Clogged drains are a menace, as they lead to standing water in fixtures and can snowball into major plumbing woes if not dealt with quickly.
Whether bathroom sinks or kitchen sink drain, grime and food waste can accumulate over time and clog the PVC pipes. If there is a clogged sink, you might pick up on foul odour and notice stagnant water, enough to turn a good day into a bad one. Remember all the germs festering in the standing water.
However, you can solve the problem without calling a professional and breaking your wallet. We have put together a simple guide to help you unclog a sink when the water drain is slow or remains standing.
How To Unclog Sink With Standing Water
The following are the two most effective ways to unclog a sink.
A. Plunging Method
Let’s start with the plunging method, which won’t require prep work beforehand.
1. Clear The Blockage From The Sink
First off, you will have to remove the food debris that has been blocking the drain. While you can use some tools to do it, we suggest getting your hands dirty, so wear rubber gloves and manually clear the blockage from the sink.
More often than not, food scraps, oil, grease, coffee grounds, etc., clog the sink, which might get unclogged immediately once you remove the obstruction. If it doesn’t, you will have to follow the remaining steps.
2. Remove The Standing Water
Next, you need to check the drain for the remaining clog; getting rid of the standing water is essential. Use a bucket to scoop out the water and flush it down a functioning drain, or you can use this water in the kitchen garden.
3. Clean The Overflow Drain
Sinks usually have an overflow drain right beneath the tap, which assists the main drain in getting rid of very high levels of standing water. If there is one, open it and clean it thoroughly using a rag.
4. Plunger Method
The next step is the most crucial one, so do this carefully. Place your plunger on the drain, ensuring that the cup covers it entirely, creating a vacuum over the drain and not allowing any air to escape.
Once you have a good grip, push the plunger handle in and out to move the sink clog. It will take a little time, so keep going until you hear the pipes getting empty. You can also use a drain snake to clean a clogged sink, but a drain snake is tricky to use, so we recommend sticking to the plunger.
5. Run Hot Water
Once you hear the pipes getting empty, the sink is unclogged, and you can stop plunging. To clear residual blockages, pour boiling water into the drain or turn on the hot water tap and let it run for two to three minutes.
B. Baking Soda And Vinegar Method
If you don’t want to use a plunger or plumber’s snake, turn to home remedies like vinegar and baking soda that work like magic for unclogging a sink drain. The first two steps in this method are the same as the plunger method, so you will need to clear the debris and bucket out the standing water.
Other than that, you’ll have to follow these steps:
1. Prepare The Ingredients
Instead of pouring harsh chemical cleaners down your drain, you can use a mild acid-base combination. Take 180g of baking soda and 240 ml of vinegar in two cups but don’t have to mix the ingredients, as you will need to use them separately.
2. Pour The Ingredients Into The Drain
Pour half of the baking soda into the drain, ensuring the whole drain and pipe are covered. Use a stick to spread the baking soda far down the pipe evenly and once that is done, flush half a cup of vinegar down the drain.
At this point, you will observe a fizzing sound indicating that the desired chemical reaction is taking place. You can now cover the drain and wait till the fizzing dies down.
3. Repeat The Process
When the fizzing stops, uncover the drain and repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Don’t forget to cover it with the rag again, as you wouldn’t want air to disturb the reaction.
4. Run Hot Water
Wait for another half an hour, then run boiling water directly into the drain to wash off the chemicals and clogs. Keep pouring more water until you are sure that the sink has unclogged entirely.
How To Keep Your Kitchen Sink Unclogged?
Once you unclog your kitchen sink, you can prevent future clogs by being careful about the following things:
1. Use A Drain Strainer
One straightforward and cheap way to keep your sink prim and proper is by using a mesh drain basket or strainer. Using a mesh strainer, you can keep solid food scraps or leftovers out of the drain. The mesh will collect the solids, which you can toss in the garbage bin later.
2. Get Rid Of Grease
Grease and fats are bad news for the sink due to their emulsifying nature. They quickly stick with other food items and can form intense clogs in your sink over time. So, always collect cooking oil or grease in containers and dispose of them in your trash.
3. Avoid Flushing Food Down Your Sink
Not just grease, but avoid leaving food scraps in your utensils before putting them into the sink. Eliminating all the food bits helps keep your sink unclogged for a long time. As a rule of thumb, stick to proper garbage disposal, and half of your problems will be solved.
4. Clean The Sink Routinely
After using your sink, run boiling water down the drain to wash away food bits and prevent waste build-up inside the sink. And use home remedies to clean your sink instead of harsh chemical drain cleaners. For example, baking soda is always a better choice than store-bought bleach.
How To Keep Your Bathroom Drain Unclogged?
1. Avoid Flushing Hair Down The Drain
Do you brush your hair in front of a mirror above your sink? Then we suggest you collect all the fallen hair from the sink and dispose of it in the trash when you are done. Any Tewantin professional plumber would agree that hair is the biggest menace to a sink, and letting them accumulate is not a good idea.
Another common mistake is flushing shaved hair down the sink drain because though they are small and may seem harmless, they can create a big clog over time. So, avoid that and throw them in the garbage.
2. Clean The Stopper
Your sinks have stoppers that accumulate debris only if cleaned regularly. Therefore, it is essential to check them for blockages now and then and clean them using a mild cleanser or detergent.
Unclogging A Sink With Standing Water
Soap scum, hair, grease, food scraps, etc., can lead to a clogged drain with standing water. But with a plunger or a plumber’s snake, you can quickly eliminate the clog.
First, clear the blockage and remove standing water before using such tools to clear the clogged drains. Another way to go about it is by using caustic chemicals or mild ingredients like baking soda and vinegar.
And to finish it off, run boiling water down the drain to wash off the remnants of the clog.