drink down the drain. This approach is praised by certain individuals.

However, in my experience, it hardly ever works to clear clogs; it is neither as efficient as baking soda and vinegar nor even close to as effective as professional cleaners.

How to Prevent the Kitchen Sink Drain from Clogging Since prevention is usually always preferable to treatment, it's critical that you treat your drain with respect. Make sure not to let any of the aforementioned foods go down your drain.

However, problems may and do arise, so you might also want to spend money on a decent sink strainer to prevent food particles from clogging the sink drain (see below for my recommendation).

Having certain fundamental tools on hand is also a good idea, including:

A flexible wrench

An impact wrench

Pliers

an Allen wrench

An inverter (a bell-less, flat cup-style generally works best for most kitchen drains.)

white vinegar and baking soda

As was already noted, having a plumbing snake or drain auger on hand may also be extremely helpful. It may be used to unclog shower drains in addition to sinks. It wouldn't hurt to have the name and contact information of your neighborhood plumber on hand in case none of these solutions work.

The silicone sink strainer from OXO Good Grips

Which Sink Strainer Is Best For Avoiding Clogs?

If you want me to single out one outstanding device that may lessen the quantity of clog-forming material that enters your drain, I'd recommend the Oxo Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer.

I like the following characteristics of this strainer:

It successfully completes its task by catching sink debris before it can reach the drain and cause a blockage.

It's really simple to clean. Due to the nature of its work, it gathers a lot of trash, but thanks to its design, you may reverse it while manually cleaning it to get rid of the trash. Additionally, you may put it in the dishwasher.

It fits snugly and strains without obstructing the passage of water down the drain.

In contrast to some strainers, it doesn't have a propensity to become soiled and has a nice look.

It has a fair price. I spent less than nine dollars to get mine online.

To the best of the author's knowledge, this article is accurate and truthful. Content is provided only for informative or entertaining reasons and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consulting with a lawyer or other qualified business, financial, legal, or technical expert.

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