How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

Unclog your kitchen sink, Step by step Guide

  • Try the Plunger

Sometimes the sink can be unstopped just by using a plunger. If your sink has only one basin then fill it up about a quarter of the way full of water and try to plunge. Plunge three to five times before lifting the plunger up and see if the water goes down the drain. If it does you are good. Run hot water once it is cleared for about five minutes to ensure the clog has been pushed out through the drain line.


If your sink is a double basin you will want to fill both sides about a quarter full. If only one side is clogged do not follow this step but instead do just as instructed above as if it is a single basin. If the side that is clogged has a garbage disposal you will want to try and clear the disposal rather than trying to plunge that side.

If both sides are clogged fill as instructed above, both sides a quarter full. Us

e a stopper on the side that has the garbage disposal as you will not want to plunge that side. Once you have secured the stopper on the garbage disposal side you will begin plunging the other side, all the while ensuring that the stopper on the other side is secure so that you have a good seal. Plunge three to five times before lifting. If water does drain down remove the stopper from the other side and see if the water drains from that side as well. If both are cleared run hot water for five minutes on each side to ensure that the line is cleared. If the sink is still clogged try this process several times. If the sink remains clogged move on to step two.

  • Take apart the P-Trap

types of p-traps

Before you take apart the trap make sure you have a bucket or a pail to catch the water from the drain or you will be dealing with a big mess. Take apart the trap and set all parts in one place so that they are easy to find when finished. Inspect the inside of the piping of the trap assembly and the pipe going back toward the wall. If they are clogged use a long screwdriver or metal coat hanger to clear the gunk from the piping. Then reassemble piping and see if water will now drain. If not then again take apart the trap and move on to step three.

  • Rent a snake

plumber's snake


Drill snakes or sink snakes are ideal for clogs of this nature. Go to the Home Depot or any other store in your area that will allow you to rent the snake. If you need assistance in finding a place that will do so in your area use Google or some other type of search engine that will help.

Make sure you have gloves on prior to using the snake. Feed the snake cable in slowly and make sure that it goes down the pipe instead of up. While allowing the snake to spin, slowly feed the cable through the line. Do this slowly so that you do not wrap the cable up into a knot in the line.

Send the snake out as far as you can, bring it back and then send it all the way out again. I recommend feeding it out several times just to be safe. When bringing it back try not to spin it too much as it will sling whatever gunk is on it from the drain all over the place. Pull it back by hand as much as possible.

  • Reassemble the P-Trap

This is self explanatory. Make sure that the trap is fairly clean and all washers and nuts are fit together correctly and are hand tight. Once the trap is back together turn on hot water and see if the sink will now drain. If so leave hot water on for five to ten minutes to ensure that the line is cleared. If not, start over at step three.

If you are not able to clear the clog yourself it may be time to contact a plumber. Realize that it takes some time for people to get the hang of running a snake properly down a drain. Do not use any kind of acid or chemical in drain prior to the plumber coming because the chemicals can end up in his/her eyes when they are running the snake down the drain.