How to Clean a Kitchen Sink Drain According to the Pros: 5 Steps

clean a kitchen sink drain

Do you have a clogged sink? Learning how to clean a kitchen sink drain can prevent calls to the plumber and ensure you receive fast and effective fixes for your problem. If you follow these steps, you’ll never have to wait on a plumber to wash your dishes.

According to the Brilho residential cleaning experts in Toronto, you can try a few tricks before calling the professionals. Continue reading to see how you can remove clogs from your kitchen sink.

Preventing Clogs 

Ideally, you can prevent clogs before they cause problems. To do so, proactively clean your kitchen sink once a week. Follow these steps to eliminate odours and stop clogs before they happen:

  • Remove all dishes and food waste from the area
  • Apply dish soap, baking soda, and hot water
  • Scrub using a sponge, working from the edges down to the drain
  • Rinse thoroughly, then dry with a microfiber cloth

If you have a garbage disposal, consider grinding lemon wedges, baking soda, salt, and ice once a week. This step will remove bad odours and keep your disposal clear. After every use, run hot water down the drain for a few minutes to remove traces of fat and debris.

Preemptive cleaning isn’t enough to eliminate your chances of clogs. If you still have issues, continue reading to see what the professionals say.

1: Boiling Water 

Boil a gallon of water, and pour this directly down your clogged drain. Doing so melts fat, a common cause of kitchen sink clogs. Let it sit, and try running the faucet. If the water drains easily, you’ve finished!

Try the process again if you still have a stopped or slow drain. However, if the second try does not work, it’s time to move on to another method. An important note: do not use boiling water if you have PVC pipes attached to your sink, as the heat may melt the pipes and cause more issues.

2: Check the Garbage Disposal 

Do you have a garbage disposal attached to your sink drain? Often, improper use of this device can cause massive clogs. Never put the following items down your garbage disposal:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Starchy foods such as bread or pasta
  • Bones
  • Paint
  • Eggshells

If you see a clog in your disposal, try turning it on to remove the blockage. If the device makes a humming noise but does not rotate, you may need to reset it. Before you begin, turn off the power.

Once the power is off, manually turn the blades using an Allen wrench until the clog clears. Push the reset button, and try turning the machine on again. Never put your hand into the garbage disposal, even with the power off.

If the machine sounds fine and removes the debris, try running water down the drain. If this works, you’ve fixed the issue. However, there are more methods to use when necessary.

3: Baking Soda and Vinegar 

If you’re learning how to clean a kitchen sink drain, try baking soda and a cup of vinegar. This mixture eliminates odours and eats away at clogs in a natural, non-hazardous way. To clean your drain with baking soda and vinegar, follow these steps:

  • Remove all standing water
  • Pour about a cup’s worth of baking soda into the drain
  • Pour a cup of white vinegar into the drain
  • Seal the drain with a cover and let it sit for 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes, pour boiling water down the drain to remove all clog traces
  • Check the drain using warm water to see if the mixture worked

Chemical drain cleaners can damage your pipes and cause injuries; baking soda and vinegar is an effective alternative.

4: Snaking and Plunging

Plunging or snaking your drain is one of the most common ways to remove clogs in your kitchen sink. If none of the above measures work, consider manually removing the clog.

Begin with a plunger; use a flat-bottomed plunger for optimal results. Partially fill the sink with water and “roll” your plunger in. Doing so will fill the plunger with water instead of ineffectively pushing air into the drain.

Vigorously move your plunger up and down for several seconds. Remove the plunger and see if the water clears. If the water remains, continue plunging until the sink empties itself. If this does not work after several tries, use a snake.

A snake is a plumber’s tool that forces a long metal cord into the drain through the clog and pulls out the mass. You can rent or buy a plumber’s snake.

Gently push the snake into the drain until you hit an obstruction. Hook onto this obstruction and pull it out by reversing the snake. Continue to follow these steps until the drain is completely clean.

5: Cleaning the P-Trap 

If none of the above works, you must clean the P-trap. A P-trap is the U-shaped bend underneath your sink; sometimes, it catches food and debris such as grease and coffee grounds. Cleaning the P-trap is messy and requires some tools, listed in the following:

  • Bucket and towels
  • Drain snake
  • Pliers
  • Pipe wrench

Before you begin, remove as much water as possible from the sink and place a bucket underneath the P-trap. Clear underneath your sink so you have room to work, and follow these steps:

  • Remove the P-trap using your tools and clear all debris out.
  • Use your snake to check beyond the P-trap for any clogs.
  • Reassemble the P-trap and carefully hand-tighten the connectors so they remain in working condition. Over-tightening can cause cracks.
  • Run water down your drain to see if the clog remains— check for leaks and reassemble the P-trap if you notice any.

If these methods don’t work, you must call a plumber to fix the issue. If you’re wondering how to clean a kitchen sink drain or want to know some cleaning mistakes to avoid, contact Brilho Luxury Cleaning & Services. Call our experts at 416-923-3300 or email [email protected] to learn more about our service and schedule an appointment with us today. We guarantee exceptional results.