It’s happening again. Water continues to fill your sink with no signs of going down the drain. You spent hours trying to clean out your kitchen sink’s drain while dumping in copious amounts of chemical drain cleaner. Nothing seems to work and you ask, “Why does my kitchen sink keep getting clogged?”


What can you do to prevent this from happening? Is there anything you can do so this doesn’t become a monthly event?

The Cause Behind Kitchen Sink Clogs

The leading cause behind clogs in your kitchen sink comes from the items you put down your drain. Often when we wash our dishes, food and other material get washed off and into the drain. However, certain materials don’t wash down properly, and over time can become stuck in your drain and remain there, creating a blockage.


Some of the common foods that get stuck in drains include the following:


  • Coffee Grounds
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes
  • Small Bones


Coffee grounds tend to clump together and thicken up when wet (just like they do in your coffee machine), and pasta, potatoes, and rice swell up when exposed to water and make it easier for your drains to block, especially if you’re washing down a few spoonfuls per meal or more.


Things You Should Never Pour Down Your Drain

Grease, fats, and oils are the worst things to pour down your kitchen sink drain. These substances are sticky and capable of blocking your entire drain as they harden. While some chemical cleaners and cleaning tools can clear away some of the residues, parts of the residue still cling to the side of your pipes, with more of it sticking together, and in a short amount of time, clogging your sink again.


The best way to avoid this scenario is simple: never pour these materials down your kitchen sink’s drain under any circumstance. Strain off grease and fat in a paper towel and throw it away in the garbage. Keep coffee grounds in the filter and throw them away or compost them in your garden.

Why Garbage Disposals Don’t Always Get Rid of Food

One might think that having a garbage disposal would eliminate the drain clogging issue, and that homeowners should be able to toss any food waste down the drain. Sadly this is not the case.


It’s important to remember that a garbage disposal clears away specific food material, but not everything thrown or poured down a sink will be properly broken down, and can result in clogs time and time again. Some of these additional forbidden items are:


  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Ice
  • Cooked Meat


Even if you were to throw any of these listed materials into your garbage disposal, they would not be adequately processed and could still block your drain. Other rougher materials such as eggshells and larger bones also cannot be thrown into the disposal as the roughness and size of the food waste can damage your sink and disposal unit.


Simple Fixes to Clear Your Kitchen Sink

Should you ever find yourself with a clogged kitchen sink, there are simple solutions you can take to help clear the clog. Here are some of the simplest and most common tips on getting your drain unclogged again.


  1. Using a plunger in combination with soap and warm water to help suction away the clog. Make sure your sink is half-filled with hot water first to create a seal. Then place your plunger over the drain and start pumping up and down until the water begins draining. Repeat as necessary.


  1. For more stubborn blockage, it might be necessary to use boiling water instead. However, with boiling water, it’s important to remember that some plumbing systems contain plastic components, and those components can melt with boiling water, causing melting and warping to your sink and even your surrounding cabinets and flooring. Check ahead of time to make sure your pipes and fittings are not made of plastic.


  1. Use a homemade solution such as vinegar and baking soda to help clear away your drain. Take one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar and pour them both down the drain. Close off the drain to allow the two to work together for 15 minutes before pouring hot water down the drain to clear the remaining residue away.


  1. Use a plumber’s snake to move through your drain and clear away the blockage. By using an electric snake, you can have even more power in getting rid of clogs. If you do not own a snake, you can replicate this to a degree with a straightened wire hanger.


  1. Make sure to check your p-trap, aka the elbow-shaped pipe under your sink. Due to its shape, it’s typical for material and residue to become stuck in the pipe. You can clean this pipe by placing a bucket under the pipe, unscrewing the connectors, and manually cleaning out the pipe before putting it back to its original position.


Let the Professionals Handle the Serious Clogs

When it comes to severe clogs, there is only so much one person can do. If you’re not careful, your sink can become blocked again or even damaged when trying to fix it yourself.


Sometimes it’s best to leave this job to a professional plumber.


B&L Plumbing Service Inc. offer a full range of plumbing services for Kansas City and the surrounding area, including:


  • Sewer and Drain Cleaning
  • Plumbing Installations and Repairs
  • Garbage Disposals, Faucets, Sump Pumps
  • Water and Sewer Line Replacement and Repair


If you need professional assistance with your plumbing, please contact us today by visiting our website or give us a call for 24/7 emergency support.