How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink in 5 Steps

Updated 11/28/17
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how to unclog a kitchen sink
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Not only does knowing how to unclog a kitchen sink one of the more impressive feats in household DIYs, but it’s also a smart and cost-effective alternative to calling the plumber the next time the sink won’t drain. Fortunately, at-home solutions to this common issue are (thankfully) pretty simple. With common household items, you can have your kitchen sink back in working order in no time. Whatever the cause of the problem, here are a few essential tips to help you clear things up.

Read on to learn how to unclog a kitchen sink in five easy steps.

1. Try Plunging

For this method, grab a plunger and position it to fully cover the drain opening. Next, pump vigorously about eight to 10 times. While there’s no harm in plunging more than this, it’s a good idea to check your work between bouts of plunging. As an additional note, use a new plunger or one kept specifically for the kitchen to avoid transferring bacteria from other areas of your home.

2. Use Baking Soda and Vinegar

Adulthood is about nothing if not putting your favorite childhood science experiments to good use. Combine equal parts baking soda and vinegar (about a half cup of each should do the trick) by pouring each ingredient down the drain one at a time. The chemical reaction should help to clear the drain, but it may need to be repeated multiple times for maximum efficacy. Finally, finish by running hot water to clear the drain. Combining old-school science and all-natural ingredients, this might just be our favorite method for unclogging a kitchen sink.

3. Clear the Trap

The drain trap is an important component of the pipe directly beneath your kitchen sink. This J-shaped section of the pipe essentially prevents gas from traveling upward through the pipe and into your home. Unfortunately, this is also a handy spot for refuse to get lodged. By twisting apart this section of the pipe, you’ll be able to visually see (and manually remove) whatever’s clogging your drain.

4. Top With Drain Cleaner

If the clog is located further into the pipe than the drain trap, using a drain cleaner may be your best bet. While most conventional drain cleaners are rife with heavy-duty chemicals, we recommend trying a biodegradable alternative to help protect your air quality and promote the longevity of your pipes.

5. Prevent Future Clogs

In some cases, knowing how to unclog a kitchen sink may be as simple as knowing how to prevent future blockages. While they may seem harmless, organic materials like egg shells and fruit rinds are often to blame for blocked up pipes. Consider composting these items instead, and above all, avoiding putting grease down the sink; even if you drain it in liquid form with hot water, it can congeal and cause problems down the road.

Now that you know how to unclog a kitchen sink, keep reading to learn how to clean a washing machine.

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