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Clogged drains are inevitable! Even with the best of kitchen sinks, you’re bound to suffer from clogged drains at least twice a year—caused due to food, grease, or even soap scum. The horrid image that pops up into our minds when we see that our drain has gotten clogged is that of water overflowing from the sink—and then flooding the entire apartment. This can quickly lead you to reach out to your plumber.
As I have dealt with this problem personally, I can say confidently that your plumber will take two hours to arrive, or even more, but this article will provide you the solutions that will require only a few minutes of your time. Besides, you don’t want to wait for that long when your kitchen literally reeks, right?
So come on, it’s time to take matters into your own hands!
How to Unclog Drains
Get ready to utilize a few ingredients from your kitchen. But before we start with the solutions, make sure that your garbage disposal present underneath your sink isn’t the main cause of your sink’s dysfunctionality. Garbage disposals getting clogged is a common problem, so you need to check that out first.
Now let’s move on to the seven really easy ways through which you can unclog your drains.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is known to clean almost everything in your kitchen, and cleaning your kitchen sink is one of the many powers it possesses. Combine it with vinegar to get a deadly and powerful combination. Before starting with the process, make sure you don’t have any standing water in the sink. Clear out all the standing water with the help of a jug, or a glass.
Now, pour 1/2 a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain. Let it fizz. Wait for two minutes and then pour some hot water down the drain to check if the drain has unclogged.
You can repeat the same process with baking soda and salt (three parts of baking soda and one part of salt) or baking soda and lemon juice (equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice).
2. Commercial Dishwasher
This is one of the most effective ways to clean greasy clogs. Grease is caused by oil cooked in pans that later get washed up in the sink, or due to an excess spill of oil in the sink. But, a dishwashing liquid can work miracles on the greased pipes.
The liquid will do exactly what it does to your dishes- it gets rid of the oil. Firstly, clear all the standing water from the sink. Pour the dishwashing liquid down the drain, followed by hot, boiling water. This should be able to dissolve all the grease. After a few minutes, check if the problem has been solved by turning on the tap and running the water.
Although a plunger is something you commonly use to unclog your toilets, you can use it for clogs in your sink too (a separate plunger, of course!). This will require some elbow grease as compared to the earlier methods. But it’s proven to be effective.
Always make sure there’s no standing water. To start with, press your plunger down on the drain in such a way that it blocks the passage of any excess air. Once you’ve firmly placed your plunger, fill up the sink with enough water. Then pull up the plunger by its handle quickly and forcefully. This will create suction which will help in unclogging the drain.
Continue doing this for about thirty seconds. Lift the plunger to see if the water swirls down the drain. If it doesn’t, try doing it again.
Now, moving on to the more uncommon option- unclogging your sink with cola. Your mother was right about it all along! Soft drinks contain carbonic acid that creates the fizz and phosphoric acid that helps clean the more stubborn gunks in the drain.
Make sure your sink doesn’t have any standing water (you know the drill by now). Now, for the soft drink to work, it should be at room temperature. Pour it down the drain and come back after an hour to check on the drain. Pour some hot water into the drain to see if it has unclogged.
5. Boiling water
The simplest and the quickest method on the list! Boiling water works perfectly well if you’re a lazy bum like me. First, fill up a pot with water and put it to boil. When the sink is clear with no standing water, pour the boiling water down the drain. Wait for a few minutes. If the drain is still clogged, try the same process again.
You can even use salt with boiling water- put two tablespoons of salt down the drain. Quickly pour the boiling water after that. Let it do its magic for about five minutes. Then you can turn on the tap to check if the drain has cleared up.
6. DIY (Do It Yourself)
Not that the earlier options weren’t DIY, but this one’s literally ‘doing the cleaning yourself’ without any cleaning agents at your service. I personally think this is the best, and the most effective method. Now quickly grab your rubber gloves! First-timers are going to have quite an experience.
First, place an empty bucket below the U-pipe so that all the water spills into the bucket. Now, unscrew the pipe and clean out all the gunk and clogged material from all sides of the pipe. With harder clogs, try using a scrubber. Once the pipe looks clear, screw it back in. Turn on the faucet to check if everything’s working smoothly.
Borax is a lesser-known cleaning agent but just as effective as the others. With a mixture of borax, salt, and vinegar, the clog would disappear like it was never there. All three are known to be powerful cleaning agents.
Before we dive into it, remember to clear the standing water. Create a mixture out of two tablespoons of salt and borax and one tablespoon of vinegar. Pour this mixture down the drain. Allow it to work for at least an hour. Then turn on the faucet and check if your drain has become unclogged.
In any case, avoid using caustic soda and keep it as a last resort since caustic soda is a harmful chemical and can cause burns to your skin. If you have a wet & dry vacuum cleaner then that could work too.
Who needs a plumber when you are armed with all this knowledge? After all of this, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back when you’ve successfully unclogged the drain.