How to Unclog Sink Drains: The Ultimate Guide

  • Author : KreateCube
  • 28-Apr-2022

What's the tendency that you will not use the sinks in your home during the day? Almost impossible. Your sink is one of the most used fixtures in the house. While sinks are one of the most utilized necessities, there is no denying that they may be misused sometimes.

Having a clogged sink is not only an eyesore but is also unhealthy. When the sink is not properly cleaned, it can be a breeding ground for disease-causing microorganisms. So, what do you do whenever your sink drains are clogged?

Tips to unclog sink drains

This article will provide a detailed guide required to unclog sink drains and inform you of the necessary steps to avoid clogged sinks in the future.

What Causes a Clogged Sink Drain?

We have two major types of sinks at home; kitchen and bathroom sinks, and four substances may cause the clogging of these sinks.

1. Kitchen Sink

Kitchen sinks are mostly clogged with three substances; FOG, food particles, and soap scum.

Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG): Fats and grease are the leading cause of clogs in kitchen sinks. They move through the drain smoothly when they are hot, but when they cool down, they become solid fats. These fats coat the pipes and keep getting thicker, and the drains keep getting slower until they are completely blocked.

Food Particles: You may probably find it easier to dispose of some little-big food particles by flushing them down the drain instead of using the garbage bin. But these particles can trap in the curved pipe (also known as a p-trap) beneath the sink and cause blockage.

Soap Scum: Some soaps leave residues. These residues from frequent hand washing and doing the dishes can coat the interior of the pipes and hence cause blockage.


2. Bathroom Sinks

Whenever there is a clog in the bathroom sinks, the major causes could be:

Hair: Hair is a common cause of clogging in bathroom sinks. The hair quickly goes down the drain with water and accumulates inside the pipe. When these hair strands pile up in the line, they cause a blockage.

Other substances that may block the drains are:

a) Toothpaste

b) Beauty products

c) Soap Scum.


Signs That Your Sink May Be Clogged

Several signs can indicate that you are about to or already have a clogged sink. Some of them are:

Your sinks are draining slowly.

Musty odor coming from within the pipes through your sinks. This smell may be caused by food particles or FOG buildups, or stagnant water sitting within the lines.

There is standing water close to the drain after letting the faucet run for a while.

Effective Methods to Unclog Sink Drains

There are different ways to get your sinks unclogged, such as-

1. The Use of Homemade Cleaners

Whenever your sinks get clogged, there are some homemade cleaners you can use to get them unclogged. They include:

Boiling Water: You can boil and pour hot water down the drain when your pipes get clogged. The heat can help loosen clogs, allowing them to be washed away with the flowing water. You can use this method to quickly get rid of FOG, food particles, hair, or other debris that may have accumulated in your pipes over time.

Vinegar and Baking Soda: It's a popular homemade clog cleaner. Mix vinegar and baking soda and pour into your sink as soon as it begins to fizzle. This combo reacts in such a way that it eats at different types of clogs. However, it would be best to wait for a while before flushing it off your pipes with water.

Salt and Dish Soap: Mix some salt in warm water and pour it into the clogged sink. Then, pour some liquid dish soap immediately. This combo will form bubbles that loosen dirt in your sink.

2. Using Ready-Made Cleaners

Some people prefer to purchase ready-made cleaners to unclog their sinks. There are two types of options here.

Chemical Cleaners: These cleaners use caustic chemicals, acids, bleaches, or lye to eat up clogs. They give the best result but have the potential of ruining your pipe.

Enzymatic Cleaners: These are organic cleaners that use natural enzymes and bacteria to eat up clogs.

3. Using a Drain (Plumber) Snake or Auger

An auger is a manual tool used for clearing clogs. This tool has a flexible metal cable that can penetrate your sink to break up a clog.

However, you should know that a drain snake can only reach clogs within 25 feet of your plumbing system. It would help if you also were careful while using this tool lest you destroy your pipes.

4. Hiring a Professional Service

If you have tried every method listed above and are still struggling with a clogged sink, it's time to call a plumber. You also need not wait till you have tried everything before calling a plumber.

You should call a plumber immediately if you notice your sink is clogged. Hiring a professional may be expensive, but it's the most effective method for getting rid of clogs without hurting your drainage system.

Measures to Take to Prevent Your Sinks from Being Reclogged

Having a clogged sink can be frustrating. After you have unclogged your sink, here are essential measures you can take to prevent a recurrence.

1. Never use hot water to melt fats so they can go down the drain. They will only solidify back inside your pipes and cause clogging.

2. Do not put FOGs down a drain; you should instead use the trash bin.

3. Always dispose of food waste and vegetable peels in the trash bin, never the sink.

4. Flush all your sinks with hot water and salt. It prevents grease and soap buildups and will allow your drains to run at optimal capacity.

5. Install a hair filter in your bathroom drain.


Clogged sinks can cause severe damage if not treated on time, which is why you should get rid of the clogs immediately. This article has enlightened you about what you need to unclog your sinks. Regardless, if you have a persisting sink-clog problem, you should not hesitate to seek professional help.

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