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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October 5, 2011 Flag
16 found this helpful

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.

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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 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.

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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

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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October 12, 20110 found this helpful

The pickle juice may be working because you are NOT putting baking soda with it. Pickle juice is basically dilute vinegar. Vinegar and pickle juice are acids. They will help unclog a drain. Baking soda by itself is a base. It may also work on its own. Drano and similar products are simply stronger bases. When you add baking soda and vinegar together, they react together, which produces carbon dioxide (the bubbles), and salt water. If you don't have them in balance, I suppose you might get an acid or a base flushed through the system. I don't believe John the plumbers bi-weekly use of baking soda and vinegar does anything at all. I have done nothing every week for 11 years in my present house, and my drains have never been clogged or smelly. I am a strong believer in doing nothing. It is even more eco friendly.

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April 6, 2011 Flag
4 found this helpful

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.

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February 1, 2011 Flag
17 found this helpful

If your kitchen sink is clogged with grease, the best thing I've ever found is Dawn Dishwashing Liquid. I plug the drain and put a huge squirt, maybe 1/2 cup, in the sink. Then I fill the sink with boiling water. Once it's full I pull the plug.

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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...

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September 28, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

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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November 16, 2015 Flag
0 found this helpful

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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February 17, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

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 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.thriftyfun.com/tf/Repair/Home/Plumbing/Clearing-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
February 19, 20120 found this helpful

Pour about 1/4 cup of Dawn dishing washing liquid in sink and follow with A kettle of boiling water. This trick even works on commode stop ups! Good luck and God bless!

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February 16, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

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

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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February 20, 20130 found this helpful

When my disposal sink will not drain, it's usually because of vegetable peelings stuck in the u-bend under the sink. I find that a plunger works best ( baking soda and vinegar will not remove peelings). If you have a double sink, close the drain on the non-disposer side, then plunge on the disposal side. After a few plunges, turn on the disposal and see if the water drains. Give it a few tries. If all else fails, you will have to remove the u-bend section from under the sink and clean it out. I have used disposals for many years and never had a problem with vegetable peelings, but either the new plumbing or the disposers are not what they used to be because I frequently have to resort to the plunger to get my sink to drain. Good luck.

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October 30, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

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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May 6, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

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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February 19, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

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.youtube.com/watch?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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December 25, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

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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