Unclog Your Kitchen Sink In 5 Simple Steps

December 6, 2022

It never fails, you are preparing for guests to come for the holidays. Pots on the stove, a pie baking in the oven, and every surface covered in items to be used throughout the day, when one of the kids tells you the sink is clogged. We understand nobody has time for this.  

Don't panic. Chances are you can unclog it yourself. In this article, we will share the most common causes of a clogged kitchen sink and how to unclog it in 5 easy steps.

6 Most Common Causes of Kitchen Sink Clogs 

Before we talk about how to unclog your sink, first let’s go over the six most common causes of kitchen sink clogs.

1. Grease and oil

Grease and oil tend to build up over time and form clogs in the piping. Never dispose of grease or oil down the drain.  Instead, wait for it to coagulate and put it in the trash. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future.

2. Food waste

It's easy to think that the small bits of food that go down the drain is okay.  Unfortunately, this is not true. If you're not careful about what goes down your sink, it can create blockages. Using a small strainer at the top of the drain is a simple solution to avoiding this problem.

3. Hair

Although hair is most often a problem in the shower, we still see it happening in kitchens. Long hair strands from washing dishes or hair from brushing often get stuck in the drain, creating another type of blockage. 

4. Soap scum

This one may surprise you.  But it's true. If you're not cleaning your sink regularly, soap scum can start to build up and create a clog.

5. Coffee grounds

Never put coffee grounds down the sink. These can be difficult to remove as they tend to stick to the walls of the pipe and form clogs over time. The good news is there are a lot of ways to recycle your coffee grounds.  We recently found this fun blog that shares 8 ways to recycle your coffee grounds.

6. Detergents

Who do you know in your house who uses too much detergent?  We love kids but kids love detergent.  Be sure to tell them that too much of a detergent can create a buildup in the pipes and block the flow.

5 Simple Steps To Unclogging Your Kitchen Sink

Now that we know what causes kitchen sinks to clog, let's discuss the 5 steps for unclogging them.  Don't worry, we promise it's easy.

Step #1 Gather supplies

You will need gloves, a bucket or container for water, a plunger, a snake tool (if needed), and baking soda or vinegar.

Step #2 Turn off the water

It is always a good idea to turn the water off at the sink shutoff valve located underneath the sink.

Step #3 Remove standing water

Use a cup or small bucket to remove any standing water in the kitchen sink.  Removing the water will make it much less messy to do the next step.

Step #4 Use a plunger

If you have a double sink, be sure to plug the other one and then use the plunger to unclog the clog. If you have not used a plunger before, remember that you need to use it with a fast up-and-down motion.

Step #5 Try a snake tool

If the plunger doesn't unclog the sink, then you may need to try using a plumbing snake tool. You can buy this at any local hardware store or online.  

If these simple steps don't work, try using chemical cleaning agents.

You can make a cleaning agent by pouring a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain or using an enzyme-based cleaner to unclog the clog.

Following these steps should unclog your sink in no time! If you find yourself still having issues, it may be best to contact a local plumbing professional for help. We are always happy to help. Give us a call! Good luck unclogging and don't forget to enjoy your holiday season!

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