How to Clear a Kitchen Drain That Is Completely Clogged

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Clogged kitchen drains can prevent your household from running smoothly; cooking and cleaning are dependent on a clean and draining sink. There are a number of at-home remedies to remove a clog in a kitchen drain.

Things You'll Need

  • Plunger
  • Baking soda
  • Chemical clog remover
  • Bucket
  • Wrench
  • Hanger or curved brush
  • Remove the strainer or stopper on the drain and clean it to make sure that wasn't the only thing stopping up the drain. Use your regular toilet plunger on the clogged drain; run a few inches of water into the sink before plunging. A loosely packed clog, or one that is not far from the entrance to the drain, will come out just from the pressure of the plunger.

  • Pour baking soda into the drain if water has not already backed up in the sink. Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 3 cups of hot water. The chemical reaction will dissolve the clog. You can also add a cup of vinegar to increase the bubbling reaction, which can help to dissolve the clog. Repeat until the drain is clear.

  • Pour chemical clog remover, such as Draino, if the previous methods do not work. Commercial clog removers are available at supermarkets, convenience stores and hardware stores. Follow label directions to determine the proper amount to pour, and follow the cleaner with a rinse of hot water for 30 seconds.

  • Remove and clean the pipe trap if the above methods do not work and you are comfortable working with pipes and tools. Place a bucket under the pipe to catch extra water. If there is a clean-out plug on the bottom of the trap, remove it. The plug, usually a square or hexagonal insert at the base of the pipe, may loosen and come off if you just use your hands; if not, loosen it with a wrench and remove. Use a bent cleaning instrument, such as a bottle brush, to remove the clog and residue. You can also bend a metal clothes hanger and push it into the trap to loosen the clog. When you have removed the clog, replace the plug and run hot water through the pipe to wash away any residue. Check to be sure the plug is tightened securely and no water is leaking.

  • Remove the entire trap if there is no clean-out plug. Loosen the couplings that hold the trap in place and remove it completely. Use a bent cleaning utensil, such as a bottle brush or bent clothes hanger, to loosen the clog. Rinse the inside of the trap thoroughly with hot water. Replace the trap by setting it back into place and reattaching the couplings. Run hot water through the pipe to clean out any residue; check to be sure that the couplings are completely tightened and no water is leaking.

Tips & Warnings

  • When using a plunger, apply a layer of petroleum jelly around the rim. This will help to create a tighter seal, and so a more effective plunger. Whenever you have removed a clog, run hot water through the drain for a few minutes afterward to wash away any remaining residue.
  • Plumber's snakes or sewer snakes are extremely effective in removing clogs from drains. However, these machines require professional skill to use. Do not attempt to use this equipment if you have not had professional training; consult an expert if you wish to use this method. Read all directions and warnings that come with chemical products.

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