Home Maintenance Tip: Clean Your Sink Drain
Posted on November 20, 2015
Do your sinks have an unpleasant odor or are they slow to drain? A stinky kitchen sink can be an annoyance, but it also can be a health hazard. Bacteria that flourish on food particles and warm water are most likely the cause of a smelly drain. Food particles form a sludge that prevents water from freely flowing down the drain pipe. If this describes your kitchen, you need to clean your sink drain.
To clean a sink drain or unclog a slow-moving drain, follow these steps:
- Pour boiling water down the drain letting the stream last for at least 15 seconds.
- Put ½ cup of baking soda down the drain.
- Pour a mixture of two cups of white vinegar down the drain. When mixing the vinegar with the baking soda, foam and bubbles result forming carbonic acid.
- Cover the drain with a stopper and wait for 15 minutes. For a double sink, cover both sink drains.
- Flush with boiling water for 15-30 seconds.
The baking soda and vinegar cannot be mixed in advance because the fizzy chemical reaction that results is what helps to shake loose clogs in the drain. Periodically, use a bacterial enzyme-based drain cleaner following the product directions.
If this method doesn’t work, you may need to use a plunger. Follow these instructions:
- Use a different plunger than the one you use for toilets. Make sure that the plunger cup has a flat bottom.
- Fill the sink with 2-3” of water to cover the drain and bottom of the sink if water isn’t already present.
- Remove the strainer or stopper.
- Create a tight seal by pressing the plunger tight over the drain.
- Press firmly up and down on the plunger several times. You may need to use a step ladder to be able to press downward on the plunger.
- After several tries, check to see if the water is draining properly. Repeat the process if the clog is not cleared.
- When the clog is cleared, flush the drain with water.
If your drain is still clogged, you may need a plumber’s “snake” or 25’ cable auger. You can buy or rent one at a hardware store or big box home improvement store. You may want to call a plumber if you aren’t familiar with how to remove the sink trap.
Preventing drain problems is best. Follow these guidelines:
- Scrape your dishes into the trash can instead of down the sink if there is food on them.
- Clean the sink, strainers and stoppers often.
- Don’t empty grease, coffee grounds or any product that can turn into a solid inside the drain.
- Try to keep hair out of bathroom sinks.
- Keep plumbing vents on the roof free of leaves and other debris.
Proper maintenance on your sink drains will prevent significant problems in the long run. Don’t hesitate to contact a Licensed Plumbing Contractor if you have a significant plumbing problem.
Please Like Us on our Facebook page or Follow Us on Google Plus
If you have questions about your home’s foundation or foundation repairs, contact Atlantic Foundation and Repair at 919-855-0855.