Clogged kitchen sinks make for some of the worst nightmares for nearly every homeowner. When you’re washing dishes and the water doesn’t drain, you’ve got a plumbing problem in your hands.
What may initially seem like a small blockage caused by coffee grounds, food scraps, and soap scum can turn into a dreadful scenario in no time. So, taking quick action to unclog your kitchen sink is the need of the hour.
But the last thing we want is to search for an effective unclogging method when our sinks are filled with filthy water. Thus, it’s better to keep a few tricks and tips nearby to get the job done when the situation arises, and you need to fix your kitchen sink clogs.
We’ve compiled this short guide on the best DIY methods to help you clean a clogged sink.
Top 6 Ways to Unclog A Kitchen Sink
1. Pour Boiling Water
One of the most effective ways to clear your kitchen sink drain is by pouring boiling water. When grease, hair or soap debris gets stuck in the drain trap, pipe or the p trap, it needs to loosen the blockage for the sink to drain correctly.
It’s a relatively simple method that can be employed anytime. Boil about 2 litres of water in a kettle or other cookware with a narrow, elongated mouth. This will increase the force of the water flow. Once done, pour it from a height, focusing on the drain opening.
After 5 minutes, turn on the faucet to see if the water drains steadily. If the draining is slow or the water stands still, repeat the process several times, and you should be good to go.
A word of caution: don’t try this for PVC pipes as the boiling water can cause significant damage. Likewise, porcelain sinks may develop cracks from high temperatures.
2. The Baking Soda And Vinegar Mix
Stubborn clogs are less likely to subside with the boiling water technique. In that case, you can go a step ahead and opt for the soda-vinegar mix. These ingredients are found in almost every household and form a natural alternative to store-bought drain cleaners.
Before starting, keep one cup of baking soda and white vinegar handy.
The first step is to remove any standing water or debris from the sink drain. Make sure to get as much gunk as possible. Next, pour the cup of baking soda close to the drain opening. Use a spatula or spoon to push the powder down the drain if required.
Immediately after, pour the vinegar and cover the drain pipe with a stopper. Wait for 15 minutes. The vinegar and baking soda react to fizz, which dissolves the accumulation. Remove the seal and flush the mixture with hot water. Use boiling hot water to break intense clogs.
Knowing that this process takes time to show results may be helpful, so be patient. If you see any improvement, repeat the process twice a day for a few days. Alternatively, you can substitute the baking soda with a teaspoon of equal table salt.
3. Use Caustic Soda
Natural solutions like a natural drain cleaner require considerable time to show effects. Hence, strong chemical drain cleaners like caustic soda can come to your aid for faster results. Also known as Sodium Hydroxide, it’s available in a hardware store near you.
Fill a bucket with approximately 3 litres of cold water and add 3 cups of caustic soda. Using a wooden spatula or spoon, gently stir for a few minutes, heating the solution. Pour it down the clogged drain, wait for 30 minutes and flush with boiling water.
Caustic soda is known for breaking the most intense clogs in one go. However, it can cause severe burns on your hands. So, use rubber gloves and adequate eye protection gear before using this method. Don’t let the chemical come in contact with your skin.
4. Plunge The Blockage
Using a toilet plunger requires more physical effort than the methods mentioned earlier but is quite effective. While you may bring out your bathroom plunger, we suggest utilizing a flat-bottomed plunger to avoid creating a mess.
Firstly, seal the drain opening and fill the sink with hot water until it’s filled halfway. Ensure that the water doesn’t seep into the drain. If you have a double sink, block the unclogged side with the stopper or a wet rag. Now, place the plunger over the opening and begin plunging fast sharp movements.
When done enough, remove the seal to see if the water drains freely. If it works, pour more hot water to clean the sink and pipe.
5. Check The Garbage Disposal
If your sink has a clogged garbage disposal, it may lead to a choked pipe. Usually, you can break the clogs in the garbage disposal by turning them on. However, dysfunctional or overheated devices may need you to reset the disposal altogether. Here, be extremely careful to turn off the power before dismantling it.
Furthermore, a low humming sound may indicate that the unit is broken or jammed. You may try to break the clog by turning the blades manually or using an Allen wrench to reach inside the hole on the unit’s bottom.
But never stick your hands in the disposal, and ensure the power supply is switched off.
6. Use A Plumber’s Snake
As the name suggests, a plumber’s snake or drain snake is a professional tool to clear drain clogs. It has a handle and coiled spiral snake, which reaches deep down the drain.
You can crank the handle when it hits an obstruction to get hold of the debris and pull it out. The electric variants use even more power to cut down your efforts.
You can make a plumber’s snake using an old wire coat hanger. With a pair of needle-nose pliers, unwind the hanger to create a straight piece of wire. The hook end will act as a spiral snake when you insert it into the drain. If needed, adjust the hook’s angle.
Make sure you use a pulling action, or you may push the debris further down the pipe. When you bring out enough gunk, flush the sink with warm water.
Kitchen Sink Unblocking
Not only do most of these methods help you clear the blockage, but they also prevent it from recurring. For instance, using the boiling water technique on your blocked kitchen sink drain pipes at the end of the day stops debris build-up. Likewise, the baking soda-vinegar solution can be used once or twice weekly.
But with time, heavy-duty cleaning or replacing parts becomes essential. And if you are unfamiliar with basic plumbing, asking for professional help from a local plumber is the best way to go about it. At Fixed Fast Plumbing, we offer the perfect solution round the clock for all your repair and maintenance needs.
Contact us today to get your clogged drains fixed.