Restoring Flow: How to Clear a Clogged Sink Drain Trap

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When it comes to a plumbing system, particularly if it is in the kitchen, we deal with clogging. And, unfortunately, we can't do anything about it. It is quite common. Our sink drain trap develops clog time and time again. The only option we have is to clear it with the right steps.

If you notice that your kitchen sink is draining slowly or there is stagnant water in it, it indicates a clogged sink drain trap. It's important not to assume that the clog will resolve itself because it won't. In fact, if left unattended, it can cause damage to your kitchen's plumbing system. Therefore, it is crucial to address any standing water issue promptly.

Fortunately, you can tackle this problem on your own, saving the expense of hiring a costly plumber who may charge exorbitant fees. Additionally, you can avoid the use of harmful chemicals. By following a few simple steps correctly, you can rectify the situation.

Moreover, you can attempt to fix it yourself using common household items such as vinegar and baking soda. Only when the situation persists and requires thorough cleaning should you consider contacting a professional plumber.

Baking soda poured to unclog drainage system at home

Baking soda poured to unclog drainage system at home

To begin with, it is essential to understand the reasons behind the warning signs of a sink clog.

If you notice that your sink is draining slowly and there is an unusual odor, it indicates an impending clog. Initially, the drainage may be sluggish, but eventually, it can completely block the drain.

In severe cases, a clog can even cause the pipelines to burst, rendering your kitchen or bathroom unusable.

  1. The primary cause of sink drain trap clogs is the thoughtless disposal of various items. From oils and eggs to small beans and dirt, we tend to toss them into the sink without considering the consequences. These substances can jam the garbage disposal or create a buildup, both of which contribute to a clogged sink drain trap.
  2. Using hot water with grease may seem like a way to maintain a clean draining system, but it actually exacerbates the situation. The hot water pushes the grease further down the drainage system, worsening the problem and necessitating the cleaning of the pipelines.
  3. Additionally, excessive hair and debris can also lead to a clogged sink drain trap. If you have pets at home, it's advisable to avoid washing their belongings in the sink, as the hairs may accumulate on the surface of the drain trap. It's better to clean their items outdoors using a water pipe.
  4. Lastly, certain types of food should be avoided when cleaning the sink. Foods high in starch and fiber, such as potatoes and rice, can overload the garbage disposal and contribute to buildup along the walls of the pipes due to their specific properties. Small meat pieces are also culprits that can lead to clogging.

Steps to Clear a Clogged Sink Drain Trap

Below are a few steps which you can use to clear your clogged sink drain trap.

Step #1 - Pull The Gunk Out:

Most people throw the chemical mixture straightaway, which doesn't give good results. The first thing you must do is to pull the gunk out of the drain system.

The simplest thing you can do is to get a bent wire hanger and straighten it out as best as you can. This will assist you in pulling out the gunk from deep inside the drain. Though, make sure there is a small hook on the corner of it. It will get stuck in the gunk and also allow you to pull hair which is usually on the surface of the garbage disposal.

The aim is to pull out as much gunk as you can rather than pushing it more into the drain system. Therefore, for this purpose, a bent wire hanger is the best option.

Step #2 - Prepare the Mixture:

Now, it is time to prepare the mixture. And, there are many ways to do that. You can create an effective mixture with common household items.

For example, you can use baking soda and vinegar for it. Both are powerful in their own specific ways. If vinegar creates the foaming reaction, the baking soda also acts as a multipurpose cleaner. You can create a mixture of them or throw them separately in the sink.

Some experts recommend using the solution of salt too, as according to them if the clogging is stubborn, the properties of salt will eat it away. Throw the salt solution in the sink and let it sit on the clogging for a few hours. You will notice its effects sooner than your expectations.

Step #3 - Clean The Drain Trap:

But, in order to do that, you have to do some plumbing job. In case you don't exactly know what is the drain trap, it is the u-shaped pipe which is under the sink.

Once you know how to clean it, the clogging issues won't disturb you again. Loosen up its nuts through the plumber's wrench and put the basket under it so that it can catch the solution which you will drop from the top of the sink inside the draining pipe.

Apart from draining the solution, you need to clear the trap too. Turn the u-shaped pipe upside down and clear all the debris from inside. You can use the bent wire hanger method for this too. You should also use a long brush for cleaning it from the inside. After cleaning it well, rinse it with water and put everything back together.

Concluding Thoughts

In summary, unclogging a sink drain trap is a simple procedure.

You don't need any specialized plumbing knowledge, and there's no need to handle dangerous chemicals. The steps outlined above can be repeated for regular maintenance. By following these steps, you can ensure that your sink drains smoothly and remains in excellent condition at all times.

Avatar for Shelly Rhoades
by Shelly Rhoades
Having recognized the need for accessible and affordable solutions in the remodeling industry, Shelly founded Affordable Kitchen and Baths with the mission of helping homeowners create their dream spaces without breaking the bank. Her dedication to providing reliable advice and quality resources has garnered her a loyal following and established her as a go-to resource for anyone looking to transform their kitchen or bathroom.

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