Clogged sink? 3 easy fix-it methods with things you already have around the house

If you have a sink that’s draining slowly, you can use vinegar and baking soda to clear it.


If you’re attempting to empty your sink however nothing appears to be disappearing, likelihood is it is clogged. And whereas you may attain for the bottle of Drano, you could favor a way that will not contain pouring chemical compounds down the drain (or you simply do not have time to run to the retailer).

The resolution you must get your pipes flowing once more could already be in your cupboards. Some methods require a easy combination, whereas others require some additional elbow grease and suctioning energy to clear your drain. But these methods are fairly cheap in comparison with calling a plumber. 

Depending on how unhealthy the clog is, you could must observe all of those methods and repeat them just a few instances to unclog your sink. And in case your kitchen sink has a rubbish disposal, strive operating that earlier than you start to grind any meals that may very well be sitting in there (It’s a standard cause for clogging.) Here are the greatest methods to unclog your sink and ship the stagnant, smelly water away. 


If your kitchen sink is not draining, use a mix of baking soda and vinegar to clear it, or plunge it.

Taylor Martin/CNET

Use a plunger

If you’ve obtained standing water in your sink, the greatest strategy to get it to go down the drain is to plunge it. You’ll want a plunger — however ideally not the one out of your lavatory (yuck), so use a clear one. It’s a good suggestion to retailer a small plunger beneath your sink for this very objective. 

If you have a double sink, ensure that you plug the different facet earlier than you start, to maintain the seal intact and to forestall any water from burbling out the different finish.

Place the plunger over the drain in your sink to create a suctioning impact and firmly pump up and down till the water begins to filter out. After all the stagnant water is out of the sink, run clear water down the drain to verify it is clear. If it is not, you’ll must plunge once more.

Use a baking soda and vinegar combination 

If you do not have a clear plunger readily available, you can use a tried-and-true cleansing approach with baking soda and vinegar. This creates a effervescent response that breaks up bigger items of muck so that they’re going to go down the drain simply. 

First, begin off by boiling water in a kettle after which pour it down the drain (electric kettles can heat water anywhere, however it would not matter how you get the boiling water — simply watch out to not spill). 

It must be boiling and never simply scorching faucet water in order that it may dissolve and loosen up meals particles and smaller blockages. This will assist flush out the drain, however it will not fully filter out the clog. However, if you’ve obtained PVC pipes, it is best to skip this step as a result of it may loosen the pipe seals. You can nonetheless flush with scorching faucet water after you’ve accomplished the vinegar and baking soda remedy.

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Next, pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes. You may need to use a wooden spoon, rubber spatula or plastic utensil to help push the baking soda down the drain. I’d avoid using metal or anything sharp that you don’t want scraping up your sink. 

After the baking soda sits, pour in a cup of white distilled vinegar. The combination will create a fizzy reaction to help loosen the clog. Use a stopper and plug the sink for about 15 minutes. During this time, boil another pot of water. After the time is up, pour the boiling water down the sink to flush it once more. 

Repeat this regularly to prevent buildup in the future.


Keep your sink drain clear.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Clean the P-trap of old food and grease 

If you’ve tried every option but your sink still won’t drain, you may need to clean the P-trap. This is the part of your sink that keeps debris and sewer gases from rising up through the drain

First, carefully insert a straightened coat hanger through the opening in your sink to dislodge any foods that could be stuck in the drain. Unfortunately, if that doesn’t work, you’ll have to take the P-trap apart. 

The P-trap is located underneath the sink and is shaped like a U. To remove it, put on a pair of gloves (like plastic dishwashing gloves or leather gloves that you don’t mind getting dirty) and place a bucket, trash can or a garbage bag under the pipes to catch any food or water that is stuck. If it’s on too tight, use pliers to help loosen the fittings. 

Now that it’s removed, use something firm like a knife or coat hanger to push the food through and scrape the sides for any grease. Now you can reattach the P-trap and watch your water drain like it’s supposed to.


The P-trap is shaped like a U and is located underneath your sink.

Home Depot

Take good care of your garbage disposal

The garbage disposal is one of the most common reasons why your sink may be clogged. There may be a spoon, or food that’s backing it up. In order to prevent your sink from becoming clogged again, you’ll want to follow these tips.

  • Never pour grease down your drain. Instead, pour it into an old glass jar (like one from pasta sauce) and dispose of it in the trash when it cools down.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, always run cold water instead of hot when using it. Cold water helps keep grease in its solid form so that it doesn’t stick to the pipe walls. Hot water could melt it, causing slick residue to cling to the pipes.
  • Don’t run certain foods through the garbage disposal — like potato peels, bones, coffee grounds, pasta and more. They could damage or dull the blades (bones, coffee grounds), or cause it to become sticky and clogged (potato peels, pasta).

What’s a creative way you’ve unclogged your kitchen sink? Let us know in the comments.

Ready to unclog the plumbing throughout the rest of your house? Check out how to clean your shower head the stupid-easy way and how to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

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