For days, your sink has been clogged and now your kitchen starts smelling bad from the stagnant water. And while you might be able to reach for Drano’s bottle, you might prefer a solution that will not require pouring chemicals down the drain (or you just don’t have time to run to the store).
For days, your sink has been clogged and now your kitchen starts smelling bad from the stagnant water. And while you might be able to reach for Drano’s bottle, you might choose a solution that will not require dumping chemicals down the drain (or you just don’t have time to run to the store).
Depending on how bad the clog is, both of these procedures will need to be followed and repeated as needed. And if there’s a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, try running that before you start grinding some food that might sit in there. These are the best ways out your sink to clear the clog.
Pour with boiling water
If hair, grease, soap residue and other contaminants are trapped in your drain, boiling water may be all your blockage pipes need to loosen. It’s the easiest repair, which means when you try to unclog a sink it should be your first move.
Here are the steps to follow: Take half a gallon of water to your stove to boil or use a kettle to heat the water. Pour the boiling water straight into the opening of the drain.
Switch on your faucet to see if the water flows slowly. If it is still slowly dripping or still standing in the tub, repeat the process. (If your drain is attached to PVC pipes, do not try this method, as the boiling water may melt or damage the plastic)
If after the second attempt the boiling water fails to dislodge the clog, it is time to move on to a different method. Sadly, you have yourself a sink clog which is too stubborn for the simple approach to boiling water.
If you have standing water in your tub, plunging it into the drain is the best way to get it down. You will need a plunger from your bathroom— but hopefully not the one (yuck), so use a clean one. To this very intent, it is a good idea to store a small plunger under your sink.
If you have a double sink, make sure that you plug the other side before you start, keeping the seal intact and preventing any water from burgling the other end.
Place the plunger in your sink over the drain to create a suctioning effect, and pump firmly up and down until the water starts to clear. After all that stagnant water is out of the sink, run down the drain clean water to make sure it’s clear. If it’s not, you’re going to have to plunge again.
Remove the trap
The next step is to remove the trap when you have a stubborn kitchen sink clog that can’t be cleaned with a plunger. The trap design serves a significant function, but it can quickly get clogged with debris washed down the sink drain. Removing the drain trap gives you direct access to the clog and makes it easy to clear it. You should visually inspect the surrounding pipe if the clog isn’t at the trap itself. With the trap removed, you look inside the pipe which sits before and after the trap to decide if you can see the clog somewhere. If you can see the clog you can clean it out quickly. If the clog is not apparent, then the blockage is further down the drain pipe.
Use drain cleaner
If clogs are a common occurrence for your sink in the kitchen it may be a good idea to periodically use a mild drain cleaner. If you find that a drain cleaner is slowly draining the kitchen sink, a full blockage may be prevented. This quick preventive action can save you time and stress along the way. A gentle household cleaner is everything you need to help keep the drain pipes clean.
Use plumber’s snake
The clogs which put up a fight will require a plumber’s snake’s strength to fight the blockage. The method has a spiral coiled serpent, reaching down into the sink. Once the snake reaches an obstruction, you can twist the handle to dislodge the debris from the drain and pull it out. Electrical snakes hold even more strength for attacking obstructed drains.
If you do not have the snake of a plumber, you can create a makeshift one with a coat hanger for the wire. To unwind the hanger into a long piece of wire simply use a pair of needle-nose pliers. Keep the hooked hand, because this is what you are going to use to pull on the debris. If required, the hook angle can be adjusted with the pliers so that it can easily fit through the opening of the drain.
No matter what tool you’re using, just push it a few feet down the drain at a time. Remember not to move too forcefully as you might force the clog further down the pipe, by mistake. When you feel your tool’s tip touch an obstacle, clip it on and pull the debris up the drain. Continue doing this until you feel confident the blockage has gone away. Run up the drain with hot water to see if you’re right.
Clean the P-trap
If you’ve tried every alternative but still won’t drain your sink, you might need to clean up the P-trap. This is your sink component which prevents debris and sewer gasses from rising through the drain.
Next, insert a straightened coat hanger carefully through the opening into your sink to dislodge any food that may be trapped in the drain. Sadly, if that doesn’t work, then you’ll have to isolate the P-trap.
The P-trap lies beneath the sink and is shaped like a U. To clear it, put on a pair of gloves (like plastic dishwashing gloves or leather gloves you don’t mind getting dirty) and place a bucket, trash can, or garbage bag under the pipes to catch any trapped food or water. If it is too close, use pliers to help loosen the attachments.
Use something firm like a knife or a coat hanger now that it’s removed to push the food through and scrape the sides for any grease. You can now re-attach the P-trap, and watch your water drain as it should.
(source: thespruce.com, homeserve.com, and cnet.com)