How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain – A Step-by-Step Guide

(Last Updated On: September 4, 2023)

If you’re trying to drain from your drain, but there’s no sign of it disappearing, it’s probably getting blocked.

Unblocking the drain of your kitchen sink is usually much more straightforward than many people imagine, and saving the cost of calling plumbing experts is always a positive choice, in my experience.

Although you might have spent time and effort fixing the issue alone, it’s always worth it.

Most clogs can be eliminated using simple and easy methods and equipment.

Once you’ve cleared the drain, it’s time to begin working to reduce the chance of it happening again.

It’s a numb feeling when your kitchen sink isn’t draining. With the water gushing over and a sink full of dishes that need to be washed, It’s easy to grab the phone to call plumbers to resolve the issue.

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

But before you do this, read these simple DIY methods for unblocking the drain. You can do it! Find out how.

A sink that is blocked can be a significant hassle whenever it occurs.

This article is designed to guide you through step-by-step steps to remove the blockage from your kitchen sink.

There are many methods to clear a sink. In this post, we’ll provide you with the most effective techniques.

We will start with the most straightforward methods before moving on to the more complex ones.

The solution to a common issue such as this by yourself is a major hassle, even if it’s just an unimportant clog, and all you require is a plunger or hot water to resolve the issue.

Read on to learn the best methods to clear your kitchen sink, single or double, with the least hassle possible.

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Drain in the Most Effective Techniques

Let’s start 👍

1. Use boiling water as a weapon

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

When grease, hair, soap residue, and other particles get caught in the drains, boiling water could be the best solution to break the obstruction. 👌

It’s the easiest fix and should be the first thing you do when cleaning your sink drain.

As simple as 1-2-3, here is what you need to do:

  • Take half a gallon of water to boil using your stove or kettles to warm the water.
  • Put the water that is boiling directly in the opening for the drain.
  • The faucet should be turned on to check whether the water is draining with a steady flow. Repeat the procedure if it’s not draining as fast or is sitting still in the sink.

Important note: Avoid this technique if your drain is connected to PVC pipes since the boiling water may be able to melt or harm the PVC pipe.

When the boiling water doesn’t clear the blockage after the second time, it’s time to switch to an alternative method.

Ultimately, you’ve got an unclean sink that cannot handle the straightforward boiling water solution.

2. Make sure the Waste Disposal is Working

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

The next thing to do is to ensure that your trash disposal isn’t the cause of the issue.

A clogged garbage disposal can cause a blockage in your drain. Therefore, you should run the disposal for about a minute by running hot water to determine if it removes the blockage.

If it doesn’t, make sure that the appliance is shut off, and then check it to ensure it works properly.

If the appliance has run out of fuel and has automatically shut off, you’ll need to start it again by turning it off at the base.

The switch that turns off the base will usually be on the bottom or side of the unit under the sink.

3. Plunge with a Plunger

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

There are three kinds of plungers: the traditional sink plunger with a flat bottom, the accordion plunger, and finally, the toilet plunger that has an additional bell-end located at the bottom.

It is better to choose an elongated plunger for this task.

4. Baking soda and vinegar can help break it down

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

This method is a good alternative to chemical drain cleaners for blocked drains.

For your convenience, vinegar and baking soda are common household products you’ll likely already own in your home. 😊

Use these tips to allow the mix to perform its magic:

  • Take outstanding water from the sink by using the help of a bowl or cup.
  • Pour 1 cup baking soda into the drain. Use the spatula or spoon to force the powder into the drain, if needed.
  • Put one cup of vinegar into the drain’s opening.
  • Cover or place a stopper on the drain to seal the drain’s opening.
  • Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for about 15 mins.
  • Uncover the cover, and then run hot tap water through the drain.
  • Use hot water to break apart larger clogs that are more powerful.
  • Like all unclogging methods, it isn’t guaranteed a 99 percent chance of success.

However, if you’re progressing with the obstruction after completing the steps, you can repeat the process to ensure you’re doubling down on the block.

5. Vacuum Cleaner (Wet-Dry)

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

If you own a wet-dry vacuum in your home, this is an excellent tool to clear the kitchen sink of clogs. 👌
Set the vacuum for use in wet conditions to the directions.

When you’ve got a double sink, you must cover the second drain hole exactly like the plunger method.

Put the hose on the drain to create an enveloping seal. The vacuum should be set to the highest setting to eliminate the obstruction.

The vacuum’s force will be sufficient to clear the obstruction.

It’s possible to be successful, but it’s likely only worthwhile if you already have a wet and dry vacuum readily available.

In any case, stick to the other methods described below.

6. Use a snake from a plumber

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

Sometimes called a drill, the plumber’s snake can be described as an efficient tool to remove clogs accumulated further down the drainage system underneath the kitchen sink.

You’ll need to remove the drainpipe and P-trap, which runs beneath the kitchen sink, exposing a “stub pipe” or “stub out” behind the cabinet’s wall.

This is when you place the snake inside it until there is resistance. Dislodge the clog.

7. P-trap should be cleaned

The P-trap is an elbow-shaped pipe beneath the sink. If it becomes blocked by grease and food particles.
It is possible to remove it and clear the gunk causing the obstruction.

How to Clean the P-Trap in the Kitchen Sink

  • Before starting, ensure a bucket beneath the P-trap to collect the water back into your sink.
  • It is then necessary to unscrew the connections between the wall and the pipe.
  • Clear the P-trap and inspect it for any waste.

If the blockage isn’t in the P-trap, you must unblock the drain using the plumbing snake.

8. Cleaning chemicals should be used

If your sink is equipped with a garbage disposal, I would strongly recommend not employing chemical cleaners, which can damage the blades, and then spray them back into the sink.

I would not suggest the use of a chemical cleaner in liquid form when you’ve got a significant obstruction rather than an issue that drains slowly.

If you use chemicals, there is always the possibility that toxic chemicals could get backed up in the sink and stagnant water and could cause a health risk.

The kind of cleaner you purchase will be based on what you think might cause the obstruction.

Most commonly, those clogs caused by bio-matter need a cleaner that is more acidic, and greasy clogs should be treated with alkaline cleaners.

Always read the label and use the cleaner according to the directions.

Chemical cleaners could be hazardous when misused.

9. Make use of a coat hanger

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

If you don’t own an extension for a plumber’s snake, you can use the wire coat hangers as an alternative through straightening.

However, it will not be as long as a snake made of plumbing; it could be long enough to access specific blockages.

However, it’s worth trying, even if you’ve tried everything else.

Put the straightened hanger wire to the sink drain in your kitchen.

Use a pipe and push it through or remove the blockage if you can get it out.

Be cautious that you don’t scratch the sink by using the wire.

To ensure that your sink is fresh and clean, make sure you add equal amounts of baking soda and vinegar every day, typically every other month or two.

For regular cleaning, it’s just about half a cup each. The mixture should remain until warm water is poured through the drain.

It is also possible to use lemon juice to accomplish the same thing.

If you have garbage disposals, you can drop some orange or lemon rind slices into the disposal and let it run for 30 seconds or so to crush it.

Allow the mixture to rest for five minutes before washing.

Naturally, it’s better to stay clear of clogs at the beginning.

If you’ve got an appliance for kitchen use, do not overfill it with garbage.

Introduce items a little at the moment, and wait until they are crushed and are completely through before adding additional.

Be aware of what you should not put down on your garbage disposal. Never dump bacon grease, coffee grounds, or oils in your kitchen drain.

Make sure you flush lots of water through the drain after every use. It is essential to understand how to care for and maintain all of the plumbing components in your home and systems to ensure that everything is working smoothly.

The Signs and Symptoms of a Blocked Drain in the Sink

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

The first issue you’re likely to see is slow drainage. When you switch on the faucet, water slowly flows through the drain.

If this continues for a while, and the issue isn’t resolved, it will cause the water to flow backward. It could be that the drain will stop completely.

So, the earlier you can clear your drain, the more effective it will be.

Standing water is not sanitary, causes a mess, and can make it challenging to identify the source of the obstruction.

What Causes a Clogged Sink Drain in the Kitchen?

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

If your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal, food debris from washing dishes likely created the blockage.

While most foods can, in theory, be responsible for making clogs, certain food items are more prone to cause clogs than other types.

Instead of throwing them in the garbage disposal, it’s better to compost them instead, discard them, or responsibly dispose of them.

Clog-causing foods include:

  • The grease or meat (such as bacon fat) may coagulate and catch other food items later.
  • Coffee grounds can develop into solid, compacted lumps if not adequately removed.
  • Foods that are starchy, like pasta, potatoes, and rice.
  • High-fiber food items include certain greens such as corn husks, corn, and celery.
  • Bones are made from poultry and meat.
  • Banana pits and peels are made from fruit like plums, mangos, peaches, and Apricots.

In addition to food items, many other things could be causing your kitchen sink to get blocked, including napkins and paper towels, food wrappers, medications, hair, tops of bottles, or even jewelry.

Is Bleach Effective in Unclogging Sink Drains?

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

My suggestion is not to try using bleach to remove the clog.

First, it’s a poisonous substance that can trigger various problems and even react with other chemicals in the pipes.

Second, one cup of bleach poured into the drain and then followed by hot water could clean up the blockage and eliminate smells.

It does not make much difference in breaking down the food debris, grease, and other substances that typically create clogs in the kitchen sink.

Is it possible to unclog a drain with Coca-Cola?

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

Coca-Cola can be caustic; in theory, dumping the bottle in the toilet could help clear a clog.

A few users believe in this method. But, from my experience, it has a chance of success that is virtually nonexistent
it’s not as effective as vinegar and baking soda but undoubtedly not as efficient as commercial cleaners.

How to Prevent a Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain

Coca-Cola can be caustic and, in theory, dumping the bottle in the toilet could help clear a clog.

A few users believe in this method. But, from my experience, it has a chance of success is virtually nonexistent
it’s not as effective as vinegar and baking soda but certainly not as efficient as commercial cleaners.

How to Prevent a Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain

Prevention is usually better than cure; therefore, it’s crucial not to abuse your drain. Don’t allow the foods mentioned above to go down your drain.

But, issues are possible in the kitchen, and you may be looking to purchase a practical filter for your sink to keep the drain from becoming blocked with food particles (see the following for my suggestions).

It is also advisable to keep the essential tools available, for example:

  • A wrench that can be adjusted
  • A pipe wrenches
  • Pliers
  • An Allen wrenches
  • A Plunger (A flat cup with no bells typically works well for most drainage drains in the kitchen.)
  • Baking soda and white vinegar

As previously mentioned, a plumbing snake, or a drain auger, is a beneficial tool.

It can be utilized not only for sinks but also to assist in clearing the drain in showers.

If the above methods aren’t successful, it’s not a bad idea to keep the number and name of the plumber in your area in your pocket.

Which Sink Strainer Is Best for Preventing Clogs?

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

A myriad of unique products can help reduce the number of debris that causes clogs that are drained down your drain.

However, should you wish me to pick just one, it is Oxo Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer. Oxo Good Grips Silicone Sink Strainer.

The things I love about this filter are:

  • It can do its job efficiently; it catches all the debris in the sink before it can get into the drain, clogging it.
  • It’s straightforward to clean. Its nature implies that it will collect a lot of trash. However, its design allows you to flip it over to eliminate debris while cleaning it manually. It can also be put inside the dishwasher.
  • It’s made to fit perfectly and strains the drain without affecting the flow of water down the drain.
  • It is attractive and isn’t prone to stain, as with other filters.
  • It’s affordable. I bought mine online, and I paid less than $9.

How many other jams be avoided?

How to unclog a kitchen sink drain

When your sink is running well again, ensure you’re taking steps to prevent blockages from recurring.

The most important precaution is to avoid dumping hazardous substances down the drain. This includes:

  • Fats, grease, and oils.
  • Meat.
  • Coffee grounds.
  • Eggshells.
  • Starchy foods, like pasta, rice, bread, or pasta.
  • Fruit pits, fruit peels, and stickers.
  • Gum.
  • Paint.
  • Paper products, like food wrappers or paper towels.

Instead, put cooking fat into an old container and dispose of the can when it’s filled.

Adding materials, such as coffee grounds, to your mulch and compost heaps is possible.

Make sure you don’t grind more than a tablespoon of leftover food items at once, and, of course, avoid sending any of these items to the garbage disposal.

Another helpful maintenance tip is to make a mixture with water and vinegar and then freeze the mixture in an Ice cube tray.

Each month, grind some of the cubes at your disposal to remove food waste and keep the unit clean.

Another excellent habit for pipes is to run boiling hot water into the drainage, following every sink used to keep the drain clean.

You may also wish to install a drain cover to keep debris out before they cause harm to the pipes.