What to Do When the Kitchen Sink Gets Clogged


We’ve all been there. We are happily washing our dishes and then notice there is water filling up in the sink. You get that oh-no moment and hope that it is just a plate covering the drain, but no. It’s a clog and now you have to deal with it.

No one likes to get a blockage in their sink piping. It is more than an inconvenience and one that you can’t put off. Something has to be done and quick. So what do you do?

Here are some ideas for what to do when a sink is clogged:

Call the professionals

If your kitchen sink is severely clogged, it’s time to bring in the professionals. Find a local, qualified plumber that can handle the problem and watch them work their wonders. They have the tools and know-how to tackle the most stubborn clogs and will get your water up and running in no time. You do have to spend some money, but it is more than worth it.

A clogged sink doesn’t have to be your worst nightmare. Go ahead and tackle it with the above methods and see if you can be the hero in your dreams. Once you do get your water running freely again, try these preventative tips:

  • Don’t dispose of any grease, fat, meat, paper, coffee grounds or starches down the drain.
  • Regularly pour boiling water in the sink to wash away any build-up.
  • Throwdown some frozen vinegar and water ice cubes into the garbage disposal once a month to help keep it clean and clear.
  • Invest in a drain cover when using your sink to catch any debris.

Take care of your sink and it will take care of you for a long time!

Start with boiling water

Boiling water is your best friend when you have a clogged sink. Usually, your drains and pipes have a build-up that has grown over time. This biofilm is made up of things like grease, food debris, hair, toothpaste, soap and skin cells. If you get to it early enough, the water will do the trick.

Boil your water and slowly pour it down the drain. Immediately get another pot on the boil to be sure and run the tap hot water afterward and see if it starts to back up again. If not, you are good to go but still pour the second pot of boiling water down the drain for good measure.

If the problem still exists, try a few more goes with the boiling water. Your clog may be a little tougher to tackle though, so let’s try the next level.

Super baking soda

Baking soda is a wonder powder with so many uses around the home. For a clogged drain, you need to remove any standing water so you can pour the baking powder down the drain. Use 1/2 a cup and follow it with 1/2 a cup of vinegar.

Let the chemical reaction happen for 5-10 minutes and then bring out the boiling water. Slowly pour it down the drain and see if that does the trick. This is a natural alternative to commercial drain cleaners. While they do work, they are very harmful chemicals and should be used with extreme caution.

Get out the plunger

A plunger is a great tool for removing clogs in your plumbing system. They work perfect in toilets, but you can also use them in the sink. First things first, buy a second plunger. You don’t want any bacteria from the toilet in your sink, so splurge for another one and keep it in a separate place.

Make sure there is standing water in the sink, and then you simply cover the drain opening with the plunger head and let Boyle’s Law do the rest. A plunger works with physics, so it increases pressure and pushes the water down to the clog when you push down on a plunger. Pulling back up releases the pressure and the water rinses back.

You can go slow or do it rapidly, but it will take several up and down motions to get things cleared. If your clog still hasn’t given way, then it’s time to get a little dirty.

Plumber’s snake

This is a great tool for reaching clogs that go beyond the p-trap. It is a coiled metal spiral that you feed down the drain until you get resistance. This will mean you’ve reached the clog. Then it is a simple cranking of the handle and the snake spins and does its work.

You can use a coat hanger fashioned into a long wire with a hook on the end for a DIY snake. Feed it down the drain and try to push through the blockage. Then pull up and down to break up the build-up and hopefully, you will see the water start to drain. Pull it out and clean it up for next time and follow up with our trusty boiling water.


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