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How to Unplug a Kitchen Sink Drain

Updated February 21, 2017

Kitchen sink drains take a beating due to frequent use. Food particles, grease and dish detergent contribute to plugging up kitchen sink drains. To prevent clogs from plugging your drain, clean out your kitchen sink drain once a week. When a clog starts to form, water will drain slowly out of your sink. This is the optimal time to flush the clog down the drain with hot water. After a clog has formed, a kitchen sink drain can be unplugged without the assistance of a plumber.

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  1. Prepare the sink. Remove standing water from the kitchen sink. Use a bowl to scoop out the water.

  2. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into a measuring cup. Pour baking soda down the kitchen sink drain.

  3. Pour 1/2 cup of white vinegar into a measuring cup. Pour the vinegar down the kitchen sink drain. This will create a fizzing action.

  4. Cover the kitchen sink drain opening with a drain stopper or a dish rag. Cover the drain well so none of the mixture escapes.

  5. Allow the mixture to stand in the drain for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil 1 gallon of water.

  6. Remove the drain stopper or dish rag from the kitchen sink drain opening.

  7. Pour the boiling water down the kitchen sink drain. This will flush the mixture down the drain, along with the clog.

  8. Turn on the water to ensure the kitchen sink drain is unplugged. If the drain is still plugged up or the water is slowly draining, repeat the process.

  9. Clean out your kitchen sink drain weekly to avoid future problems.

  10. Tip

    Wear gloves for protection.


    Chemical drain cleaners contain harmful ingredients. Avoid using them, if possible. Chemicals can damage pipes. Never mix chemical drain cleaners with baking soda mixture. Never use a plunger after using a chemical drain cleaner.

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Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Measuring cup
  • Bowl
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Drain stopper/dish rag
  • Water

About the Author

Liana Christianson

Liana Christianson is a freelance writer. She has experience with a wide variety of writing styles and subjects. Christianson has worked as an editor and a researcher. She contributes her writing to several different websites.

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