There aren’t many things more annoying in the kitchen than to struggle with a clogged sink!
Luckily that whole messy situation is very easy to avoid.
Just keep on reading to get on top of your kitchen clogging problems!
In this article I will discuss:
How does a kitchen sink get clogged
Most of the time a kitchen sink gets clogged because of what gets flushed down the drain.
Let’s be honest, we all probably know that those coffee grounds aren’t supposed to go down the drain.
Or the leftover rice on the dishes.
Or the leftover gravy from that delicious lamb roast.
Yet, oddly enough, we are all pressed for time when the cleaning and washing up has to be done.
And what easier way to get rid of the smaller sized leftovers than to wash it down the drain and trust the garbage disposal unit to take care of the rest.
We do that even if there is no garbage disposal, we just bring down the size of the leftovers washed down the drain!
All that stuff washed down the drain is exactly what causes blockages.
They inevitably accumulate in the nooks and crannies and end up restricting the flow.
That just makes it worse because now stuff just gets stuck more easily.
And the cycle continues until finally, one day when you absolutely don’t need another problem, the drain clogs up completely.
How to prevent your kitchen sink from clogging
Fortunately, a clogged kitchen drain can be easily avoided.
It involves not flushing stuff down the drain, which is actually pretty straightforward.
It is also a very good idea to have a drain-grate installed as well as a garbage disposal unit.
Also, take special care to avoid flushing down the following.
Big chunks of food
Firstly, and I can’t emphasize this enough, don’t flush big chunks of food down the drain.
Yes, after you’ve collected the leftovers to be thrown in the garbage or compost, there are going to be small pieces left, but that’s fine.
That is exactly what the garbage disposal units are for.
Even a system without one would be able to handle that.
Don’t flush coffee grounds down the drain.
Coffee grounds are one of those items that holds moisture and is exceptionally good at blocking the garbage disposal.
Instead throw it in the trash or compost it.
Large quantities of rice and pasta
These types of food expand over time as they absorb moisture.
This process continues even after cooking.
If you’ve ever eaten leftover pasta, you would know what I am talking about.
When these pieces get caught in the system, they just stay there while swelling up and restricting the flow.
Which in turn just accelerates the clogging up process.
Kitchen grease and oils
These should never be washed down the drain.
I’ve made the mistake myself thinking that when you wash it down with really hot water, nothing will happen.
That is not true.
The moment this grease starts cooling down, it starts to solidify.
So instead of blocking the drain-grate where you can remove it by hand, you warm it up nicely so it’s in liquid form and you help it past the drain-grate where it then cools down and solidifies somewhere in the pipes.
Kitchen oils and grease should be collected in some form of container and discarded of properly.
How to easily unclog a kitchen sink
If it does happen that the drain gets clogged up, it can most likely be unclogged by the following.
If you don’t have PVC pipes connected to you drainage system underneath the sink, you can first try just plain boiling water.
Pour it down the drain and repeat if necessary. Sometimes grease and fat can be dislodged this way because of the phenomenon mentioned earlier where boiling water melt the grease.
Check the garbage disposal
It happens sometimes that the clog is in the garbage disposal itself.
You can usually fix that by just turning the unit on and letting it do its job.
Otherwise, there could be something wrong with the unit.
If you switch it on and you only hear a humming noise, it could have seized up.
If that’s the case, you will have to call in the pros.
Use a plunger
Yes the old trustworthy plunger.
Give the drain a good plunging and see what happens.
Use baking powder and vinegar
These are more natural alternatives to harsh chemical drain unblockers.
First, remove any excess water from the sink.
Pour a cupful of baking soda down the drain followed by one cup of vinegar.
Put the drain plug in and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes remove the plug and pour boiling water down the drain (if there aren’t any PVC pipes plumbed in).
That should unclog the drain.
Clean the P-trap
If there is still a clog in the system, it could be in the P-trap. That is the bent pipe under the sink.
If you can do it yourself, take the trap out, give it a good clean and put it back in.
If you can’t do this, or if you have done it and there is still a blockage somewhere, it is time to call the pros.
There could be a serious block somewhere that will need professional tools for unblocking.
In short, if you don’t want your kitchen drain to clog up, don’t wash anything down the drain.
You will, however, get instances where that is nearly impossible to do.
It is therefore a good habit to every now and then run the hot water for a while, while pouring a bit of dishwashing liquid down the drain.
That will most likely help dislodge anything that may have gotten stuck in your drainage system and prevent it from blocking it up even further.