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How to Fix a Clogged Sink: A Helpful Guide

As a homeowner, you should expect to spend between 1% to 4% of your home’s value for maintenance every year. That’s a lot of money, so you might be looking at a huge drain in your bank account.

So for the little things, you might be looking at figuring them out yourself so you can save some money. For instance, you might be wondering how to fix a clogged sink so you don’t have to pay a plumber to do this simple repair.

image - How to Fix a Clogged Sink: A Helpful Guide
How to Fix a Clogged Sink: A Helpful Guide

In that case, you’re in the right place. We have a helpful guide on how to fix a backed-up sink so you can save some money.

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Pour Boiling Water Down

Often, clogs in the kitchen sink are due to fats that have solidified. In the bathroom, it may be pieces of soap that have solidified as well.

If these are the sources of your clog, then boiling water should work to break down these things and let water flow without issue again.

Boil some water and while you’re waiting, try to remove as much as the stuck water as possible. Pour the entire pot or kettle of water into the sink at once. Give it a little bit to see if that clears the issue.

If it doesn’t work, try again after the water’s cooled down. It may take you 2 or 3 tries.

Should you not be successful after a few tries, move onto the next suggestion.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

Have you ever done the school project where you mix vinegar and baking soda together to create an eruption for a volcano? Well, this reaction has another benefit besides looking cool: it has great cleaning powers.

First, remove all the water you can. Then, dump about a cup of baking soda in. Quickly follow up with a cup of vinegar.

Wait for the solution to stop bubbling, then plug the sink with the stopper. Return in 15 minutes and flush the sink with hot water. You may need to repeat this a few times to unclog your sink.

Check the Disposal

Kitchen sinks clog very easily, especially since oil and food scraps get in there all the time. Before you resort to more drastic measures, double-check your garbage disposal is indeed working properly.

Flip the switch on for your disposal and see if it sounds and acts normally. If it’s overheated, then you might need to flip another switch that’s either on the bottom or side of your sink.

Use a Plunger

While you may already have a plunger in the bathroom, we don’t recommend using it for the sink, especially if you wash your fruits and vegetables in there.

It may be worth going out and buying a separate plunger for sink usage so you don’t risk getting sick from a plunger that’s been used for raw sewage.

Once you have a plunger, fill up your sink about halfway. Place the plunger on the sink opening and push it up and down a few times, then quickly pull it up and off the opening.

Do note that if you have a double-bowl sink or overflow hole, you’ll need to close the other opening first with a rag or cloth. This will help direct all the pressure to the problem area.

If this doesn’t work, then you’ll want to try the next step.

Remove the Sink Trap

The sink trap is that little u-bend underneath your sink. This is there to prevent gas from the pipes rising up into your home.

However, things can also gradually get stuck in there, like soap and hair. So you need to remove it to see if you can locate the source of the clog.

Try removing this part of the sink by unscrewing the threaded coupling by hand. If you’re not able to, then you’ll probably need a pipe wrench.

Once the sink trap is off, dump the water out. If you’re looking for a particular object, dump the water out in a container so you don’t potentially lose it.

Check the sink trap to see if the clog is in there. If so, then remove it by hand and put the sink trap back.

If not, then you may have to move onto the last resort.

Admit Defeat If/When Necessary

If after you’ve used the best drain opener and you still haven’t made any progress, then perhaps it’s time to call it quits. This can usually mean there’s a more serious problem; in that case, you’ll want an expert on the job.

We’re usually stuck with our stubborn pride, but in this situation, it may end up costing you a fortune when you don’t know when to hand this job over to a pro.

For example, you might end up accidentally bursting a pipe, which will be significantly more to repair than just having a plumber figure out the source of your clog.

So don’t try to force it. Spend a little bit of time trying to unclog your sink, but if you can’t do it, leave the task to someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

Know-How to Fix a Clogged Sink

Now you know how to fix a clogged sink, which can help you out in a pinch. Not to mention, this can also save you a pretty penny, especially if your sink gets backed up a lot.

However, if you can’t get it to clear up with any of the methods above, it’s always a good idea to call a professional.

You might have a bigger issue on your hands, and if you don’t get it handled right away, it can end up taking a lot more time and money to fix.

So the next time your sink gets clogged, give our tips a try. And if they don’t work, then don’t delay in calling an expert plumber out so you can avoid a headache of a situation.

For more helpful home tips, don’t forget to take a look at the rest of our blog section!