You will know trouble’s brewing in your sink when water takes too long to drain or there are these unpleasant odors. These tell-tale signs need to be addressed as soon as possible or you will have a clogged sink to deal with soon enough and nothing irks more than soapy water that won’t drain.
While clogged sinks are a nuisance, they do not necessitate calling in the plumber. You can get it working normally by putting in a little work in minutes.
There are several ways of addressing that nasty clog depending on how stubborn it is – some are pretty straightforward while others are quite demanding. Try any of these methods before calling the plumber.
Known Methods to Unclog Kitchen Sinks
Using Hot Water
Since no tools are needed for this method, it is quite popular among users. Hit water on the kettle and as it comes to a boil, drain all the water in the sink. This may be tedious but it is necessary for this method to work. Once all the water is drained, pour the hot water into the drain and watch it unclog your sink. You may repeat as many times as you need.
Using a Plunger
This is usually the easiest method that most people will try first before trying something else. Fill the sink with water so that the bell of the plunger is fully submerged. Place the plunger firmly over the drain and plunge several times till you hear the sound of suction. Remove the plunger and wait for the water to drain. If this doesn’t work even after trying it a few times, use other methods.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
These two ingredients are essential in any kitchen for their multi-use. You will need to drain all standing water for this operation then pour about a cup of baking soda on the drain. Just then, pour an equal amount of white vinegar in and allow the bubbling that follows to subside. Cover the drain and wait for 15 minutes before running hot water. Usually, it unclogs drains effectively, but if the first attempt doesn’t work, you may need to do it again and again.
You can substitute the vinegar with salt. Mix equal portions of baking soda and salt, pour them in the drain and then flush the drain with hot water after an hour or so. This combination works excellently to unclog sinks too. Salt alone works too at times. After draining all the water from the sink, mix half a cup of table salt with hot water and pour down the drain, then flush with cold water afterward.
Plumber’s Snake or Coat Hanger
If the clog is not within reach, you may have to bring in the tools. Using the plumber’s snake – also called the auger – requires you to disassemble the P-trap and drainpipe to expose the stub pipe. Here is where you will insert the auger to feel the resistance that unclogs your drain.
You can always straighten a wire coat hanger if you don’t have a plumber’s snake. It will not be as long as the snake but it could reach into the clog when you insert it into the kitchen drain to remove some of the material causing blockage. You want to be careful not to scratch the sink with the wire.
The Wet & Dry Vacuum
This tool does a great job at cleaning the mess that is a clogged sink. Set it to vacuum liquids just after covering the vent to prevent a massive mess. You could use an old plunger to create a tight seal over the drain, then turn on the highest settings so that you get a powerful pull from the clog to the vacuum bag. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it is worth a shot.
Clean the Pipe
The pipe underneath the P-trap – the U-shaped pipe – holds lots of dirt and it could be the reason water is not draining properly. Place a bucket under it to collect any water that may drain from the sink and then use a wrench to loosen the nuts. Clean the trap thoroughly with an old toothbrush then tighten it back and watch what happens to the water in the sink. Most of the times, this simple trick will work magically.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
Keeping the Sink Fresh
You are better off avoiding a blocked sink than unclogging it, by not overloading your kitchen disposal. Things such as coffee grinds, oils, and bacon grease are trouble and so you don’t want to throw them in the drain. When feeding things into the disposal system, do that one at a time to avoid overloading it.
No Food Scraps
Tiny food scraps turn into messy larger particles that make your sink stink for days. You want to ensure that all food particles are removed and thrown out before the dishes go into the sink. Rinse those dishes before they go into the dishwasher.
Scrub the Sink and Let it Dry
After rinsing your dishes, use the same water with dishwashing detergent to rinse the sink and then run some water one more time. This dislodges any inorganic material and washes it away to prevent nasty clogs later.
Allow your sink to dry in between uses to avoid any bacteria from growing. How do you leave the sink to dry? By rinsing it and leaving it without anything for as little as 30 minutes
Use a Little Disinfectant
Just sprinkling a little disinfectant could prevent your sink from stinking or harboring bacteria in it. You will find lots of options in stores selling kitchen products to use here. It will also leave your sink smelling fresh all day.
Always remember to run lots of water down the drain after use to ensure that everything is washed down properly. Taking care of your drain each day will ensure no clogs and you will have a clean sink at all times. Doing this every day will become a habit that will prevent any clogs or stench coming from your sink.