Clearing a Clogged Kitchen Sink Drain

A clogged sink drain is a common plumbing problem. Before you call a plumber, try cleaning it yourself. There are several things to consider before trying to clear the clog. This is a guide about clearing a clogged kitchen sink drain.
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16 found this helpful
October 5, 2011 Flag

We all have had clogged drains and like many I go to my faithful baking soda and vinegar. Which I did 2 times. I must tell you that usually this always works, even if you notice a drain that is slow to drain. This time no such luck. I used 2 boxes of baking soda and a full jar of vinegar result; nothing.

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I called my daughter 2000 miles away and she was trying to help me. We both do the same things and always swap tips; usually its her asking me. This time I needed her. She ask if I had done the usual (good girl) than said use dish soap and boiling water. I put 1/2 of the dish soap in each side and boiled 2 full pots of water. The water slowly went down to where I could clean the residue up which was left in the sink. It is full of bacteria and germs. I knew I didn't want to breath or have near me.

Afterward I ran water to clean out the sink, and once again it started backing up! My daughter had sent me a link. I went to look if there was anything I could do without having to call my landlord.

I had already done everything I always do, plus broke my plunger on top of it. There in front of me I saw something I had never heard of; use the left over juice from any pickled products you may have. In my case I had dill pickle juice, jalapeno juice, and a jar which only had a few long pickles in it (which I enjoyed).

So I dumped all of these together and brought to a boil. Smelling this brought back many memories from my childhood which was filled with long summers of putting up pickles, every kind of pickles in fact it was years before I ate pickles after leaving home. These memories now were happy ones, funny how that works.

I was glad I learned so many things growing up in the country. What I had read said "be very careful do not let the mixture touch your skin or breath too deeply". I'm not sure why but I thought I should share it.

I poured the hot, boiling pickling juices into each sink, and went off to bed. Next morning the clog was gone. The pickling juices had taken away the last of a very tough built up in the pipes. Thank goodness I am thrifty, and had saved all of those jars of juice; not only for eating now I found another use.

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I did have a hairline crack which I wouldn't have even known about if my landlord didn't believe what I had done worked. John (plumber) came out and found the crack, but told my landlord I did the right thing. Draino or other chemicals get into the water system, and are bad for the pipes if used too often or incorrectly. John said in his own house, he does 1/3 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar every other week as maintenance, to help with no build up or odors of any kind. How nice to see others being ECO friendly.

Things worked out as they were suppose to. I didn't have to pay, a leak which could have lead to mold was found and I got a little bit of joy by my using the things I already had without chemicals. I found that little bit of joy a much needed help while cleaning up the mess afterwards. Using of course baking soda, vinegar, and lemon.

I am now out of all my saved up juices. I'm wondering of I can freeze them when I have more than I need for emergencies, hum?

No waste not the pickles (jalapenos) juices or the glass which I always recycle!

Source: My grandmother and my daughter; I do not know which article was sent, but it was from a book when plumbing was first being used.

By Luana M. from San Diego, CA

Related Content(article continues below)
CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 5, 20110 found this helpful

Check into what freezing might do to the pickle juice enzymes. If they are unharmed, then you can freeze the liquids without a problem.

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4 found this helpful
April 6, 2011 Flag

Coffee grains are great for compost, but they're also great for clearing drains. So don't throw them away, but flush them down your sink. It's really worked for me. I haven't had a problem with blocked pipes since a friend recommended this tip.

By lucy from Oxford UK

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Anonymous Flag
July 12, 20160 found this helpful

Coffee grounds will clog drains.

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September 4, 2009 Flag

I was helping my friend clean a bathroom that had a clogged basin drain. After the two of us polished off half a two-liter bottle of diet pop, I filled it with water, matched the opening of the bottle to the drain opening and mashed the bottle firmly.

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March 17, 2010 Flag

To keep your drains clear and your septic system working a little better, pour the very finest white or gray wood ashes from your fireplace or heater down the kitchen drain, the bathtub and sink drains, and even rinse some down the toilet from time to time.

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June 30, 2010 Flag

I dump my used coffee grounds in the sink drain and follow with water. It's almost like sand blasting the pipes. I have never had drains plugged up because of it. Everyone in my family who has his or her own kitchen does it with no ill effect.

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March 27, 2014 Flag

I live in the country, and have a septic system, and a "gray water" system, into which our kitchen sink drains. We have to be very careful about not clogging it with food or other particles. One day, I decided to try a bit of Rid-X in the sink as I was used to putting it into the septic system...

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
September 28, 2014 Flag

How do I unclog a double kitchen sink with garbage disposal on one side?

By Yvette

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
August 21, 20160 found this helpful

My kitchen sick is cloded up but I have no disposal I have a dishwasher but can't get it unstoped we have a A septic tank And we live in the country

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
September 8, 20160 found this helpful

Take a wet/dry vac and suck out what water you can. Put 1/3 cup baking soda down into the drain. Follow with 1 cup white vinegar. Let this sit for about 5 minutes. Then flush with the hottest water you can. This should work and is something that should be done about once a month for maintenance.

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0 found this helpful
November 16, 2015 Flag

My question is similar to some others with one exception: it's not my garbage disposal unit that's clogged, but the pipes underneath it. I'm reluctant to start dismantling the plumbing (I'm no handyman!), so I'm wondering if the solutions offered here for unclogging disposals (vinegar+baking soda, etc.) will still work if the clog is actually below the disposal in the pipes, themselves.

Thanks much.

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
November 17, 20150 found this helpful

Wellll, I hate to break it to you, but, I had the same problem, tried all the solutions in my home remedy arsenal, then a drain chemical; the ultimate solution was to call a plumber. He had to cut part of the pipe and snake to the street. Still no idea what did it, but it was pricey enough that from now on I will only use the disposal after I wash dishes, to process the little food scraps from the plates and pans! everything else can go right in the trash!

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0 found this helpful
February 17, 2012 Flag

My kitchen sink is clogged on the garbage disposal side. I have tried baking soda, vinegar, hot water, and a plunger, but it's still clogged. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

By Alice J

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 18, 20120 found this helpful

Go on the other side of the wall and unscrew the drain cap. It might be one that has a protruding square or one that is flush and has a slot. Either way, open it up, then use a snake in it.

I hate to say this but I have used a tape measure before with great results. You can also use the garden hose with a straight jet of water. Is it the drain or the disposal ? You could remove the pipe that leads into the disposal from the drain.

Check to see if it is clear. What ever you do, do not use that liquid drain opener. That stuff cost us seven thousand dollars when it ate sixty foot of drain pipe away. Not worth it.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 19, 20120 found this helpful

I found this awhile back and saved it along with my pickle juice for the next kitchen sink clog.

Full Credit goes to Luana M. from San Diego, CA (Thrifty fun 10/19/2011)

http://www.thri  aring-a-Clogged-

Kitchen-Sink-Drain.html

Pickle Juice for Clogged Drains

We all have had clogged drains and like many I go to my faithful baking soda and vinegar. Which I did 2 times. I must tell you that usually this always works, even if you notice a drain that is slow to drain. This time no such luck. I used 2 boxes of baking soda and a full jar of vinegar result; nothing.

I called my daughter 2000 miles away and she was trying to help me. We both do the same things and always swap tips; usually its her asking me. This time I needed her. She ask if I had done the usual (good girl) than said use dish soap and boiling water. I put 1/2 of the dish soap in each side and boiled 2 full pots of water. The water slowly went down to where I could clean the residue up which was left in the sink. It is full of bacteria and germs. I knew I didn't want to breath or have near me.

Afterward I ran water to clean out the sink, and once again it started backing up! My daughter had sent me a link. I went to look if there was anything I could do without having to call my landlord.

I had already done everything I always do, plus broke my plunger on top of it. There in front of me I saw something I had never heard of; use the left over juice from any pickled products you may have. In my case I had dill pickle juice, jalapeno juice and a jar which only had a few long pickles in it (which I enjoyed).

So I dumped all of these together and brought to a boil. Smelling this brought back many memories from my childhood which was filled with long summers of putting up pickles, every kind of pickles in fact it was years before I ate pickles after leaving home. These memories now were happy ones, funny how that works.

I was glad I learned so many things growing up in the country. What I had read said "be very careful do not let the mixture touch your skin or breath too deeply". I'm not sure why but I thought I should share it.

I poured the hot, boiling pickling juices into each sink, and went off to bed. Next morning the clog was gone. The pickling juices had taken away the last of a very tough built up in the pipes. Thank goodness I am thrifty, and had saved all of those jars of juice; not only for eating now I found another use.

I did have a hairline crack which I wouldn't have even known about if my landlord didn't believe what I had done worked. John (plumber) came out and found the crack but told my landlord I did the right thing. Draino or other chemicals get into the water system, and are bad for the pipes if used too often or incorrectly. John said in his own house, he does 1/3 cup baking soda and 1cup vinegar every other week as maintenance, to help with no build up or odors of any kind. How nice to see others being ECO friendly.

Things worked out as they were suppose to. I didn't have to pay, a leak which could have lead to mold was found and I got a little bit of joy by my using the things I already had without chemicals. I found that little bit of joy a much needed help while cleaning up the mess afterwards. Using of course baking soda, vinegar and lemon.

I am now out of all my saved up juices. I'm wondering of I can freeze them when I have more than I need for emergencies, hum?

No waste not the pickles (jalapenos) juices or the glass which I always recycle!

Source: My grandmother and my daughter; I do not know which article was sent, but it was from a book when plumbing was first being used.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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0 found this helpful
February 16, 2013 Flag

The water will not drain out of my kitchen sink, but the disposal is working. I did the vinegar and baking soda, but that didn't do it. What to do?

By Connie from Kirkland, WA

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 18, 20130 found this helpful

Keep trying the vinegar and baking soda for a few days. Use very hot water with it and let it set overnight.

Also when you boil water for tea use the remainder of the hot water to pour down the drain.

When my sink was clogged I was able to force the water out of the sink by running the garbage disposal. I finally got the drain open by using the vinegar and baking soda. It was a few days.

Roto Rooter sells a good product to unclog a sink and also to use on a regular basis to prevent the sink from clogging.

Sometimes the clog is far beyond the sink and you have to get a plumber to run a router through the outlside pipe.

Good luck.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 18, 20130 found this helpful

In spite of all the people who will tell you otherwise, vinegar and baking soda is very inaffective in unclogging a sink. I suspect that your drain has something like potato pieces stuck in it. That is what used to clog up mine. I am assuming that you have a double sink, and that the disposal side is draining. If so, get two plungers. Cover the disposal with one, and seal it off. Then plunge the other side. I found that the types of clogs produced by the disposal were able to be cleaned out with a plunger.

If that is not working, you could try an actual drain cleaning product like Drano -- but you don't put that in the disposal. You must be sure the other side is clogged with something like congealed grease or something like that. No plunging after you have used a draincleaner product. You could cause splashes with that caustic substance, which could be dangerous. (My mother splashed Drano or similar on her fancy coffee maker, and now has discolored splotches all over it. Looks terrible. Luckily, she didn't splash it in her eyes.)

Hot water works sometimes because it melts stuff like bacon fat that is clogging your drain. Vinegar and baking soda produces bubbles of carbon dioxide. I have never known that to work. Baking soda and hot water sometimes work as that is a mild solution similar to drain cleaners -- which are very strong base solutions.

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0 found this helpful
October 30, 2012 Flag

I put potato peels down the garbage disposal and while it clogged, the clog was pushed thru the pipes underneath the sink and into the wall in between the kitchen and bathroom. I tried snaking it and that didn't work. The garbage disposal was replaced because it was thought to be broken as well. So how on earth do I get that clog unclogged without tearing apart a wall and piping or spending $200 on a plumber?

By Susie C

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
October 31, 20120 found this helpful

I would never own a garbage disposal because a lot of trouble comes with them. Have you asked for help at your local hardware store? Have you ever had your main drain line rodded out? A lot of times it's caused by tree roots that have cracked through the main line creating a big blockage.

Now as to how to unclog your line I'd suggest going to a hardware store and getting a drain cleaner that has lye in it but is still safe to use with PVC pipes. You might have to use it a couple of times before it works. I assume you can do this through the bathroom drain.

If push comes to shove you might have to rent a rodder to push or pull the skins out. Keep in mind that they are pretty heavy and it might cost you $50-$100. for the rental fee. At that point I would just call a plumber. Ask your local hardware store if they know of anyone who you could pay to clear the line.

Good luck.

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November 1, 20120 found this helpful

If my sons were here who are plumbers, I could tell you what to do. Sorry, but I can just tell anyone. These were orders from my sons, NEVER put potato peels down a garbage disposal.

I clogged my plumbing once at a family Thanksgiving meal and my sons spent considerable time unclogging it. I lived two hours from them so they had no tools with them and couldn't rent any on this day because it was a holiday. I think they ended up using some neighbor's tools. They had to take the soil pipe apart to do it. Needless to say, it ruined everyone's Thanksgiving.

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0 found this helpful
May 6, 2014 Flag

Is Dawn dish detergent safe for kitchen drains?

By Doris

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
May 19, 20140 found this helpful

Of course it is. People all over North America are using Dawn for just about everything.

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0 found this helpful
February 19, 2012 Flag

How can I save money on a sink water clot?

By Julia from NJ

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
February 19, 20120 found this helpful

I'd suggest, if you are at all good with tools; renting a "snake" from a do it yourself place, like Lowes or Hope Depot. It costs a fraction of a plumbers visit!

But, even before that, put a bucket under the goose-neck pipe under your sink, and take the pipes apart of the drain, most times, the clog is right in the curve at the bottom!

Do a quick YouTube search for how toos on both ideas!

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February 19, 20120 found this helpful

I would use a plunger on the sink. I always use it in our bathtub. When you plunge it, push it and pull it way up, and the force will dislodge any toy or solid thing in the drain.

Also you can make a wire out of a paperclip, or a hanger and "snake" it out.

Also baking soda poured into the sink a little and then vinegar and hot water work sometimes. Here is a video showing how to use the baking soda and white vinegar, and hot water.

http://www.yout  ch?v=ZMFBP6dX5fY

Taking the u shaped part of the pipe out and see if it is clogged. This is where most things that are solid get lost, like earrings.

Hopefully that would help. You can always get draino and pour it in there.

Blessings, Robyn

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0 found this helpful
December 25, 2013 Flag

So my kitchen sink is acting up. We started to plunge and the water started to turn black. I'm totally freaking out!

By Mimi

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
December 30, 20130 found this helpful

The black color is grease. Your pipes are clogged with grease or... You may have a grease trap at the end of your plumbing drainage system that ends to be emptied.

Wear a pair of latex gloves to save a lot of scrubbing of your hands. Hope this helps.

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0 found this helpful
June 28, 2013 Flag

What should I do if my kitchen pipes are chocked with grease and oil products? Is there any product which can keep my kitchen pipes grease and oil free so that it does not chocked?

By smith21

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
July 2, 20130 found this helpful

There is a product called Glug that my plumber (who is a good friend) told me to buy. It works great.

I also have been told pour some Dawn down the drain and follow with a lot of hot water.

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0 found this helpful
July 16, 2010 Flag

I would like to know how to fix a clogged kitchen sink? I've poured a large amount of baking soda, vinegar, hot water, liquid dish soap, and salt. I don't know whether I've made the right mixture, since I didn't find a precise measure for the mixture. Is there anyway I can fix it without having to use a dangerous chemical thing nor calling a plumber? Many thanks and warm regards.

By A Life from INA (Indonesia)

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
July 20, 20100 found this helpful

Try a big soup kettle of boiling water be careful. This will loosen most crap down the drain. Make sure to tighten up the pipe connectors when done. All activity will loosen them.

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July 22, 20100 found this helpful

Moving into a new house,one of the shower drains took forever to go down. While at the dollar store I saw a bottle of drain cleaner and thought just how good could it be for a dollar,but I'll try anything once. Did what the directions said, left it for a day, and boy was I surprised. The water went down just as nice as you please. Now I will stock up on this for any future use. You never know unless you try, and for a dollar what can you lose.

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0 found this helpful
July 17, 2010 Flag

How do you unplug a plugged up sink?

By Gerry from Waterford, CT

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes

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0 found this helpful
July 25, 2010 Flag

My kitchen sink is backed up. Both the drain and garbage disposal are getting full. We plugged the drain and ran the garbage disposal and vice versa.

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0 found this helpful
July 17, 2010 Flag

How do I unplug a backed up sink?

By dddimensions from UT

Answers:

Unclogging a Sink

My drain was clogged for just about a year and unfortunately the clog was just past the air vent so plunging would not work. Spread out over the year I went through 3 bottles of drain opener and a 4th one was the kind where two chemicals mix from Drain-O, numerous applications of vinegar and baking soda even trying hair conditioner that someone recommended here on Thrifty Fun. What finely worked was for a week I poured in straight chlorine bleach until I could see it just to the top of the drain opening, I wasn't consistent it could be every day then skip a day or 2 whenever I could think of it, when I poured bleach in it the amounts would very each time.

I used almost a gallon, then 1 day when I was pouring the bleach in it never came to the top of the drain opening, so I turned on the hot water and let it run for good 5 minutes. My drain is finally opened. Good luck with yours.
(06/26/2009)

By BABBIE

Unclogging a Sink

Depending on what is clogging the drain, there are different approaches. I once moved into an apartment that had straws and all kinds of junk down the drain that simply needed to be removed.

  1. Pour one cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow with one cup of vinegar. 10-30 minutes later follow with a whole pot of boiling water.

  2. If the first idea didn't work, pour one cup of washing soda down the drain. (washing soda is more alkaline 11.0) than baking soda. Follow with one cup of vinegar. 10-30 minutes later pour a large pot of boiling water down the drain. Continue with 2-3 pots of boiling water if you think it is beginning to clear.

  3. If it still won't budge, get a bucket and start disconnecting the plumbing directly underneath the sink and see if you can't remove what may be clogging the drain, i.e., solid items that chemicals will not remove.

  4. If all else fails, call a plumber.
(06/27/2009)

By Carly34

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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