What is the Best Way to Unclog a Sink? Drain Fast and Easy (2023)
Gleaming white marble counters, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and state-of-the-art appliances are useless when your kitchen sink is clogged. Here are the best ways to unclog a sink, according to our experts.
Best Way to Unclog a Sink
Nothing cramps a beautiful home more than having standing water and chunks of food debris haunting the kitchen sink.
Not only is it inconvenient and an eyesore, but it also reeks! (An image filed and stashed under 'images that you can smell.jpg')
Luckily, unclogging your sink isn't a difficult job. The nastiest clogs can be removed in 8 EASY WAYS.
Here's a DIY fix of how you can unclog your kitchen sink or any sink for that matter. Save yourself from a trip to the hardware store, and try these no-brainer solutions first.
1. Boiling Water
The first on our list of best ways to unclog a sink is by using hot water to flush out food and other gunks down the drain.
For those who aren't the biggest fan of tinkering around household items or hardware tools, this method is perfect.
You won't need anything else besides a kettle filled with boiling water―BOILING, we repeat, hot tap water just won't do―and a cup to scoop out the excess standing water on the sink.
Below is how you should go about it:
- Fill a pot of kettle until it's boiling.
- While waiting for it to finish boiling, you can bail out as much standing water as you can just to de-clog a bit.
- Carefully pour the boiling water down the drain and into the drain trap to dissolve grease or soap residue.
- Wait for 5 mins before scooping the water out.
- Repeat the process until the water drains steadily.
This approach is the easiest and should be one of the first things you do when the sink is clogged.
CAUTION: Don't use boiling water if you have PVC pipes because the heat can melt down the plastic. Rather, properly use a drain or toilet plunger instead.
2. Clear Garbage Disposal
If your kitchen sink drain is built with a garbage disposal, then chances are it's the CULPRIT behind your sink clogs.
Last night's leftovers might not have gone down the drain smoothly and are now causing a problem.
To check, switch the garbage disposal off first and carefully inspect for any blockage.
If you find food waste stuck in between the blades, grab a lever to manually remove them. For STUBBORN CHUNKS, use a plunger.
CAUTION: Be careful while doing this and NEVER stick your hand inside the garbage disposal. We wouldn't want you to lose a finger.
This serves as your lesson to properly clean your garbage disposal.
Also, try to assess if the problem is the garbage disposal itself.
Since it's a machine, it's prone to overheating. When this happens, all you have to do is restart it at the base, found on the side or on the bottom of the disposal.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar
One of the best ways to unclog a sink naturally is using baking soda and vinegar, and we'll show you why:
- Remove the drain stopper.
- Take one cup of baking soda and one cup of white vinegar.
- Pour it down the drain.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes before washing it out with hot water.
- If the clog is deep in the pipe, add more vinegar.
- REPEAT until the water is completely drained.
That's how easy it is. No fuss, no fancy tools needed.
4. Salt and Water
Homeowners don't need to take any step further than their kitchen cupboard to find the solution to a clogged sink.
The great thing about these techniques is you'll most likely have ALL THE ITEMS already inside your home, such as salt and water.
After removing the drain cover, pour a half cup of salt into the opening, followed by boiling hot water fresh from the kettle.
Tip: For extra cleaning powers, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice.
Because salt has antimicrobial properties, it kills bacterias and dissolves whatever food debris there is.
5. Plumber's Snake
It's time to bring out the big guns.
For the TOUGHEST CLOG and BLOCKAGE that even boiling or hot water just won't flush out, use a plumber's snake. A plumber's snake is a handy tool used to dislodge clogs.
It's named after a snake because of its coiled shape that reaches DEEP DOWN in the drain to the wall pipes. Once the snake hits the blockage, you can crank the handle to pull the debris out.
If you don't have a plumber's snake at home, you can always improvise with a coat hanger. Simply, unwind it using pliers and slip the cable in the drain opening to the pipes.
6. Clear the P-Trap
If the water is still draining slowly, then the blockage might be at the P-trap.
If you're not familiar with it, the P-trap is the U-shaped pipe under the sink. It's a place where a lot of food and grease get stuck and clog the drains.
In order to fix it, you'll have to disassemble the pipe. But don't worry, you don't need to call the plumber just yet. We got you covered with our step by step guide:
- Place a bucket under the wall pipe and have a rag ready when things get messy.
- Unscrew the connectors that hold the trap. Look for the nut on the end.
- Remove the P-trap and clean the pipe from residue.
- Reconnect the trap.
- Turn on the faucet to check if everything works.
7. Chemical Drain Cleaners
Clear the clog and see the results ASAP with chemical drain cleaners.
Chemicals are very effective at dissolving food chunks and grease stuck in drains and pipes, but beware of the dangers of using chemical cleaners  to your health and the environment.
Because of the risks, many people have switched to baking soda and other natural drain cleaners instead.
CAUTION: Use rubber gloves to protect your skin.
When all else fails, use a plunger.
The best way to unclog a sink in your house is to plunge the clog away!
Preventing Clogging from the Future
Are you all set?
Once you remove the clog in your kitchen drain or bathroom sink, make sure to properly dispose of your wastes to avoid the same problem anytime soon. Here's what you need to look out for:
- Grease, fats, oils
- Fish bones, chicken bones
- Egg shells
- Coffee grounds
- Pasta or any type of starchy food
- Vegetable residues, corn husks, celery
- Nuts, skins of fruits
Another suggestion of ours is to make it a habit to always clear your plate before doing the dishes or throwing it in the dishwasher.
There's no need to call a plumber when you can fix the clogged sink on your own with these 8 proven methods. Our team has laid out the most effective methods that you can do yourself.