How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

No one wants to deal with a clogged kitchen sink, whether it’s a slow drain issue or fully clogged. At some point you will probably find yourself in a situation where the clog is tougher than drain cleaner (which we do not recommend you using!) And what could make it more complicated is if the item causing the clog is something important that was accidentally dropped in the drain and you are hoping to get back.

Here are a couple quick things you can try, but to prevent damage we always suggest calling in the professionals.

1. DIY Drain Cleaner: How to Clear a Slow Draining Kitchen Sink Clog

Chemical drain cleaners are not good for your pipes or the environment, and they can be expensive! You can use vinegar and baking soda for an environmentally friendly solution. Follow these steps:

  • Remove kitchen sink drain cover or sink stopper
  • Pour ½ cup baking soda in drain
  • Pour 1 cup white vinegar in drain
  • Wait 10 minutes & then pour boiling water down drain

Often times the chemical reaction from this solution is enough to dissolve the slow drain and repair the clogged drain.

2. Directions for Plunging a Clogged Kitchen Sink

This method is best to use for standing water clogs. Remember, use a kitchen plunger rather than a bathroom plunger to avoid spreading germs. Follow these steps:

  • If you have a double sink, then make sure to plug up the sink drain on the opposite side with a wet rag to help deliver pressure directly to the clog.
  • Fill the clogged side of sink with a small amount of water for the plunger.
  • Start plunging (remember it is all about the up motion, not pushing down). Hopefully, any food or paper products locked in the pipes will budge when you do this.
  • If plunging won’t fix the problem, you do have a few other options for resolving a clogged kitchen sink.

3. Use a Drain Snake to Clear Out the Clog

If the above methods did not work, then the clog may be farther down the drain so you will need to follow these steps:

  • Run a drain snake down the kitchen drain. These can be purchased at your local hardware store.
  • If this still doesn’t work, try taking the trap beneath the sink apart and snake the drain more directly. Be sure to put a bucket beneath the trap to catch any dirty water. Then begin snaking the drain.

4. Use a Wet Vacuum or “Shop Vac”

Wet and dry vacuums have a lot of suction.

  • Set a wet vacuum to “liquids” and cover the vent
  • Create a tight seal around the drain and cover the overflow tube with your finger or a rag.

       The power of a wet vacuum can often be enough to draw the clogged material up and unclog the drain. Check the bag to identify the source of the clog.  A wet vacuum can also work when you need to recover jewelry from a drain.

5. Last Step:  Call in a Professional Plumber

When you have tried everything and nothing has worked, it is time to call a licensed plumber like Eastern Plumbing at 252-758-7579.