So many things get shoved down the kitchen sink, from dinner leftovers to the occasional fork, and whatever the kids decide to put down the drain while you are not looking. It is no wonder that kitchen sinks seem to get clogged up so often. If you called a plumber every time that the sink got clogged you would probably not be able to afford to keep the house that the sink is in. Therefore, knowing how to unclog the sink yourself is a very valuable skill.
Most clogs are due to a combination of hair, soap and tepid water. A simple formula of everyday household items can probably clear the drain. Vinegar and baking soda can frequently unclog drains. To try this method, remove everything from the sink, then pour ¼ cup of baking soda down the drain. About 30 seconds later, pour one cup of vinegar down the drain. Cover the drain with a pot lid or bowl and wait about 15 minutes. If this does not clear the clog the first time, try it two or three more times.
If vinegar and baking soda do not successfully unclog the sink, try using hot water. Boiling water can sometimes unclog a drain. To try this method, boil a gallon of water and slowly pour it down the drain. Only do this if you have metal pipes, since PVC pipes can melt or become damaged. This will cause an even bigger mess than a clogged drain. This may create blockage or holes, forcing you to replace the sink’s pipes altogether.
If boiling water does not unclog your drain, wait for the sink to cool off and then remove the basket drainer. Use a plunger to attempt to clear the clog in the drain. This is best accomplished by using quick, sharp movements with the plunger. This may take several minutes to be successful, so do not give up too easily if you do not unclog the sink right away. If the clog clears, remove it from the sink to the trash can and replace the basket drainer.
If the plunger does not clear the clog, try a sink auger. These devices can be purchased for about $20 each in any hardware store and can save you from having to call a plumber. Each device works a little bit differently, so be sure to follow the directions that come with the device.
If the sink auger does not successfully unclog the sink, try using a chemical drain cleaner. Read the labels of the various drain cleaners if you have a septic tank, since only some cleaners are safe to use with a septic tank. Follow the instructions on the bottle.
Once the sink clog has been removed, it is important to refrain from letting things go down the sink again that shouldn’t. Try keeping a screen or grate across the bottom of the sink, over the drain and across the sink strainer, so that nothing large can slip through the opening. This will help prevent the future clogging of the sink, as well as save money, time and energy in the long run.