Unclogging a Kitchen Sink – Top 8 Actionable Methods

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Unclogging a Kitchen SinkUnclogging a kitchen sink doesn’t have to be difficult anymore. Do you want to unclog a kitchen sink clogged past the trap? Or you want to learn how to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water? In any the case, I hope this post will be helpful.

What are the warning signs of an impending clogged kitchen drain? Are you still struggling to find an efficient way of unclogging a kitchen sink? First, you will notice that there is nothing indicating water drainage entirely or the water could be draining slowly. Either way, you are likely to encounter odd odor from your sink.

Despite how simple a clogged kitchen drain seems, the problem could escalate quickly and soon; you will find the water overflowing. Apart from being disgusting, the water also damages the tiles around it and your floor at large.

The fact that no house is safe from clogging problems, mastering the methods and procedures of unclogging a kitchen sink will be helpful. This will not only save you from embarrassments when your friends suddenly visit you; it will cut the expenses that you need to spend on professional help.

With that said, here are the top ways and procedure that you can use when unclogging a kitchen sink drain.


Unclogging a Kitchen Sink using Boiling Water

There is a high chance that your drain could be clogged with soap residue or fat. In such cases, the kitchen sink is clogged past the trap, and this is why using boiling water can be quite useful. Additionally, this method is simple which is why you should always start with when unclogging a kitchen sink drain.


  • Boil some water roughly two liters.
  • After the water has boiled, add the water to the clogged drain.
  • Continue pouring the water slowly to allow dissolving of fats, minerals, and other debris.
  • Mix the remaining water with any salt and pour it into the kitchen sink to achieve better results by removing grease, thereby breaking the clog and enabling the flow of water.
  • Alternatively, mix the boiling water with liquid washing detergent for the removal of the residue.
  • Repeat the pouring process and wait for some few minutes before flushing the drain using more hot water.
  • Repeat this many times as possible until you achieve good results.

Unclogging a Kitchen Sink Using Baking Soda and Vinegar

When it comes to unclogging a kitchen sink, using a combination of baking soda and cooking vinegar in most times is useful. Alternatively, you can use baking powder instead of baking soda, however, using baking soda is an excellent choice. Since you hardly miss vinegar acid in most kitchens, the two products are easily accessible. Typically, the brand of vinegar or baking soda does not count.

How this combo work is that when you mix baking soda and vinegar, the mix initiates a neutralization reaction, which leads to the production of lots of carbon with salt. The salt plays a crucial role in dissolving some organic elements, which cause clogging.


  • After removing any standing water in the sink, pour half a cup of baking soda into the clogged drain.
  • Add a cup of vinegar into the kitchen sink then cover the drain using a wet cloth for some few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, boil some water and then remove the wet cloth and pour water into the drain gently. If the water flows faster, then the drain has been unclogged.
  • If the clog is not removed, repeat this process many times as you wish.

Before unclogging a kitchen sink, make sure that you have enough baking powder and vinegar to use repeatedly for many times. This is because depending on the density of the clog, you might need to repeat the process multiple times to achieve favorable results.

Additionally, there is no rule on the amounts that you should use. Since this method does not cause any wear and tear, you should consider it for use as a preventive measure. As shown in this post How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink, vinegar acts as a disinfectant and its reaction with baking soda down the drain will help to keep your kitchen sink odorless and clean.

Using a Plunger

Do you want to know how to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water? A plunger is a favorite tool when it comes to unclogging a kitchen sink? This tool is handheld and uses the principle of pressure to unblock your sink drain. However, for this method to be effective, there should be some standing water which can fully immerse the rubber part of the plunger when standing upright in the sink. Alternatively, petroleum jelly can be used to achieve a perfect vacuum seal.


  • Vigorously push and pull the handle to build pressure inside the pipe.
  • Continue until you notice that the standing water starts draining fast. This means that the drain has been unclogged.

Even though the plunger uses pressure, it does not cause any damage to the drainage system. This makes it perfect for use until the required results are achieved.

Using baking soda and vinegar solution before plunging is also recommended for faster results. The same method can still be used to unclog a bathroom sink as documented in this post Unclog a Bathroom Sink.

Using Chemical Drain Cleaner

Chemical drain cleaners are available in the market in various brands and different names. Though they may look different, these chemicals are used for the same unclogging purpose.

They react with soap resides, organic wastes, and clog by dissolving them. These chemicals also dissolve fatty residue and minerals deposits in a few minutes to unclog your sink.

The chemical drain cleaner reacts with the clog and dissolves organic wastes, and soap resides. It also dissolves the minerals deposited on the sides and fatty residue. Within a few minutes, the drain would be wholly unclogged. 

Tips To Follow Before Using Chemical Drain Cleaners

  • Avoid mixing more than one chemical drain cleaners at a go. They may react thereby causing harmful and unwanted fumes or even damage your pipeline.
  • Avoid using chemical drain cleaners along with baking soda. The reaction could produce harmful side effects.
  • Always clean all the chemical splashes on you and around your room after using a plunger upon using the chemical drain cleaners.
  • Using chemical drain openers overnight is the most recommended; this ensures that all chemicals are completely drained.
  • Use lukewarm or cold water when flushing the chemical drain cleaners. Avoid using hot water to rinse.


  • Pour the right amount as specified by the manufacturer.
  • Wait for up to 30 minutes to allow unclogging.
  • Use lots of water to flush down the chemicals.

However, you should ensure that you follow all the safety precautions as provided by the manufacturer.

Other useful chemical products for unclogging a kitchen sink are caustic soda and sulfuric acid. When using caustic soda, use cold water since the reaction will eventually cause the temperature of the solution to rising. If the caustic soda is powdered, then you can pour it directly into the pipe.

If you suspect the presence of metal or plastic objects in the blocked drain, then you need stronger unclogging agents such as concentrated sulphuric acid. However, to use this chemical, you require assistance from experts since it can burn your skin instantly when they come in contact.

Using Auger/Wire Hanger or Snake

All of these mechanisms entail using thin and long wire which has barns or hooks at the end. When you insert the wire into the pipeline, the clog will get stuck on the hooks thereby enabling you to pull them out. As depicted in this post, Unblock a Kitchen Sink, it is very likely that you have a hanger wire in your home. It needs to be flexible to adopt different formations.

However, unclogging a kitchen sink by use of this method requires you to be in a position to insert the wire into the drain hole.


  • Remove the stopper or strainer in the drain to access the hole.
  • Push the hook side of the tool and push the wire slowly into the pipe.
  • Continue pushing until you feel some resistance.
  • Slowly rotate the wire in a particular direction to make the clog accumulate on the hooks.
  • Pull the hook slowly while still rotating it in the same direction.
  • Pull out the clog and dispose of them in the garbage.

When using a drain snake for unclogging a kitchen sink, you need to observe lots of patience. This involves inserting the wire slowly to avoid pushing the clog into the sewer line. If by chance the clog goes deep into the sewer line then you might need to seek help from experts to avoid damaging the pipeline.

If the wire gets stuck in the line or it breaks inside the pipe, then you should call an expert. The method needs lots of care, which makes it suitable for use only when the clog is not far from the drain hole.

Even though there are power augers in the market, it is recommended to use them only with the help of professionals. This is because the chances of causing damage to the pipes are quite higher, and you don’t want to risk.

Using a Vacuum machine

When using a vacuum cleaner, the type of clog will determine if you will be using a dry or wet vacuum cleaner. Before beginning this process, always have a cleaning cloth by your side in case of an emergency.

It is essential to ensure that the hose is smaller than the drain hole since you need space for moving it around. Using a big tube almost the same size as the hole will cause pressure and friction which will wear and tear the pipes.


  • Insert the hose and remove it to master the skill of handling the tool.
  • Now, insert the hose slowly.
  • Continue inserting until you feel resistance power on the machine.
  • When the machine is sucking the clog, you should hear a growing sound. Once the device produces a hollow sound, switch off the machine since it indicates that you have unclogged the drain successfully.
  • Slowly pull out the hose from the pipeline and use a suitable method for removing the remaining clog inside the pipes.

When using a dry vacuum cleaner for unclogging a kitchen sink, it is essential to ensure that the clogged drain is entirely dry. Nevertheless, in the case of a wet vacuum, the condition of the clogged drain is not an issue. Additionally, before using a vacuum cleaner always read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Using the Suction Machine

Think of this machine as an advanced version of the standard wet vacuum cleaner. Even though it works just like a vacuum cleaner, you need to have excellent skills to use this machine. Here are a few tips to help you out.

  • Always wear tight clothes and avoid any free accessories. Additionally, keep away small objects such as mobiles, bolts, nuts, key or any other object that can be sacked by the machine.
  • Choose the right size of the hose. Avoid using a larger tube since it is likely to cause wear and tear or even more severe damage to the pipes.
  • Have someone around to ask for help if need be. He/she should be positioned next to the power cable to be able to switch off the power if things go out of hand.
  • If you experience resistance, avoid pushing the It is prudent to stop the suction if the clog is not yet removed. Allow the machine to cool down before repeating the process.

Considering that the chances of damaging the machines are high, especially when you don’t have enough confidence, it is better to leave the method for experts.

Using Professional Help  

If you are not sure to employ any process of unclogging a kitchen sink described above, it is recommendable to consider seeking help from experts. Lucky enough, many plumbers and service providers offer services such as unclogging a kitchen sink drain.

Why do you need an expert in unclogging a kitchen sink? First of all, this could be other causes of clogging in your pipeline apart from clog which is blocking or slowing the drain.   Another reason is that when unblocking a drainage system, the pressure matters a lot for enabling water to flow to the sewer. This means that by reducing pressure, the unclogging process becomes difficult. If you lack experience, there is a high chance of damaging or cracking the pipe thereby reducing the pressure. This implies that the water will still stagnate even when there is no clog in the pipes.

Additionally, the lack of proper installation of pipes could be another reason. Therefore, if the most suitable methods are not working, you should seek professional advice. Some of the techniques could be unsafe for use in crowded homes; they expose your family to danger. This is why it is better to contact experts than taking risks which could turn disastrous.


In sum, when unclogging a kitchen sink, you can try these different ways one after another. A particular method might be suitable for certain types of clogs or drains. Therefore, it is up to you to select one that you feel it best fits the condition of your sink. However, it is advisable to avoid draining unwanted materials, or food remains through the drain. If you can’t prevent this totally, then you should consider using one of the preventive measures mentioned above to lower clog build up.

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