Unclogging a Kitchen Sink: Easy, Safe, and Effective Ways to Unclog Your Sink and Keep It Flowing
A clogged kitchen sink is one of the most common plumbing problems you can have. Of course, it always seems to happen at the worst time – like right before Thanksgiving dinner. Even though it can be stressful and frustrating, thankfully unclogging a kitchen sink is usually pretty easy.
While liquid drain cleaners can dissolve the clog, they can also dissolve your pipes too. Not to mention that they can irritate or even burn your skin, are poisonous to humans and pets if ingested, and can be harmful to the environment. Instead of using chemicals, consider these easy DIY solutions for unclogging a kitchen sink.
Safe and Effective Methods For Unclogging a Kitchen Sink
Not only do you probably have all these items on hand already, but they are safe and can be just as effective.
The Plunger Method
They may be low tech, but plungers are still one of the most effective plumbing tools around. Plunging works by creating upward suction to loosen the clog and downward pressure to help flush it down the drain. If you can’t get a good seal between the plunger and the sink basin, putting a little petroleum jelly on the lip of the plunger will help.
Remove the plunger after six to ten pumps to see if the sink begins to drain and repeat as necessary until it’s clear. If your sink has multiple basins, plunging won’t be effective unless you close the other drains with a stopper first.
The Vinegar and Baking Soda Method
Often used in cooking, vinegar and baking soda are pretty common household items. They are great for cleaning too. To unclog your drain, pour a half cup each down the drain and wait a few minutes.
If you remember that volcano experiment from your elementary school science fair, baking soda and vinegar will create a foaming action that can help unclog sinks and drains. Wait a few minutes, then flush with hot water.
The Baking Soda and Salt Method
You can unclog a sink or drain by reaching for more common household items. Pour one cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt down your drain and allow them to sit for at least a few hours or overnight. Then flush with two cups of boiling water.
The Wire Hanger Snake Method
A wire hanger makes a great DIY drain snake. Just snip or untwist the end, then straighten it out and add a little hook at one end. Fish the hooked end down your drain until you hit the clog and pull it out. Unfortunately, this method won’t be effective if you have a garbage disposal.
Preventing Your Sink From Clogging
To keep things flowing smoothly, avoid putting the following down the drain:
- Fats and Oils – Fats and oils are among the worst things to pour down the drain and can easily clog garbage disposals and drain pipes. Keep a jar under the sink to collect fats and oils, then dispose of in your trash bin once the container is full.
- Large Food Waste – The garbage disposal is one of the handiest kitchen appliances, but it has also made us a little lackadaisical about pushing food waste down the drain. Avoid putting any food waste down the drain the is larger than a pea. Dispose of large food waste in your trash or compost bin. When using your disposal, leave the water running and allow the disposal to work until the drain is completely clear.
- Fibrous Foods – Fibrous foods like celery, asparagus, and corn husks can create a tangled mess of fibers in your drains and pipes, even after running them through your garbage disposal. Not only with this cause your sink to drain slowly, but the fibers can catch smaller particles and create larger clogs later on.
- Potato Peels – Potatoes are high in starch and garbage disposals aren’t effective at grinding them up. When you put them down the drain, they tend to make a gummy mess and can easily clog pipes.
- Flour and Starches – Most flours and starches are water soluble, but they can turn to a sticky glue if they aren’t washed away with enough hot water. It’s safer to dispose of them in your trash bin.
- Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds tend to build up where downspout pipes connect to lateral service lines, causing sinks to drain slowly. They can cause larger clogs if they collect with other items like fats and fibrous foods.
Is Your Kitchen Sink Still Clogged?
If your kitchen sink is still clogged after trying all of these methods, it may be time to call a professional plumber. Not only will a plumber find your clog, but they will unclog it quickly and safely. In most cases, your kitchen sink will be working again in no time at all.
Contact our local plumbers now if you need help unclogging a kitchen sink or have other plumbing issues. Call 1-888-443-3110 now to schedule a free estimate on removing a drain clog.