It’s not difficult for a sink to become blocked; especially kitchen sinks where small pieces of food can easily get washed down the drain. Fat that accidently makes its way down the drain can also solidify, causing a nasty blockage. A blocked drain can always be fixed though, you just need the right products and knowledge to get your sink or drain working again.
How to unblock a sink or Drain
Cleaning products and plungers are the best tools for cleaning a bathroom sink or drain. The type of blockage will determine which tool is right for the job.
- Cleaning products are the best option for drains that have been blocked by natural matter such as food or oil as they can be broken down quite easily. Just be sure to follow the product instructions and to take the appropriate precautions to ensure your safety when unblocking your drain.
If you believe that a physical object is blocking your drains or pipes, cleaning products are not going to do the trick. In this situation, it’s best to use a plunger to force the object out of the pipes. If you’re not entirely sure what’s blocking your drain, try the cleaning products first and then resort to using a plunger if the problem isn’t solved. If the blockage is a serious one, it’s probably best to contact a plumber for professional advice and assistance to avoid any damage.
Tips for Effectively Unblocking a Sink
Food and oil are usually the main reasons why kitchen sinks become blocked. If you’ve noticed that your sink isn’t draining as quickly as it used to, you might have a blocked drain. Since this issue builds up over time, as soon as you notice a change, it’s best deal with the issue sooner rather than later so that you don’t end up with a sink that isn’t draining at all.
If you want to unblock your sink using commercial products, there are a number of great products available in stores. Domestos have drain unblockers that work really well on all types of sinks, including your kitchen sink. Simply follow the product instructions and take the necessary safety precautions.
There is also the option of using baking soda and white vinegar as a drain cleaner but it’s not as potent. The fact that these two household items are on opposite ends of the pH scale is what creates a reaction that helps unblock drains. Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda in the plughole of your sink and pour vinegar over it until it creates a foam. Leave this mixture for 5 minutes before running hot water down the drain. Repeat the process until water is running freely down the drain, indicating the blockage has been removed.
Be aware that this mixture doesn’t smell great so be prepared. It’s also important to note that you should never use any products containing bleach after using this mixture as vinegar and bleach create a toxic chlorine gas.
Unblock Your Sink with a Plunger
If a mixture of vinegar and baking soda doesn’t work because the blockage is a solid object such as a child’s toy, a plunger is your best bet.
- Don’t use a toilet plunger on your sink. You will need a sink plunger.
- Using a plunger is not difficult at all but it’s important to make sure that the overflow is blocked. You can do this by tightly holding a damp cloth over the overflow. By not blocking the overflow, you won’t be able to create enough pressure between the plunger and the pipes to dislodge the object that’s blocking your sink.
- Place the plunger over the plughole in order to create a seal. It’s best if the plunger is wet.
- Pump the plunger quickly to create air pressure in the pipes, which should force the object out.
- Repeat this process until the object is in the trap. You might even see food, hair and other debris in the trap while you’re unblocking your drain so this is a good time to give your drain a general clean too.
How to Prevent Sink Blockage
You will never be able to avoid a blocked sink forever but it helps to know what you can do to reduce the chances of a blocked drain at home. Start by placing a filter over the plugholes in your kitchen sink as this will stop food from accidentally slipping down the plughole. The filter is easy to take out so that you can throw the food pieces away without having to touch them.
If you want to get rid of used oil, rather pour it into a plastic container so that it can cool first and then throw it in the bin. Water and dishwashing liquid are the only things that should be passing through your drains.
Always wear protective gloves when working with drain cleaning products.