kitchen sink drain
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How to Clean a Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain

When you have a kitchen sink drain that is clogged with odors, germs and grease buildups, it can be difficult to keep your sink clean.

The good news is that there are ways to get your sink smelling fresh again. Follow these tips to help you clean your kitchen sink drains and sanitize them.

1. Use a Plunger

Plungers are a common household plumbing tool that’s usually used for toilet clogs, but they can also be useful for unclogging kitchen sink drains. A plunger uses hydraulic suction and compression to force a clog to move so that water can clear it.

Before you use a plunger to clean your sink, it’s important to seal the drain. This can be done by using a wet rag to block the overflow opening on your sink or bathtub, which is usually near the front of the sink rim or on the wall behind it. This prevents the sink from overflowing, and it also creates the conditions necessary for the plunger to create the hydraulic suction and compression that will loosen and break up the clog.

plunger on drain
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If your sink isn’t draining properly, it may be clogged with hair, soap, or food scraps. These things are natural and harmless, but they can build up in your pipes over time and cause problems when you need to drain the sink.

When a clog is too large for a plunger, you can try a wire drain snake to get it out. These wire-tip snakes are longer and stronger than a standard plunger, and can often reach deeper into the drain pipe. They’re usually sold at hardware stores or home centers, but you can also find them online.

You can also try a specialized drain cleaner designed for removing clogs from sewers and other plumbing pipes. These cleaners are stronger than ordinary liquid-plumbers and can also kill bacteria in the sewer. Be sure to rinse the snake afterward to remove any leftover chemicals from the drain, as these can corrode and damage your plumbing.

Another option is to pour baking soda and salt into your sink’s drain. This solution breaks down any fat sludge that may have built up in the plumbing, forcing it out of the pipes and into your sink.

You can also try to unclog your P-trap, which is the curved pipe that dips below horizontal and vertical pipes in your plumbing. This trap is shaped to protect your plumbing pipes from sewer odors and can get clogged when solid objects get stuck in it.

2. Use Vinegar

Vinegar is a versatile household cleaner that can be used on a variety of surfaces. It has antimicrobial properties and is an effective disinfectant, and it’s also cheaper than most commercially available cleaning agents.

It’s safe to use around children and pets, and it’s gentle enough to be used on countertops, tabletops, and other appliances. It can also be applied to a cloth and used to wipe down a sink or bathtub.

However, it’s important to note that vinegar should not be used on granite or marble. This is because it can cause scratches on these types of natural stone.

Similarly, it isn’t recommended to use it on porous surfaces like wood. It may also stain delicate fabrics or other materials that are sensitive to it.

In fact, many people don’t know that there are other ways to clean a kitchen sink drain that are more eco-friendly than using harsh chemicals. One option is to simply pour a cup of distilled white vinegar down the drain and let it sit for five minutes.

When you do this, you will hear a fizzing sound and the mixture will break up the clog. It is important to wait until the fizzing subsides before flushing out the sink with hot water again, as this will help to ensure that any clogs are removed completely.

Another great way to clean your kitchen sink drain is to combine baking soda with vinegar. In fact, this combination has been known to work surprisingly well in clearing out drains that have become clogged with a variety of different objects.

The reason that this technique works is because of the two substances’ chemical reaction. Both baking soda and vinegar are alkaline, but when they mix together they create a mild acid that will dislodge the clog.

Once the clog is removed, you can then use another pot of boiling water to rinse it down. This will help to clear away any leftover baking soda and vinegar, as well as the clog itself.

It’s also a good idea to regularly clean your sink, tub, and shower so that any buildup of hair or other debris doesn’t cause problems in the future. This will keep your plumbing system in top shape and prevent a clogged drain from becoming an even bigger issue down the road.

3. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural drain cleaner that can help clear clogged sinks. It is a versatile ingredient that can also be used as an antiseptic. It also has a variety of health benefits, such as helping relieve heartburn and boosting exercise performance.

It’s safe for your family to use because it’s nontoxic and won’t harm your pipes. You can also add it to your regular dishwashing cycle if you want to eliminate any excess grease.

Depending on the size of your sink, you’ll need to pour one cup of baking soda into the drain. This can be done using a measuring cup or you can make use of a funnel if you have a small drain.

Once the baking soda has been poured into the drain, wait for it to fizz and then flush it with hot water. This will flush any extra baking soda that has accumulated in the drain over time. It will also break up any clogs that are still in the drain, so your kitchen sink will be free and clear once again.

If you want to make your baking soda even more effective, mix it with a little vinegar. This will produce carbon dioxide that bubbles up in the drain, breaking up the clogs and allowing the boiling water to remove them.

vinegar on a plate
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This method works best when the baking soda and vinegar solution has been poured into the drain overnight or at least for several hours. The next morning, boil 2 cups of water and carefully pour it down the drain to test if it has dissolved any clogs that have formed.

You may have to repeat this process twice if the drain doesn’t unclog after the first two attempts. You can also try adding salt to the mixture as well, which will help to dissolve greasy clogs.

Before attempting to clean your kitchen sink drain, make sure that the drain is not blocked by hair and debris. This can prevent any damage from occurring and will reduce the amount of work that you need to do to get the job done.

4. Use a Coat Hanger

A coat hanger is a household item that almost everyone has in the back of their closet, so it’s easy to grab one when you need a quick way to clean your kitchen sink drain. Although it won’t reach into the pipes as far as a plumber’s snake, it might be long enough to reach a few of the clogs that might otherwise be impossible to get to with other methods.

The most effective wire coat hanger method to unclog a drain is to bend the end of the hanger into a hook (opening photo). You should be able to push it down your drain and wiggle it around a bit, which should catch the clog and then you can pull it out.

You can also use this method to fish hair out of your shower drain. Just take a wire hanger, straighten it out, and bend the end over to make a hook. Once you’re done, just push it past the drain cover and start fishing!

If your kitchen sink isn’t draining properly, the first step is to remove the waste tee. This is the u-shaped piece that connects the drain from the sink to the line that runs into the wall or floor.

Often, clogs happen in this area because food gets stuck in the waste tee and doesn’t drain properly. This is particularly common with garbage disposers, but it can also occur in the side of your sink without a waste tee.

Soak a coat hanger in water for a few minutes and then insert it into the drain or stub pipe, pushing or pulling out the clog as you go. Do this several times until you’re sure the clog is gone.

If this doesn’t clear your clogged drain, it may be time to call in a professional plumber. You don’t want to do this on your own if you can help it, because you might damage the drain or cause even more problems in the future!


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