If your home’s kitchen sink is clogged or has been in the past, you’re not alone. Clogged sinks are a common issue homeowners face and can leave you with a sink full of water that won’t drain and a pile of dirty dishes just waiting for someone to clean them (except maybe your home cleaning service). But a backed-up kitchen sink is no reason to panic, however. Most clogs are solvable through a variety of methods – and you may not need a plumber – that don’t cost much. Let’s look at some things you can do to put your sink back in business.
1. Use a plunger
A standard household plunger is an excellent tool for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is loosening stubborn clogs. Using a plunger is one of the first steps you can take to unclog your kitchen sink. If you have a double-sided sink, seal off one side with a stopper or wet cloth. Fill the other side with enough water to cover the bell of the plunger while creating a seal around it. Plunge with an up and down motion several times; you should hear when the suction clears the clog. When it does, remove the plunger and flush the rain with warm water.
2. Use a plumber’s snake
Also known as an auger (or a drain snake), a snake is another invaluable tool to have in your home for getting rid of stubborn clogs. This step is a bit more complicated than using a plunger because you typically have to take apart the drainpipe and trap that runs underneath your sink to provide access to the pipe that travels behind the wall. Insert the snake into the pipe until you feel resistance and then rotate the snake’s cable to break up the clog.
3. The boiling water trick
OK, so it’s not really a “trick,” but using boiling water is another relatively low-hassle method for ridding your kitchen sink of a stubborn clog. You simply bring a pot of water to a vigorous boil while you remove as much water as possible from your stopped-up sink. Pour the pan or kettle of boiling water in the sink and wait to see what happens: if the water doesn’t move it means the clog still exists. Let the water cool, remove as much of it as you can, and repeat the process of pouring boiling water down the clogged area. It may take several attempts, but it often works.
4. Is it your disposal?
Your garbage disposal may be the culprit in your clogged sink caper because a stopped-up disposal can plug the drain. Run the disposal to see if it clears the clog.
5. Drain cleaner
Supermarket shelves are well-stocked with drain cleaners that specifically target clogged drains. If clogs are a common problem, you may want to use a mild drain cleaner regularly. Be careful, however, because too-frequent use of harsher cleaners can corrode pipes in the long run. Even a mild household cleaner may be enough to keep your drain pipes clean.
6. Remove the trap
Removing the drain trap is a step you can take if you’re unable to clear the clog with a plunger. A drain trap’s shape is essential for the plumbing to work efficiently but often makes it easier for debris to become clogged within it. By removing the drain trap, you should have unobstructed access to the clog, making it easier to clear out. If you remove the trap but can’t see the clog, then the blockage is lodged someplace further down the pipe.
7. Using a coat hanger
You might have some luck clearing your sink’s clog by using a coat hanger in place of a drain snake. A coat hanger is narrow enough to remove debris from the baffle from a part of the drainage known as the waste tee. It takes some finesse, but you can often bend a hook on the end of and dislodge the clog that way. A pair of pliers is useful for bending the hanger’s hook far enough that it fits through the slots in the basket strainer. Run water in the sink after you’ve used the hanger to ensure that you’ve removed the clog.
8. Some homemade remedies
Pouring a pan of boiling water down the drain is often a quick and easy fix for a clogged drain, and there are other simple solutions you can try, including using salt and boiling water. After removing the standing water in the sink, pour a half-cup of table salt down the drain and then pour in the boiling water after letting the salt sit for a few minutes. Or, you can use a solution of vinegar and baking soda (about a cup each) and let it sit for about 15 minutes with the stopper on before flushing it down with hot water.
9. Call the professionals
When in doubt, call on a team of professionals, such as Planet Maids, to take care of your clogged sink while keeping it free from future clogs. They’ll do the job right and help keep clogs from occurring in the future. Meanwhile, they’ll save you the time from having to try and resolve the solution yourself: time that you may not have. Also, doing it yourself could create more significant problems that cost you additional time and money in the long run.