Kitchen Cleaning

How to unblock the kitchen sink

Not sure why water is draining slowly in your sink? Follow our tips on identifying, fixing, and preventing clogged bathroom sinks and blocked kitchen sinks.

Having a clogged bathroom sink or a clogged kitchen sink is not only frustrating – it can also increase the risk of damage to your pipes and cause much bigger problems, like leaks. In an effort to make your life simpler when dealing with a blocked sink, we’ve compiled ideas on how to spot a clogged sink, unclog kitchen sinks, and even how to prevent a blocked sink in the first place. Let’s get started.

Recognising a blocked sink

At some point in time, you will experience the joys of having a kitchen sink drain that is just not draining at all. If you cannot unclog kitchen sink quickly then you may find it causes more disruption to your home than you expected: you can’t wash your hands, clean the dishes, or brush your teeth!

The first step to correcting a blockage is identifying that you have one and trying to work out what is causing it. You should look for:

  • Slow draining water that takes longer to empty from the sink than normal
  • Overflowing water coming back out of the plug
  • Nasty smells coming from the sink

How to unblock your sink

There are a few ways you can try to unblock your sink. If these do not work, or you think your blocked sink may be part of a bigger problem, then you should speak to a professional plumber.

  1. Plunge your sink like a toilet to see if the pressure and suction is enough to clear the blockage
  2. Use a drain cleaner – like one from Domex – to break down any blockages. Simply pour the product into the clogged sink, leave it to work and flush with hot water.
  3. Remove the trap in the plumbing below the kitchen sink drain and manually clean the pipes with hot water and a thin brush. Make sure you turn the water off first to prevent leaks, and keep a bowl and towels handy to collect any stagnant water from the pipes. Make sure the pipes are back together securely before turning the water back on and checking for leaks.
  4. Use a drain snake to clear blockages that may be further down the pipes.

Preventing a clogged sink

Want to eliminate these sorts of problems in the future? The simplest way to prevent a clogged bathroom sink or kitchen sink is to not put the following items down the drain:

  • Used cooking oils and fats
  • Food debris and scraps
  • Hair or other organic waste

Instead, dispose of these items via your normal rubbish collection and remember to wipe cookware with an old cloth or some paper towels to remove any leftover oil before you wash it up.

And there you have it! Now that you know how to spot, fix, and prevent a clogged sink you won’t have to worry about smelly water gurgling back through your kitchen and bathroom. And if it’s a blocked toilet rather than sink causing you problems, then we have some tips for that too!

Key steps to clear a blocked sink:

  • Identify a blocked kitchen sink drain by slow draining or stagnant water in the sink
  • Use suction from a plunger, chemical treatment of the blockage, or manual scraping to remove the debris form the pipes
  • Prevent blockages by throwing food debris and used cooking oil in the bin, not down the drain

Top tip


Not sure on the cause of your clogged kitchen sink? Try a plunger as your first method of clearing a blocked sink: sometimes a little suction is all you need to move the blockage.