5 Best Ways To Unclog a Kitchen Sink

This is a quick guide for how to unclog a kitchen sink. Here are the top 5 ways! Keep in mind it may take more than one method to get your desired result, except cleaning the drain with an auger, if done properly, that ALWAYS works!

Clear The Trap

Cleaning the trap is really easy! The trap is the U shaped pipe under your kitchen sink. Because of its shape, solids have a tendency for getting stuck in it, clogging the kitchen sink. Heavy solids fall to the bottom of the trap and are unable to make it out, clogging your kitchen sink. To clean the trap, all you will need is a bucket. Start by putting a bucket under the trap, then loosen the slip nuts above the trap. When the nuts are completely loose, the trap should fall into the bucket. Remove all debris and reattach by tightening the slip nuts. It is really that easy! The entire process should take less than 3 minutes.

Use a Plunger

Before you use a plunger, you will want to make sure the trap is clear so that way you don’t push debris from the trap into the drain. Start by putting a couple inches of water in the sink. Put the plunger on the sink’s drain, then quickly push down and pull up over and over again. If water does not go down after 2 or 3 minutes, you will need to try a different method. If your sink has two drains, you will need to firmly hold a second plunger over one of the drains while you plunge the other drain.

Use Vinegar & Baking Soda 

The vinegar and baking soda method for unclogging a kitchen sink is one of the most popular online solutions. It does a pretty good job removing sludge and other build up on the insides of your pipes. However, it only works if your drain is partially open. Start by pouring 1 cup of baking soda followed by 1 cup of vinegar into the clogged kitchen sink. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Finally, run hot water for 5 minutes. It is really that easy! If this doesn’t unclog your kitchen sink, it might be time to try the step below!

Clean The Drain With an Auger

This is the most difficult method, so keep reading for easier ways!

This is the best way to clean and unclog a kitchen sink drain. It is by far the most time consuming method for cleaning a clogged kitchen sink, but will get your drain much more clean than any other method. Start by removing the trap, as described above. Then run your auger, or drain snake, back and forth throughout the drain. Make sure to run the entire length of the auger! This should only take a skilled professional with high-end tools about 15 minutes. However, if it is your first time using an auger, expect it to take quite a bit longer. Put the trap back together and run some water to make sure that the line is clear. 

Pro Tip- The auger loosened everything up and cleared the blockage. Now is the time to flush your pipes to get them really clean. To flush your pipes, fill up your sink all the way with up water and then release it. If you have a garbage disposal, you will want to fill up the side with the garbage disposal and run it while you are draining the sink. This will build up extra pressure.

Use Dish Soap & Boiling Water 


Warning: PVC starts to soften at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If your pipes are made of PVC, this could damage or destroy your pipes. (It probably won’t.)

This method only works if your kitchen sink is partially open and draining slowly. If you have a completely clogged kitchen sink, this method will not work at all.

Start by boiling as much water as you possibly can. It is recommended that you boil at least 5 gallons. When the water is close to a boil, turn your sink on hot and let it run for 5-10 minutes. When the water starts boiling, turn off your sink and empty an entire bottle of Dawn dish soap into the sink. The bigger the bottle the better! Run the water for a minute or so. Then dump all of the boiling water into the kitchen sink, wait a minute or two, and turn the hot water back on for a few minutes. 

What caused my kitchen sink clog?

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4 comments on “5 Best Ways To Unclog a Kitchen Sink

Tyler Johnson

That’s good to know that baking soda and vinegar will clean out your pipes. I feel like that would be a good way to clean them cheaply. I’ll have to give that’s try, and then I might have to get a pro to help me out if that doesn’t help.

Levi Armstrong

Our kitchen currently has a clogged sink because my child often flushes down food remains down the drain when he washes the dishes every night. I’ll try your tip about using vinegar and baking soda to unclog it, since I can’t try the dish soap and hot water technique because my pipes are made out of PVC. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll contact a plumbing repair service to fix the problem. Thanks for this!

Steve Jones

It’s fantastic to learn that an auger is the best way to clean a kitchen sink drain. My wife and I are wanting to clean our sink and we were wondering how the drain could be cleaned so it’s spotless. I’ll be sure to look for someone that can use an auger on our sink.

Braden Bills

My sink has been clogged up, and I’m not sure what to do about it. I’ve tried using boiling water, but that hasn’t really helped at all. Maybe I should get a professional to handle this for me! They would have access to an auger, which could be used to effectively clear it out.

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