How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

A common problem is a kitchen sink that is full of water because of food particles, grease, and other things that are going down the drain.

You can unclog a sink that has water backed up in it without calling a plumber by getting rid of the water that is standing in the sink and clearing out any visible clogs with boiling water, chemical drain cleaners, or a drain snake.

This guide tells you everything you need to know to unclog a kitchen sink that is full of water. Find out what makes sinks get clogged, how to unclog them step-by-step, and how to keep your sinks from getting clogged and flooding in the future.

What Causes Kitchen Sinks to Clog?

When washed down the drain, these common kitchen items often clog sinks:

  • Coffee grounds and tea leaves – These things give off oils that stick to pipes and build up over time.
  • Rice, pasta, grains – small pieces get through and keep adding up.
  • Chopped vegetables – Carrot and celery pieces get lost in the drain.
  • Grease and oils—When you wash grease and oils down the drain, they harden and coat the pipes.
  • Dairy products – Things made from milk and cheese, like butter and cheese, can stick to pipes.

When these foods build up over time, they clog up kitchen sinks and cause water to back up.

What You’ll Need:

  • Bucket
  • Flashlight
  • Plunger
  • Channel-lock pliers
  • Drain snake


  • Rubber gloves
  • Rags
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

How to Clear Out a Kitchen Sink With Two Bowls and Water

These six methods will help you clear out your double kitchen sink. You might have to do something a few times before you can see real progress.

Method 1: Hot Water

The easiest and cheapest way to clear out your kitchen sink is to use water, which is easy to find in the kitchen. It only needs to be boiled. Almost every way to clear out a clogged sink works better when you add boiling water to the mix.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

Here’s how to use water alone to clear out a double kitchen sink:

  • To get rid of the water in the sink, use a small bowl or mug.
  • Boil water in two big pots or kettles.
  • Carefully empty one of the kettles into the sink, and then wait for the water to drain out.
  • Run hot water down the drain for up to one minute to see if it clears out the sink. If the clog is gone, pour the second kettle of boiling water down the drain.
  • In case the drain is still clogged, do the steps again and again.

For getting rid of grease and gunk in your sink drain pipe, hot water works great. You may have more solid residue, such as food particles, small objects, or mineral buildup, in your double-sink configuration if there is a lot of water that doesn’t move.

If so, add half a cup of salt to the water that is boiling before you pour it into the sink. Salt is a great way to clear out clogged drains.

Method 2: Salt and Baking Soda

Maybe all you need to clear out your drain is a mix of salt and baking soda. This simple homemade cleaner works well to clear out a sink drain that is clogged with soap scum, grease, or something else that is blocking it.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

What you need to do is:

  • Put half a cup of salt in a bowl.
  • Mix it well after adding one cup of baking soda.
  • Get rid of any water that is still in the sink that is clogged.
  • Put some of the mix down the drain of each sink.
  • The salt and baking soda should work for four to six hours. After that, run hot water down both drains for one minute. After that, you can use boiling water to make the method work even better.
  • Do this step again and again until your drain is clear.

Method 3: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Putting baking soda and vinegar in a double-sin drain is another natural way to clean it. When you mix these two common household cleaners, they fizz, which breaks up the blockage.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

How to use it:

  • Get rid of any sink water that is sitting there.
  • Each drain should have a cup of baking soda put in it.
  • After that, put a cup of white vinegar down each drain.
  • Give it a while to work, about an hour.
  • For each drain, pour a kettle of boiling water down it to get rid of the baking soda and vinegar.

Read More: How to clean electric kettle without vinegar

Method 4: Plunge the Sink Drain

Most of the time, you’ll need to use more force to clear out the sink drain of coffee grounds and other food scraps. To do this, you will need a sink plunger.

A garbage disposal is usually built into one of the sinks in a two-sink room. To make this method work, you should first run the side under the garbage disposal. Make sure there is enough water in the sink to cover the plunger cup.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

Then do the following:

  • Plug the side that doesn’t have the garbage disposal with a drain stopper. That way, you won’t make a big mess. If you don’t have a stopper, a wet rag will work as long as it can close off the drain properly.
  • Place the upright plunger over the drain that is clogged. The goal is to make a good seal.
  • To make the plunger work harder, move it up and down about 10 to 15 times.
    Next, put the other side under the cover and plunge the drain.
  • Take out the plunger and run hot water down each drain for three to five minutes.
  • If the sinks aren’t clear, do the whole process again.

If the clog is close to the top of the drain line, this should work. If it doesn’t, use the next two methods to find out more.

Method 5: Check the trap for the drain

If the first method doesn’t work, you’ll probably need to know a few basic plumbing skills to clear out the double kitchen sink. Luckily, it’s not anything hard or technical.

For this method to work, you have to take apart the drain trap and clear the clog by hand. The S- or P-shaped trap under the kitchen sink drain keeps dirt from getting into the main drainage line. This is the sink trap.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

Put on gloves, get a bucket and plumber’s wrench, and do this under the sink:

  • To get water, put the bucket under the trap.
  • Use a plumber’s wrench to loosen the trap and take it off.
  • Empty the trap into the bucket and look inside to see if there is any gunk that could be causing the clog. Get rid of any dust you find. If you find tougher buildups inside, take the trap outside and wash it.
  • Once the trap is free of clogs, put it back in place.

Method 6: Using a plumber’s snake or drain auger

To break up and get rid of clogs in your double kitchen sink drains, you can use a drain auger, drain snake, or plumber’s snake.

This tool is easy to use, and even if you’re not a plumber, you can use it to clear out your kitchen sink.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water

How to do it:

  • To get rid of the drain trap, do what you did in the last method.
  • Connect the snake wire to the pipe that goes into the wall of your kitchen. Allow more wire to come in slowly until it hits something.
  • Break or move the clog with the auger.
  • Carefully pull the snake back into the pipe to get the clog out.
  • Putting the trap back together, run hot water down the drain for up to one minute.

Preventing a Clogged Sink

There can’t be a guide on how to unclog a double kitchen sink with water that doesn’t include some tips on how to keep the sinks from getting clogged in the first place.

You will probably get a clogged drain at some point if you don’t know what causes them and how to keep them from happening.

Here are some things you can do to avoid having to deal with clogged sink drains:

  • Do not use the sink to get rid of solid food, like coffee grounds. Throw these away.
  • You shouldn’t pour cooking oil, grease, or fat down your sink. Over time, these will pile up and block the drain.
  • At least once a week, run boiling water down the drain.
  • A mixture of baking soda and vinegar should be used regularly to clean your sink drain and get rid of smells from your garbage disposal.

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