How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

A clogged kitchen sink is one of the most common plumbing problems your Colorado home can have. Even though it can be frustrating, there are several easy ways to unclog a kitchen sink without having to call a plumber, which can save you hundreds of dollars. Here are four easy methods:

Unclog A Sink
  1. Use a Plunger

    This may seem low-tech, but plungers are one of the most effective plumbing tools. The plunging action creates upward suction to loosen the clog and downward pressure to help flush it down the drain. If you’re unable to get a good seal between the plunger and the sink basin, spread a little petroleum jelly along the lip of the plunger. This will help seal the plunger with the sink, creating more suction to clear the clog.

    After six to ten pumps, check to see if the water is draining. If not, repeat until it clears the clog. If your sink has two basins, put a stopper in the other drain first for better suction.

  2. Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

    Often used in cooking, vinegar and baking soda are common household items that are great for cleaning too. They create a foaming action that can unclog a kitchen sink. Watch this video that shows the step-by-step process.

  3. Use Baking Soda and Salt

    Mix one part of baking soda with one part of salt and four parts of boiling water. Dump this mixture down the drain and let it sit overnight. Flush your drain with hot water in the morning. Together, they help dissolve the clog and clean your sink and drain.

  4. Use a Wire Hanger Snake

    A wire hanger is a great DIY drain snake. Just snip off or untwist the end then straighten it out. To snag clogs, bend a little hook at the end. Fish the hanger down the drain with the hook end first. When you hit the clog, swivel it back and forth to snag it and pull it out.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Liquid Drain Cleaners

Liquid drain cleaners are more dangerous and less effective at unclogging a sink than advertised. They contain caustic chemicals which, to work, must first reach the clog. But most clogs happen down in the drainpipe, which drain cleaners usually can’t reach. Even if they do get to the clog, they are so diluted they don’t work properly. And besides dissolving clogs, they can also dissolve your pipes.

Additionally, those caustic chemicals are poisonous and can be fatal to your family and pets. Spilling them can lead to severe burns and the fumes can make you sick.

How to Prevent a Kitchen Sink From Clogging

The easiest way to keep clogs from forming is to be careful about what you put down the drain. Here are some items to keep away from your sink drain:

  • Fats and OilsThey’re the worst. They can build up inside drainpipes and create clogs with food particles and other waste.
  • Large Food Waste – If it’s larger than a pea, forget it. Dispose of large food waste in your trash or compost bin.
  • Fibrous Foods – Fibrous foods like celery, asparagus, and corn husks will quickly clog up your sink drains and pipes. Avoid putting them down the sink even if you have a garbage disposal. 
  • Potato Peels – Potatoes are starchy and can make a gummy mess that clogs your drainpipes. Instead, put them in your compost bin or trash.
  • Flour and Starches – When mixed with a little water, flours and starches will turn into sticky glue and clog drains. It’s safer to just throw them away.
  • Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds build up in p-traps and elbows in drainpipes. This causes drains to run slowly. They can become larger clogs if they collect with other items like fats and fibrous foods.

Cleaning Up a Clogged Kitchen Sink Overflow

If your sink overflows due to a clog, act quickly to avoid long-term water damage to your kitchen floor and cabinetry. We suggest placing fans to cross-ventilate and dry the room while leaving cabinet doors open. If the water damage is not sufficiently cared for, it can lead to mold growth under the floor and behind the sink, or structural damage to the foundation.

We know that you’re capable of cleaning up minor overflows in your home, but just in case, we can provide 24/7 backup if you need help from an expert. Cyclone Kleen Up handles water damage jobs in Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and surrounding areas. We’re here to help with all your emergencies no matter how big or small!