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Clogged Kitchen Sink: Possible Reasons, Home Remedies & Prevention Tips

how to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water
Written by Callum Strempel

A kitchen sink full of water will eventually result in a counter full of dirty dishes. A clogged kitchen sink is a great nuisance as it hinders the regular household chores and causes you to feel disgusted by the dirty debris that swims in the clogged water. It may also vanish the beauty of your kitchen sink faucet. Wondering how to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water? No worries! You don’t have to call in a plumber! You can do it yourself right at your home if you know how.  We are here to help you with that. In this blog, we will discuss the following things:

a) Reasons your sink is clogged

b) How to unclog your kitchen sink, and

c) Tips to prevent kitchen drainage problems

Find the Underlying Reasons Behind A Clogged Kitchen Sink

The first step to knowing how to get rid of a clogged kitchen sink–be it an undermount or top-mounted model– with sitting water is to know the reasons that cause the clogging. It is we who are responsible for this. Our lack of mindfulness while throwing anything and everything to the kitchen sink comes with such consequence. Check the following list to know the prime reasons.

  • Grease, fat, and other types of oil are sticky and build up inside the pipe. They can catch various particles and contribute to clogging the sink.
  • Food waste is the main reason that causes the development of a clogged sink. Even small food waste like tea leaves and coffee grounds can clog up the drain.
  • Poor quality water can help the minerals build up in the drain, and it can ultimately result in a permanent blockage.
  • Any small objects other than the mentioned things can get stuck in the drain and precipitate standing water in the kitchen sink.

How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink with Standing Water?

You can unclog the sink easily with the professional help from a plumber. But that will cost you a good deal of money and you have to wait for the plumber to come.  So, it’s better to learn kitchen sink plumbing so that you can unclog your kitchen sink quickly with the least amount of expense possible.

Try the following home remedies to fix a clogged kitchen sink.

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1. Home Remedies to Fix a Clogged Kitchen Sink

DIY home projects have two advantages – you will enjoy working for yourself and they will save you some money at the same time. Besides, once you learn to do something, it will benefit you for a lifetime. You can unclog a kitchen sink filled with water with the following ways.

a) Using a Snake

If the blockage is located deep down the plumbing trap, you will need a tool named a plumber’s snake. Insert the snake into the pipe making the auger reach down the pipe. Keep pushing the drain snake until you feel resistance. Try to hook the snake to the clog and pull it out. The clog should be removed by now.

b) Using a Plunger

A plunger is one of the most commonly used tools and can be regarded as the best way to unclog a kitchen sink with household items. You’ll need to seal the plunger tightly so that it can plunge effectively. Keep the plunger firmly over the drain and remove the plunger when you hear the sound of suction clearing the clog. Then flush the drain thoroughly with warm water.

c) Using a Metal Wire Hanger

If you don’t have a snake or a plunger, we recommend using a metal wire coat hanger. Unbend a wire hanger, insert it into the drain, and push it until you feel any resistance. Push the wire as deep as possible and pull out the clog carefully. Or you can push through the clog to drive the debris away.

d) Using Boiling Water

If you are looking for a solution to the clogged kitchen sink that requires no tool, this is the right one for you. You will not find a more accessible and cheaper method than this one. Put a water pot on the stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Remove as much standing water as you can before emptying the whole kettle of hot water into the sink.

The clog may not be removed instantly. On that case, you have to repeat the process several times until the blockage gets removed entirely. If only boiling water doesn’t produce expected results, you can pour half a cup of salt beforehand the use of boiling water.

e) With a Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal can chew up and break down the food waste into smaller pieces making it easily transportable through the pipes. You are less likely to face clogged kitchen sink filled with water if you have a quality garbage disposal unit installed with your sink. A clogged disposal unit may also cause water clogging in the sink. Inspect it and ensure it’s running correctly to fix the kitchen sink plumbing problems.

2. With Chemicals

You can unclog the sink without a plunger or a disposal unit. A few common and cheap household chemicals can run the extra mile to solve your clogged kitchen sink issues. Vinegar, baking soda, and salt come in handy in this regard.

a) Vinegar and Baking Soda

fix clogged sink
Vinegar and baking soda together form a great mixture capable of removing the blockage from the clogged kitchen sink. Pour half cup of baking soda down the drain at first. Then follow the procedure by pouring the same amount of vinegar. An acidic reaction should occur and unclog the sink eventually. Pour hot water to get rid of the debris and residues.

b) Baking Soda and Salt

how to unclog a sink
One cup of baking soda and a half cup of salt will do well to remove the blockage. This is also often used to remove rust from sinks. Pour the mentioned amount of baking soda and vinegar down the drain and wait for a few hours. It’s better to apply this method at night so that you don’t have to keep patience while waiting. Pour a few cups of boiling water down the drain to wash away the debris and residue.

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Tips to Prevent Further Clogging

As I have discussed earlier that food waste contributes mostly to the development of blockage in the kitchen sink. So, the best way to prevent further clogging is to reduce the amount of food waste. You should make sure that no solid or oily food waste get stuck to the drain and cause water clogging.

Dispose of the food waste in the dustbin. And avoid excessive exposure of oils and grease to the kitchen sink. You can install a water softener to prevent chemical buildup, and use a garbage disposal to get rid of the clogged sink.  If you follow these few suggestions, you may not have to wonder how to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water anymore!

To sum it up, we all know prevention is better than cure. You should be mindful when using your kitchen sink to avoid any sort of clogged water in the kitchen sink. Look before you throw anything randomly in the sink. Because, when the sink gets clogged, it’s you who suffer in the long run. Hope you will prevent the blockage, yet if you have to unclog the kitchen sink, the above-discussed methods will help you for sure.

About the author

Callum Strempel

Licensed Plumber

Hi, I’m Callum, a full time plumber with a plumbing license issued by my state. So far, I’ve spent nearly a decade and a half installing and fixing a wide variety of plumbing components and units. My profession inspires me to talk about the kitchen and bathroom (and the plumbing system) so confidently and knowledgeably that I offer my free consultations to help neighbors and fellow homeowners every now and then. As I enjoy installing faucets, sinks, showers, and fixtures, I love to see people enjoying services from those components for years to come. So, I write every week to inform you and others. Will you mind going through some of my articles on this website?

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