kitchen sink clogged - how to unclog a kitchen sink

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink: 5 Easy Ways with Videos

This is a quick guide for how to unclog a kitchen sink. Here are the top 5 ways! Keep in mind it may take more than one method to get your desired result, except cleaning the drain with an auger, if done properly, that ALWAYS works!

1. Unclog by Clearing The Trap

Cleaning the trap is really easy! The trap is the U shaped pipe under your kitchen sink. Because of its shape, solids have a tendency for getting stuck in it, clogging the kitchen sink. Heavy solids fall to the bottom of the trap and are unable to make it out, clogging your kitchen sink. To clean the trap, all you will need is a bucket. Start by putting a bucket under the trap, then loosen the slip nuts above the trap. When the nuts are completely loose, the trap should fall into the bucket. Remove all debris and reattach by tightening the slip nuts. It is really that easy! The entire process should take less than 3 minutes.

2. Unblock The Drain With a Plunger

Before you use a plunger, you will want to make sure the trap is clear so that way you don’t push debris from the trap into the drain. Start by putting a couple inches of water in the sink. Put the plunger on the sink’s drain, then quickly push down and pull up over and over again. If water does not go down after 2 or 3 minutes, you will need to try a different method. If your sink has two drains, you will need to firmly hold a second plunger over one of the drains while you plunge the other drain.

3. Unclog the Kitchen Sink with Vinegar & Baking Soda 

The vinegar and baking soda method for unclogging a kitchen sink is one of the most popular online solutions. It does a pretty good job removing sludge and other build up on the insides of your pipes. However, it only works if your drain is partially open. Start by pouring 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar into the clogged kitchen sink. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Finally, run hot water for 5 minutes. It is really that easy! If this doesn’t unclog your kitchen sink, it might be time to try the step below!

4. Clean the Drain with an Auger

This is the most difficult method, so keep reading for easier ways!

This is the best way to clean and unclog a kitchen sink drain. It is by far the most time consuming method for cleaning a clogged kitchen sink, but will get your drain much more clean than any other method. Start by removing the trap, as described above. Then run your auger, or drain snake, back and forth throughout the drain. Make sure to run the entire length of the auger! This should only take a skilled professional with high-end tools about 15 minutes. However, if it is your first time using an auger, expect it to take quite a bit longer. Put the trap back together and run some water to make sure that the line is clear. 

Pro Tip- The auger loosened everything up and cleared the blockage. Now is the time to flush your pipes to get them really clean. To flush your pipes, fill up your sink all the way with up water and then release it. If you have a garbage disposal, you will want to fill up the side with the garbage disposal and run it while you are draining the sink. This will build up extra pressure.

5. Clean the Sink Line with Dish Soap & Boiling Water 

Warning: PVC starts to soften at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If your pipes are made of PVC, this could damage or destroy your pipes. (It probably won’t.)

This method only works if your kitchen sink is partially open and draining slowly. If you have a completely clogged kitchen sink, this method will not work at all.

Start by boiling as much water as you possibly can. It is recommended that you boil at least 5 gallons. When the water is close to a boil, turn your sink on hot and let it run for 5-10 minutes. When the water starts boiling, turn off your sink and empty an entire bottle of Dawn dish soap into the sink. The bigger the bottle the better! Run the water for a minute or so. Then dump all of the boiling water into the kitchen sink, wait a minute or two, and turn the hot water back on for a few minutes. The pressure created by the garbage disposal, heat of the water, and dish soap should completely clean the kitchen sink’s drain!

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