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You come home from a long day at work just to be greeted by a sink that won’t drain, a pile of dirty dishes and bad odor. It happens to the best of us!
These clogs are usually the result of grease, clumps of hair and built up gunk. Nasty, right?
Next time you might wanna think twice before dumping those eggshells or coffee grounds down the sink! You might not notice anything wrong immediately but all this waste accumulates and solidifies over time and ends up causing drain clogs.
A kitchen sink is probably the most ignored part of the kitchen as far as cleaning is concerned and we never really realize its importance until we’re facing a stopped up drain. Then the most ignored part quickly becomes the one that needs complete and immediate attention!
Now, you might feel the impulse to grab the telephone and dial the plumber or to rush to the store and grab some drain cleaners.
However, these are both expensive solutions. Drain cleaners might also contain hazardous chemicals which can end up causing trouble in the long term.
Before resorting to these options we recommend trying these simple solutions using products easily found at home!
It’s quite likely there’s nothing seriously wrong with your sink, it just needs some good old plunging!
1. Fill the sink with the 1/4th amount of water. It should be enough to cover the cup of the plunger.
2. Pose the plunger over the drain and plunge sharply several times. If you have a double sink you’ll have to cover the other hole with duct tape or stuff a rag in it and hold it with one hand while plunging with others.
3. After you think the drain is sufficiently clear turn the tap one and let the water run into the drain.
2. Hot water
This is another super easy method that you can try if you don’t have a drain plunger handy.
1. If there is any standing water in the sink then remove as much as you can using a bucket.
2. Boil 3-4 cups of water on the stove.
3. Pour the hot water down the drain. The hot water should break up and melt the solidified gunk in the drain.
4. It might take a few moments but if the water still doesn’t empty down the drain then remove it with a bucket, boil more cups of water and repeat the process until the water loosens the clog.
5. Follow this process only if you have metal pipes and not plastic pipes.
3. Vinegar and Baking Soda
Both vinegar and baking soda are items that can be found in almost every kitchen. You can use any kind of vinegar that you prefer, apple cider or white vinegar.
1. First, remove any standing water from the sink with the help of a bucket.
2. Put some rubber gloves on for safety and pour a cup of baking soda in the drain. You can also use a spoon to force it on the drain.
3. Put a stopper in the sink and pour a cup of vinegar over the baking soda. Leave the solution there for at least 5 minutes.
4. Boil 4-5 cups of water on the stove while the solution is working on the clog. Then, pour the hot water into the drain and see if the gunk loosens.
5. You might have to repeat this process several times to get the pipes complete clean.
4. Salt and Baking Soda
If you don’t like the acidic smell of vinegar or if you just don’t have any at home, you can use salt as a replacement. First, remove standing water from the sink, then take 2 cups of baking soda and 1 cup of salt and pour the mixture into the drain. Let it stay for a while then pour a kettle of boiling water into the drain. Repeat this process until the drain clears up.
Alternatively, you can also use just half a cup of salt and boiling water instead of baking soda.
5. Coat hanger
Do you have one of metal wire hangers you haven’t thrown out yet? You can use it to clean your drain pipe!
1. Unbend and straighten the wire hanger in a way that it forms a long stick with a hook at the end.
2. Push this wire into the drain and try removing some of the clog or gunk out of the pipe. Or try breaking up some of it and push it further down.
3. Flush the drain with hot water after you’re done, to break up and clean any of the remaining gunk.
6. Sink Auger
It’s quite possible that even after trying some of these methods the drain is still clogged and is still resulting in standing water. Don’t start panicking! This just means it’s time to keep those home remedies to the side and bring out the special equipment!
1. Take a sink auger (plumbers snake) and push the auger cable into the drain.
2. Keep pushing it until you feel the clog. Now, tighten the screw and turn the handle of the auger and the cable. This causes the clog to break and loosen up.
3. Keep extending and breaking through as much clog in the pipe as you can.
4. Pull the cable out and you will see bits of hair, gunk and other nasty items that make up the clog stuck in the cable end. Clean it and repeat the process again until you’re sure you’ve cleared up all the clog.
5. Now, let’s get to cleaning the branch drain. This is the part under your sink. Place a bucket under the pipes to collect the water that will spill out.
6. Now, unscrew the trap and empty all the water from it into the bucket. Remove the horizontal pipe that connects the trap to the stub pipe. Push the cable into the stub pipe until you feel the clog.
7. Tighten the screw and turn the auger handle while extending the cable and then pulling the cable out when it caught onto the clog.
8. Continue this process and until you no longer feel any clogs while pushing the cable in.
9. Screw the pipe and the trap back on and run some hot water through the drain to see if there are any more clogs.
Prevention is always better than cure, and taking simple steps to prevent a clogged up sink is better than doing all the grunt work later!
1. Avoid using store bought chemical drain cleaners. They contain hazardous chemicals which not only may damage your sink in the long run, but also prove harmful if inhaled too much. It can also irritate the skin and eyes.
2. If you have garbage disposal keep in mind not to overload it. Divide your garbage into small portions and wait for each portion to be completely broken down, before adding the next portion.
3. Avoid putting waste items like small eggshells, grease, coffee grounds down the drain.
4. Do the baking soda and vinegar cleanse of your drain at least once every month or so. This will avoid any clog build-ups and also give your sink and kitchen a fresh smell! You can also add lemon in the mixture to give it a citrusy smell.
Just handling the sink with a little more care and paying a bit more attention to it is all it takes to keep the stubborn stoppages away for a longer time. However, when they do eventually appear we swear by these 6 methods to help you out before calling the plumber.
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