How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

A clogged kitchen sink is never convenient, but it is particularly difficult to cope with during the holidays. Unfortunately, during the holidays, a clogged kitchen sink is also much more likely to happen.

At this busy time of year, our kitchen sinks get quite a workout. We are cooking and baking, hosting parties and guests, and generally spending more time in the kitchen. Throughout the year, the pipes that connect to our kitchen sink collect bits of food debris, soap scum, and various gunk. As this accumulation grows, the open passageway of the pipe narrows. Then the holidays come along, and we are suddenly using the plumbing system a lot more than usual. This can be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The already-narrowed pipes just can’t take all the junk that we’re sending down them, and you get a clog.

Before the holidays get into full swing, it may be a good idea to clean out those pipes. You can do a gentle cleaning yourself by pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain and then flushing the drain with hot water. This will help to clear out any accumulation of debris. Consider this a pre-emptive strike against clogged drains. If you do get a clog, follow these steps to unclog a kitchen sink.

  1. 1. Get a plunger – preferably not the same one that you use for the toilet.
  2. 2. Fill the sink about halfway with water. If it’s a double sink, stick a dishrag in the drain on the other side.
  3. 3. Place the plunger over the drain, and pump it up and down (just like you would do with a toilet).
  4. 4. After a few good pumps of the plunger, check to see if the water is draining out.
  5. 5. If this doesn’t work, try the vinegar and baking soda trick. Of course, it’s better to do this before you get a clog, but you can use it to get rid of clogs, too. Pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, and then pour a cup of plain, white vinegar into the drain. Wait a few minutes until the solution stops foaming and bubbling. Then flush the drain with hot water.
  6. 6. If the clog does not clear up, you can repeat this vinegar and baking soda process.

If neither of these methods does the trick, you need a more aggressive approach. Don’t waste your time on chemical drain cleaners; they introduce toxic chemicals to your water supply, and they provide a temporary reprieve at best. Instead, the pipes will need to be cleaned out with a cable auger or hydro-jet. These are very effective procedures, but they are best left to the professionals.

A hydro-jet is a tool that uses a high-powered stream of water to blast clogs out of your drains. It’s sort of like a pressure washer for your pipes. A hydro-jet is safe because it just uses water to clean your pipes – no dangerous chemicals. However, it should only be operated by a professional plumber.

If you get a clog in your kitchen sink this holiday season, call Scott English Plumbing. We have been serving the Orange County area for more than 19 years. We provide high-quality service at affordable prices, and we’re available 24/7. Plumbing emergencies never occur at a convenient time, so we are here for you all the time. Whenever you have a plumbing problem, contact Scott English Plumbing.