Common Reasons Your Kitchen Sink Is Blocked (And What To Do About It)

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If you have a clogged sink in your kitchen, you may be wondering what happened. Why do kitchen sinks clog? How can you fix it? In this guide from Wilco Plumbing, we’ll discuss everything that you need to know. Read on, and see what you should do if your kitchen sink won’t drain.

Common Reasons Your Kitchen Sink Is Blocked

Wondering why your kitchen sink may have become blocked in the first place? In most cases, it’s due to one of the following issues – or a combination of them.

  • Pouring grease down the sink – This is definitely the most common cause of blocked drains in the kitchen, especially if you often put food scraps down the drain. Grease may be liquid when you pour it into your sink, but it can quickly solidify as it travels down your drain pipes. Over time, grease will narrow your pipes and restrict water flow. Then, it will catch other food scraps that may otherwise be rinsed down your drainage system, and create large, difficult-to-remove clogs.
  • Dumping food scraps down the sink – This is another very common reason that kitchen sinks become blocked. Whenever you put food down the sink, it can be caught in your pipes or on grease and other obstructions and create a clog. This is especially common with things like coffee grounds, rice, and other foods that can absorb a lot of water. They may rinse down the sink cleanly at first, but if they build up and get stuck, they’ll swell up and absorb water until they clog your drain. And yes, this can happen even if you have a garbage disposal. To stay safe and avoid clogs, always scrape your plates and other dishes into the trash before you rinse them and clean them. Keeping food scraps out of your pipes is the best way to stop kitchen drain blockages before they happen.
  • Buildup of soap scum – Soap scum is a common problem if you have “hard water” that has a large concentration of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals. When these minerals contact soap and other “surfactants,” they create a filmy residue called soap scum. This residue can build up over time and contribute to the formation of clogs. Hard water may also create deposits that cause your pipes to become narrow over time. If you have hard water, investing in a water softener for your sink can help eliminate this issue in the future.
  • Putting too much food in the garbage disposal – Your garbage disposal may be powerful – but it can still be clogged or even damaged if you put too much food into it. You should only put very small food scraps down your garbage disposal. And, in particular, you should avoid putting very fibrous foods like broccoli, pineapple, and others down the garbage disposal, as well as coffee grounds, eggshells, animal bones, pasta, rice, and bread. These can all clog and jam up your disposal, or clog up your drain pipe.

Now that you know why kitchen sink blockages happen, you may be wondering how to unclog your sink if it’s not draining properly. Read on to find out!

DIY Kitchen Sink Unclogging Tips – Try These Steps To Clear Your Blockage

Not ready to call a plumber? That’s fine! In some cases, you can clear a kitchen sink blockage on your own.

  • Use a chemical drain cleaner – Chemical drain cleaners are powerful and can destroy food and remove grease from the drain, destroying the blockage. It’s always a good idea to have some drain cleaner on-hand just in case your kitchen sink becomes clogged.
  • Clear your sink with baking soda and vinegar – This is a good option for clearing clogged drains if you don’t have chemical drain cleaner readily accessible. Start by pouring about a cup of baking soda into the drain, then pour a cup of vinegar down the drain. You can rinse the vinegar and baking soda down with water to ensure it reaches the clog. Then, the chemical reaction will help dislodge food scraps and other particles.
  • Try soap and hot water – Some dish soap can help lubricate the clog and break it apart. We recommend pouring a generous squirt of dish soap down the drain, and following
  •  it up with hot or boiling water. The heat of the water and the lubricating effects of the dish soap can be enough to break apart clogs and drain blockages, in some cases.
  • Plunge your sink – A plunger can be used to create suction that breaks the clog apart and allows it to be rinsed down the drain. Position the plunger over your drain and use water or petroleum jelly for a tight seal, then plunge away! If your sink has two drains, make sure to cover the other drain to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  • Manually crank your garbage disposal – If your garbage disposal is clogged, you may be able to dislodge the clog manually. Most garbage disposals allow you to manually crank the impeller plate by hand. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to perform this task, and see if this dislodges the food and allows your garbage disposal to drain properly.

Need Help? Contact Wilco Plumbing Now To Talk To Our Professional Plumbers!

Sometimes, DIY, at-home fixes won’t be enough to fix the problem and clear blocked drains. The clog may be very far down your drain pipes, or it may just be too large and difficult to remove on your own.

But at Wilco Plumbing, we can help with drain blockages of all types. No kitchen sink drain is too tough for our expert plumbers in Sydney. So don’t wait – contact us online or give us a call at 02 9186 3371 to speak to one of the experienced plumbers in Sydney and get the help you need to restore your kitchen sink right away.