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3 DIY Methods For Unclogging A Sink Drain

3 DIY Methods For Unclogging A Sink Drain
remove a clog from kitchen sink

This weekend, your sink suddenly started to back up and overflow. This can be really frustrating. The last thing you want to deal with is a clogged sink drain, but it can happen without any warning at all. A clogged sink can really ruin your day, so you need a solution that is both fast and simple.

Fixing a slow-draining sink is essential to avoiding more severe plumbing issues. Fortunately, there are simple DIY methods for unclogging a sink drain. In this article, we’ve outlined why your sink drain gets clogged and provided a few DIY methods to help unclog a sink drain.

What Causes Clogged Sink Drains?

The efficiency with which our plumbing system removes wastewater and other household trash is of the utmost importance. These systems are not infallible, and unfortunately become bogged down when having to manage more than just water.

Food, water, hair, soap scum, dirt, and grease all end up in the kitchen, bathroom, and utility rooms sink drains. By regularly maintaining your sink’s drains, you will avoid having to deal with a clog or blockage.

Most of the time, food scraps are to blame for a slow or clogged kitchen sink drain. As more food and other kitchen debris go down the drain without garbage disposal to intercept it, the drain becomes clogged more often.

Much like with a kitchen sink, bathroom sink drain clogs are often caused by hair caught in the plumbing. Most of us groom ourselves in the bathroom, whether we’re shaving or brushing our hair. While doing so, it’s not uncommon for bits of hair and skin to end up in the sink. Next time this happens, resist the urge to rinse it down the drain; instead, gather it together and throw it away. This will help reduce the amount of hair that ends up in your bathroom sink drain.

How Do You Unclog A Sink Drain?

Now, you know how to prevent a clog. But what if you already have one?

There are several DIY solutions for unclogging a drain. To choose the best remedy, you must first examine the blocked drains. To unclog a sink, you can use a plunger or commercial/homemade chemical drain cleaner. In some cases, though, more potent methods like hydro jetting are essential and should be completed by an experienced plumber.

If you find water taking too long to drain from the sink or if it is backing up, consider these DIY options listed below for unclogging your drain.

Use White Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Hot Water

Although chemical drain cleaners are often used to unclog drains, it’s important to note that this can introduce harmful chemicals into your drinking water or sewage system.

In most cases, pouring a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and boiling water down a clogged drain is all needed to eliminate a lingering blockage. The best way to unclog a drain that won’t budge is to use a gallon of water, a cup of baking soda, and a few tablespoons of white vinegar.

You can use anywhere from a quarter cup to a full cup of baking soda, and you’ll need between one and two cups of vinegar.

  • Stop trying to force water through a clogged drain and let the water flow out.
  • Begin by flushing the drain with dish soap, then add baking soda and vinegar.
  • Allow the two substances to mix thoroughly.
  • While you are waiting, position the drain stopper so that it is above the drain.
  • For best results, let this mixture rest for about 15 to 25 minutes.
  • After allowing the solution to sit for the directed amount of time, flush the drain with boiling water.
  • Once you complete this process, check your drain to determine whether it helped. If necessary, you can repeat this whole process from the beginning.

Note: This method is only applicable to metal plumbing systems. Trying this on a PVC pipe can damage the pipe.

Fill the drain opening with boiling water.

Another good method for unclogging a drain is boiling water. This works so well because the hot water melts away soap scum and hair grease.

Boil one gallon of water on the stovetop or in a kettle. Once it reaches its boiling point, pour the hot water down an empty sink. Once you have flushed the system with hot water, check the pressure by turning on a faucet.

Remove the Clog using a Wet/Dry Vacuum.

Homeowners can unclog a sink drain with the help of some proper equipment, like a wet/dry vacuum, or a plumber’s snake (often called just a drain snake). So far as we know, using  a drain snake is usually the most efficient method for removing whatever obstruction is causing the problem. You should also try plunging the drains, but be careful as using a plunger can splash dirty water all over the place.

First, remove the drain plug if there is one, and then insert the drain snake into the drain. The idea is to push the clog through until it comes out of the other side. Depending on how far the clog is down, you may have to use a little elbow grease, but in most cases, the drain snake will do all the work for you.

If you don’t have a drain snake, you can try using a wet/dry vacuum.

You may not know this, but wet-dry vacuums can actually come in handy for clearing out drains. The suction generated by the vacuum can be used to clean bathroom or kitchen sinks, and as a result, stubborn clogs can be removed with ease.

  • Get a bucket and put it under the sink’s P trap.
  • Get a screwdriver or a wrench and take out the P trap.
  • Most often, the drain trap may be the source of the clog build-up, so you may want to inspect that.
  • If that is not the case, hook up the wet/dry vacuum to the sink’s stopper line.
  • Join the vacuum’s outlet to the hose’s opposite end.
  • You must use the wet setting on your vacuum and install the proper filters.
  • Make sure the top sink is plugged in with a stopper or a towel.
  • After that, activate the wet/dry vac and give pulsing it a go to see if you can loosen the obstruction.
  • If this works, the clogs will be drawn into the vacuum, and you can either pull it out of the pipes or dispose of it.
  • If this resolves the issue, the P trap may be reinstalled and checked to see if water can flow down the drain without obstruction.


A clogged sink is a common plumbing problem that can be easily avoided. Homeowners should discard garbage, hair, and food waste in the trash instead of flushing it down the drain to prevent unnecessarily blockages. If you ever encounter a clog that these DIY methods can’t fix, don’t hesitate to call in Western Rooter & Plumbing!

John, Larry, Mike, owners of Western Rooter & Plumbing

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If you’re having plumbing issues or emergencies, contact Western Rooter & Plumbing online or call our dispatch center at (626) 448-6455. We are the Los Angeles County and San Gabriel Valley’s number one plumbers – don’t wait, call now!



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