How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Without Harsh Chemicals (5 Methods)
January 22, 2018
Although clogged sinks are a common kitchen occurrence, that doesn’t make them any less frustrating. If your kitchen sink is utilized often in your household, there’s a chance it’s collected debris and slow build-up in the drain pipes over time, eventually clogging it.
There are various methods and approached you can take if you have a clogged sink. Thankfully, not all of them involve using harsh chemicals. To unclog a kitchen sink without harmful harsh chemicals, check out the methods below.
5 Ways to Unclog a Kitchen Sink Without Harsh Chemicals
1. How can I unclog a sink with a plunger?
Do you have a plunger? If so, you’ll likely be able to unclog your sink. To unclog a kitchen sink with a plunger, first, fill the sink partially with water. You’ll want the water to be hot and fill about ¼ to ½ of the sink.
Next, place the plunger over top of the sink drain. If you have a double sink, temporarily clog the unclogged sink by stuffing a towel or washcloth in it. This is will ensure the plunger’s pressure is focused on the clog in the other drain.
Once the plunger is in place, work it up and down quickly. Then, remove the plunger from off of the drain and check to see if the water in the sink starts to drain. If the drain is still clogged, try using the plunger until the clog is dislodged. If this is taking a while and doesn’t seem to be making any difference, give another method a try.
Pro tip: For sanitary reasons, if you use a plunger to unclog your sink, make sure you use one that is not used in your bathroom. You can keep one in your kitchen, and one for your washroom(s). Better yet, you can get a specialized sink plunger that will have a superior suction in a kitchen or bathroom sink.
2. How can I unclog a sink with homemade drain cleaner?
To make homemade drain cleaner, use vinegar and baking soda. Begin by putting on a pair of rubber gloves. Using a bowl or cup, try to get any water out of the sink and discard that water in a bucket or elsewhere.
Now, take 1 cup of baking soda, and push it down the clogged kitchen sink drain. You can make use of a spatula for this step to help force the baking soda in. The vinegar comes next. Pour 1 cup of vinegar into the opening of the drain and then put the stopper into the sink. This will force the vinegar into the clog.
Wait five minutes after pouring the vinegar in to allow the solution to work into the clog. After five minutes, run warm water to check if the clog has disappeared. If the clog still appears to be there, pour four cups of boiling water down the drain.
3. How can I unclog a sink with a drain snake?
For this method, use a small hand-operated drain snake to take on your clogged sink. Handheld drain snakes are widely available and easy to find at hardware supply stores. Typically, these drain or plumber snakes cost less than $10.
The steel wire design of these drain snakes is what will allow them to bend around pipes and twist to remove debris. To use the drain snake on the clogged sink, push the snake into the clog and crank it down further into the pipe and obstruction.
4. How can I unclog a sink clogged with grease?
Fatty substances can be tricky to from a clogged kitchen sink, and unfortunately, these substances can get into the drain pretty easily in the first place. Grease and fatty substances go down the drain easily when in a liquid state, like when you’re dumping hot grease in a pan or dissolved fat into the sink dishwater. However, as the substances move through the pipes, they also cool and coat the pipes’ insides.
So how can you unclog a sink clogged with grease? Your best bet is to use liquid dish detergent and hot water. In future, take the steps below to prevent grease drain clogs for occurring again:
- Don’t put fats, oil, or grease down a drain or garbage disposal.
- Avoid using hot water to attempt to melt the fats so they rinse further down the drain. This method will result in the fats eventually cooling and continuing to clog your pipes.
- Dispose of waste in the trash, including vegetable peels.
- Install a hair filter in the drain.
- Monthly, flush the kitchen drain with salt and hot water.
Pro tip: Keep a mason jar next to your stove and pour kitchen grease into it when you are done cooking. Keep the lid on it, and dispose of it when full.
5. How can I unclog a sink by removing the trap?
Removing the drain trap is often the final method to try when other methods to unclogging kitchen sinks don’t work. If a plunger or homemade drain cleaner doesn’t do the trick, the last step is to remove the trap.
While the shape of the trap has an important purpose, it can also be frustrating, as it easily clogs with debris washed down the kitchen sink drain. Remove the drain trap to get direct access to the clog. This will give you the opportunity to clearly see the clog and be able to remove it.
If you take this step and find the clog is not in the drain trap itself, you still will be able to take a look at the surrounding pipe and see if you can determine where the clog is located in the pipes.