How to Clean Kitchen Sink Drain

How to Clean Kitchen Sink Drain with 10 Simple Steps

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Many people often neglect the task of cleaning the kitchen sink, despite using it regularly for activities such as washing dishes, preparing meals, and even discarding various items. This constant use can prompt a buildup of grime, odors, and bacteria over time.

A dirty and smelly kitchen sink can be unsightly and a breeding ground for germs. This comprehensive guide will show you how to clean your kitchen sink effectively, ensuring it sparkles and remains hygienic. Before we get to the how to clean kitchen sink drain steps, lets look at the materials you will need.

Materials You’ll Need to Clean Your Kitchen sink

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Before diving into the cleaning process, ensure you have all your cleaning supplies ready. Here's what you'll need:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Boiling water
  • A sink plunger
  • A pipe brush or an old toothbrush
  • A bucket or large bowl
  • Towels or rags Having everything at hand will make the cleaning process smoother and more efficient.

Step 1. Remove Any Debris 

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Start by removing any visible debris from the sink. This includes food debris, soap-scum, or anything else hanging around. Use a paper towel or your hands (with gloves on) to scoop out as much as possible. Dispose of the trash in your compost bin or trash can.

Step 2. Create a Baking Soda and Vinegar Solution 

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Now, it's time to create a natural, eco-friendly cleaning solution. Mix half a cup of baking soda with half a cup of white vinegar in a bowl. This fizzy combination will help break down grease and grime in your drain.

Step 3: Pour the Solution Down the Drain 

Pour the baking soda and vinegar mixture down the drain. It will start to bubble and fizz – that's a good sign! This chemical reaction will help dislodge and break down any gunk accumulated in your drainpipes. Leave it to work its magic for about 10-15 minutes.

Step 4: Boil Some Water 

While the baking soda and vinegar are doing their thing, boil a kettle of water. In the next step, you'll need this to flush out the loosened debris and kill bacteria.

Step 5: Flush with Boiling Water 

Carefully pour the boiling water down the drain after the baking soda and vinegar mixture has had time to work. The hot water will help flush away the dissolved gunk and leave your smelly drain smelling fresh, unlike cold water. Be careful not to get burnt in the process.

Step 6: Plunge Away! 

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If your drain is still not flowing smoothly after the previous steps, it's time to bring out the trusty sink plunger. Place the plunger over the drain, ensuring a tight seal, and give it a few vigorous plunges. This action will create suction, helping to unclog most kitchen drains.

Step 7: Brush and Scrub 

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Use a pipe brush or an old toothbrush for those hard-to-reach areas like the drain pipes. Scrub away any remaining residue, ensuring your drain is sparkling clean. Don't forget to give the stopper, the sink basin, and the overflow drain a good scrubbing too. If you have a porcelain sink, you can use a stronger scrub like coarse salt to get it clean. You can use a few drops of dish soap and water for this.

Step 8: Rinse and Repeat (If Necessary) 

You may need to repeat the process if your sink is still not draining correctly. Sometimes, particularly stubborn clogs require a second round of cleaning to get things flowing smoothly again. Furthermore, you want to get rid of all unpleasant smells entirely and repeated rinsing helps with that. 

Step 9: Regular Maintenance 

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Now that your kitchen sink drain is squeaky clean, keeping it that way is essential. Incorporate these simple maintenance tips into your routine:

  • Avoid pouring grease down the drain as kitchen sink drains are not made to handle such; instead, practice proper garbage disposal of the trash. To remove grease from water, you can use a few ice cubes which gather oil particles. 
  • Run hot or warm water down the drain regularly to prevent grease and food waste build-up.
  • Use a sink strainer to catch food particles and debris before they enter the drain. Keep the kitchen sink type in mind as it could be a factor.
  • Use a drain snake every few months to keep the sink clean.
  • Remember to use essential oils because they have antimicrobial properties that keep germs away getting rid of smelly drains and unpleasant odor. There are many types of essential oils that keep germs away to choose from.

Step 10: Consider Professional Help 

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your clogged drain may still give you trouble. It's wise to call a professional for kitchen drain cleaning, repair, or other services in such cases instead of using chemical cleaners.

  • Professional Cleaning: A local plumber or drain cleaning service has the right tools and expertise to tackle even the toughest clogs and blockages. They can use high-pressure water jetting or drain snakes to clear out your pipes effectively.
  • Repairs or Replacement: If your kitchen drain shows signs of damage, such as leaks or corrosion, it must be repaired promptly. Ignoring these issues can lead to more significant problems, such as needing a replacement.
  • Maintenance: Professionals can also provide routine maintenance to keep your drain in top-notch condition. They can advise you on best practices to prevent future clogs, regularly clean and maintain proper drainage.
  • Upgrade: In some cases, it might be necessary to upgrade your plumbing system to prevent recurring drain issues. A professional can assess your needs and recommend suitable upgrades, such as installing a dishwasher and using good sink materials to improve your kitchen's efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Clean a Kitchen Sink Drain

a) How do you clean a greasy kitchen sink drain?

Dish soap does a good job of breaking down oils. Adding hot water down the drain will not only loosen the fat more but push it down the drain alongside the soapy water. hot water is the best method to successfully remove not only oils but also get rid of food waste and pungent odors.

b) How do you clean a kitchen sink drain naturally?

To drain the sink naturally, I used vinegar and baking soda. First, I mixed half a cup of baking soda and half a cup of vinegar and poured it down the drain. Once the vinegar has sat for an hour, I then pour hot water to flush the waste down the drain.

Hiring a professional is an investment in the long-term health of your plumbing system and can save you from more significant expenses in the future.

Cheers to a Clog-Free Kitchen Sink!

There you have it, folks – a step-by-step guide on how to clean your kitchen or bathroom sink drain, Aussie style! With a few household items and some elbow grease, you can keep your sink drain flowing smoothly and prevent nasty clogs. 

While the steps we've outlined earlier will help you maintain a clean and clog-free kitchen sink drain, there are times when the expertise of a professional is invaluable. Don't hesitate to contact a trusted plumbing professional if you're facing persistent issues or need more extensive plumbing work. It's all part of ensuring your kitchen runs smoothly and efficiently.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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