From brushing your teeth to rinsing produce, your bathroom and kitchen sink drains are among the most used areas in your home. It's imperative that your plumbing works properly, so you can complete daily tasks and chores without any hassle.

Without consistent cleaning maintenance, it's very common for your bathroom or kitchen sink drain to become clogged. Many materials go down your sinks, including food scraps and coffee grinds, grease and fat, and even hair and soap scum. Eventually, this debris accumulates and causes a clogged sink.

To help you clear a clogged sink quickly and effectively, our expert team at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Mississauga put together this guide. Continue reading to learn some useful DIY strategies for unclogging your drains.

How Do I Unclog a Sink?

If you're not comfortable trying to clear clogged pipes on your own, or your attempts seem to be doing nothing, contact one of our professional plumbers. We'll help unblock your pipes in no time! But if you are ready to learn a few simple DIY tips and tricks to get rid of your pesky blockages, keep reading.

First, Remove All Standing Water

Do you see a few inches (or more) of water sitting in the sink? Before you start working on the drain, it's important to remove any standing water by following these steps:

  • Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemical drain cleaners or sharp objects.

  • Use a jug, cup or bowl and carefully remove water from the sink. Flush it down a toilet or pour it down a different sink. If there are food particles or other debris in the standing water, put a basket catch over any drain you pour it into. This prevents forming another clog.

  • Remove any visible food debris, hair or soap scum from your sink. If it's attached to a garbage disposal, do not put your hand or fingers near the drain.

Fixture/Appliance Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
Bathroom or Kitchen Faucet 1-3 GPM
Bathroom Shower 2
"Rain" Shower Head 5
Bathtub Faucet 4
Clothes Washer 1-2.5
Dish Washer .5-2.5

Check the Garbage Disposal

If there's an issue with your kitchen drains, it could be that your garbage disposal is blocked. To avoid clogging your garburator, don't put too many scraps down it at once. Also, certain pieces of food like bones, eggshells and coffee grounds should never go in the garbage disposal. To clear a blocked garbage disposer, follow these steps:

  • Turn off your garbage disposal. Do not put your hand down until it has been switched off.

  • Use a flashlight to look down the pipe.

  • If the block is due to food, then you can use pliers to remove excess waste or manually turn your garburator blades using an Allen key.

  • If it's clogged because there's jewelry trapped in the garburator, you should call our expert plumbers right away.

  • If you can’t reach the clog, try using a plunger. Clamp your dishwasher's drain line before plunging to prevent dirty water from being pushed into it.

  • Run hot tap water down the garburator to help remove any residual debris. Never pour chemicals down garbage disposals.

Start with Boiling Water

If the clog is not too severe, you might be able to dislodge it with hot water. This technique works for shower drains, as well as kitchen and bathroom sinks. Fill up a kettle or pot with water. Bring to a boil and pour it down the drain. Repeat two to three times. It's important to use hot water, not warm water, so any hardened grease or soap scum will melt and get removed.