When the sink drain is clogged or backed up, getting it cleared out as soon as possible is a high priority on any homeowner's to-do list. Drain cleaning can be performed with natural products like vinegar and hot water as well as with the use of a plunger. In addition, commercial drain cleaner solutions are available for stubborn clogs, although there are some risks to using these fluids. Learn how to unclog the sink drain quickly and without creating a big mess.
1. Remove items from the sink. Take out any visible debris as well as the strainer that fits into the drain opening.
2. Pour one-quarter of a cup of baking soda into the drain opening.
3. Pour one cup of white vinegar or lemon juice into the drain.
4. Cover the drain opening with a plastic or rubber stopper and allow the mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes. The chemical reaction between the baking soda, which is a base, and the white vinegar or lemon juice, which is an acid, will create bubbles and pressure that should clear out most clogs.
5. Run hot water down the drain for several minutes to complete flushing out of the clogged debris.
6. If the drain is still clearing slowly, repeat steps two through five one or two more times.
7. If the drain continues to empty slowly or not at all, try using a plunger. Make sure the device is clean before using it in a kitchen sink. Fit the plunging device over the drain opening and vigorously plunge for 30 to 60 seconds. The pressure should unclog stubborn debris. Flush out the drain with hot running water for several minutes after plunging.
8. Try a drain snake. These tools are hand operated or come with a small motor. The blades on the snake twist and turn to push through the clog and chop up the debris into tiny pieces that can drain through the pipes.
9. For clogs that persist, consider trying commercial drain cleaning fluid. These solutions are available at home improvement, hardware, grocery and mass merchandise stores. Take care when using these chemicals as they are not suitable for certain types of pipes. Only use these in a well-ventilated area as they contain chemicals that may cause breathing problems if the fumes are inhaled. Do not get any of the solution onto your skin as it may cause harm. If you do not use the entire bottle, store it out of the reach of children because it can cause serious or even fatal harm if ingested.
When clogs will not come free after trying all of these steps, it is time to call in the professionals who specialize in plumbing systems. Professional plumbers have expert grade tools such as augers and high powered snakes to get through any type of clog in any size of drain. Our experienced plumbers can unclog most sink drains in a short amount of time, saving you the hassle and frustration of doing it yourself. Licensed plumbers have the knowledge and equipment to clear out drains safely so that there is no risk to you or your family in getting the drain cleared and properly working.
Shelly Duell is a blogger on behalf of Reeves Plumbing. Reeves Plumbing started over 51 years ago when the now Grandfather of the company Maurice Reeves returned from the Korean War and moved with his young wife to the suburbs of Dallas. Reeves workmanship and honest business ethics helped to spread the word of his services.