Your kitchen sink sees a lot of action, but are you keeping it clean and happy? If you’ve noticed that your kitchen sink is draining slowly or there’s a funky smell coming out of it, you may need to unclog and clean it. Whenever you are ready to give that a try, this is the article for you. We’ll be talking about how to properly unclog and clean a kitchen sink.
Clearing the Clog
- Start by removing any standing water. Scoop it out and dispose of it outside before getting started on the cleaning.
- Your first step to try should be using a cup plunger. Many smaller clogs can be pretty easily removed using this method. You will want to make sure that there is enough fresh water in the sink to cover the head of the plunger and that the plunger has created the appropriate seal, then work the plunger up and down quickly. You only want to lift it up a small amount on the upstroke, may an inch at most. If this method doesn’t do the trick, try another one on the list!
- Piping hot water can help to dislodge a clog. Pour boiling water into the drain with a slow and steady stream. The water should begin to move depending on what the clog is made up of. However, if your plumbing in that area is connected to PVC pipes then you shouldn’t use this method as it could warp the pipes.
- Check on the garbage disposal. If your sink isn’t flowing properly or is smelling a little funny, then there could be something stuck in the disposal. Try turning on the disposal to see if that breaks it up. If that doesn’t work, check to see if the unit is overheated or if something is stuck.
- Try out a plumbing snake or auger. Feed the cable of the snake into the drain until you hit a little resistance. Push and twist into the clog, and you should feel the change when you get all the way through it. Pull the snake back out slowly, breaking up the clog, then flush with hot water.
- If it doesn’t work in the drain, then you may need to try this same process at the P-trap, located under the sink, to get a different angle. Remember to clean up really well after this.
- DON’T use chemical cleaners for this type of clog. Not only could this possibly damage your pipes from the corrosive chemicals, but there could be backsplash that hits you in the face. The risk is too high to be playing with chemicals for this type and location of clog.
Keeping it Clean
What is the best way to deal with kitchen sink clogs? Don’t let it clog up in the first place! Keeping your kitchen sink clean and keeping certain items out of the disposal is a surefire way to help minimize the risk of clogs. Make sure you are rinsing the sink out properly after use, leave the water running in a thin, steady stream if you run the disposal, and keep the following items out of your disposal:
- Coffee grounds, banana peels, meat, stringy vegetables or fruits, grease, fat, oils, bones, starches, eggshells, and any non-food items.
The above items should be thrown in the trash can, as they are either too hard on your disposal or clog it up and make it smelly.
The Final Option
If you try all of these tricks to clear out your kitchen sink clog but can’t make any progress, it may be time to call in a professional to get the issue handled. A trained plumber will be able to use professional-grade tools and methods to break down and remove those hard-to-get blockages.
So, what have we learned from this article? There are plenty of ways to unclog a kitchen sink, and the best defense is a good offense (as in keeping the sink clean in the first place). Try these tips as a good starting point, and hopefully, they will do the trick for you. If they do, that is fabulous, and you can save a few bucks. If not, then know that your plumber will be right there to help you out when you call.