How to unblock a blocked kitchen sink drain

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to unblock a blocked kitchen sink drain
Toilet plungers are effective in unblocking kitchen drains. (Zedcor Wholly Owned/ Images)

Kitchen sink drains can become blocked because of greasy build-up or items that are not supposed to go down the pipe. It doesn't take special expertise to get rid of the blockage. You can use common household supplies to clear the drain in your kitchen sink. Taking care of the blockage yourself will save time and money that you might spend on a professional plumber.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Plunger
  • Heating pad
  • Extension cord
  • Blow dryer
  • Vinegar (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)

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    Plunger Method

  1. 1

    Place a clean toilet plunger over the kitchen sink drain.

  2. 2

    Turn on the kitchen faucet until the water level covers the lip of the toilet plunger. The water level allows the plunger to form a tight seal over the sink drain.

  3. 3

    Grip the plunger with both hands and push downward. Pull up with a strong motion. You should be able to feel the resistance if you have enough water in the sink.

  4. 4

    Repeat the method several times in quick, forceful motions. The water will drain quickly once the sink is unblocked, or you may hear the obstruction loosen.

  5. 5

    Run water into the sink area once you remove the plunger to ensure it drains well. If not, repeat the method or try another technique.

    Heat Method

  1. 1

    Wrap a heating pad around the drain trap underneath your kitchen sink. This is the U-shaped portion of the P-trap.

  2. 2

    Set the heating pad on high and plug it in; you may need an extension cord for this. This will heat the pipe and melt any existing greasy blockage. Another idea is to hold a blow dryer near the drain pipe until it heats sufficiently to melt any greasy residue, recommends the website Popular Mechanics.

  3. 3

    Turn the water on after 10 minutes to see if the sink drains well. If not, continue heating the drain trap for another 10 minutes. Once the water drains quickly, you will know the blockage is clear.

Tips and warnings

  • To prevent the spread of bacteria, keep two toilet plungers in your home--one for toilets and one for unblocking bathroom sinks, bathtubs or kitchen drains.
  • Prevent your kitchen drain from clogging by pouring 1/4 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 56.7gr. of white distilled vinegar weekly. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Flush the drain with 2 qts. of boiling water. Treating your kitchen drains with this solution helps keep it clear.

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