4 tips to unclog your sink

January 30, 2015

It's an unsightly mess when your kitchen sink gets backed up and is filled with dirty water. This often happens when you're not careful about what gets put down the drain, and these types of clogs can be tough to banish. If your sink isn't draining right, use these four tips to unclog the pipes and get back to washing dishes.

1. Use baking soda and vinegar
If you're not keen on using harsh chemicals to unclog your sink, there are a few natural ingredients that can do the same job. Real Simple magazine explained that baking soda and vinegar can help clear out clogs in your pipes. Once all the water has seeped down the clogged drain, mix together 1/2 a cup of baking soda and 1/2 a cup of vinegar. The mixture will immediately begin to fizz, so quickly pour it into your sink. Let the ingredients work their magic for five minutes, then flush the drain with hot water.

2. Pick the right plunger
Many homeowners don't realize that there are different plungers for sinks and toilets. Be sure you're using a sink plunger to force out any clogs. Home Depot recommended placing the cup over the drain, then adding enough water to the sink to cover the rubber. Move the plunger up and down forcefully to remove the clog.

3. Stop up extra holes
When you're using a plunger to unclog your sink, you'll need to make sure that air isn't escaping through another hole. Use a damp rag to stop up connected sink drains and any overflow openings. This will ensure that the air forced down by the plunger is focused on the clog.

4. Use a drain snake
The previous methods will usually work on minor clogs, but you may have to pull out more serious options to deal with a major issue. The best tool to tackle tough clogs is a drain snake, which can be used to break up a blockage in the pipe. If you don't have this item on hand, you can pick one up at just about any home improvement store, or alternatively, you can call a plumber to help fix your drainage problem.

The information in these articles is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.