How to Unblock a Kitchen Sink

How to Unblock a Kitchen Sink

When your washing up water takes ages to drain away, or unpleasant smells start to pervade your kitchen, it’s more likely than not that you’ve got a blocked sink. It’s a smelly, unpleasant problem to have in the heart of your home but it may be possible to clear it using a DIY remedy. In this blog we’ll take a look at what causes a blocked sink, offer DIY tips for how to unblock a kitchen sink, and offer advice on when you should get a drainage expert involved.


Top Causes of a Blocked Kitchen Sink

Cooking involves the use of melted fat, and it’s all too tempting to dispose of cooking fat down the sink. Out of sight, out of mind. Except it returns to haunt you. Once the fat cools down it starts to congeal; this can cling to your sink pipes, and trap other debris, which gradually blocks the flow of water. So how to dispose of hot fat safely? The safest way is to collect it in a container and dispose of it in your kitchen bin.

Any food solids such as rice, pasta, peas or sweetcorn have the capacity to block your drain over time. As a preventive measure, make sure all plates are scraped clean, so it’s only liquids that disappear down the plughole.

How to Unblock a Kitchen Sink – 3 DIY Methods to Try

The Drainflow team deals with blocked sinks every day. In many of our callouts, customers have tried DIY remedies, experienced temporary relief, and then seen the problem return. If you are looking for simple and effective DIY solutions, though, these are what we would recommend.

1. Old-Fashioned Plunger

Sometimes the old-fashioned remedies work best! The suction plunger can be bought from most hardware shops and it couldn’t be simpler to use. The idea is to suck the air out of the pipe sharply and then force it back in to dislodge the blockage. The plunger is placed over the plughole and then pushed down and removed. This can be repeated a few times until water starts flowing freely again.

2. Home-Made Water Blast.

At Drainflow we use high pressure drain jetting to remove blockages from commercial drains. You can create your own home-made version by filling a large plastic bottle with hot water. You then place it over the plughole and squeeze in order to create a mini-blast in your sink. If you’re dealing with a build-up of foodstuffs in your sink pipe, this can be an effective way to clear it.

3. Dissolving the Grease.

If you think the problem is a build-up of grease, we wouldn’t recommend a chemical product to clear it as they can cause damage to the pipes. Try a 50/50 solution of boiling water and white vinegar. This is simple, cheap and it’s worth a try; most important it won’t won’t do any harm.


When to Call in Drainage Experts

If you’ve tried DIY and it hasn’t worked, or the blockage persistently returns, it could mean that either the blockage is extensive, or it’s beyond the reach of domestic remedies. If this is the case, it’s worth calling in a drainage expert. They will be able to diagnose the problem quickly, provide a rapid solution, and deliver peace of mind that the problem is properly sorted.

Symptoms of a Collapsed Drain To Watch For

A collapsed drain can be caused by regular blockages in the drain pipes that create leakage into the ground, and ultimately the collapse of the drain itself. There are a number of symptoms to watch out for, including persistent sink blockages:

  • Slow water drainage, and unpleasant smells.
  • Standing water around drains.
  • Smell of sewage.
  • Damp patches appearing.

Nine time out of ten, blocked sinks can be remedied quickly using professional equipment. It’s worth bearing in mind, though, that problems with drains can be serious, and it’s best to let a professional deal with them earlier rather than later.

Professional Drain Experts in Bedford

If you have any concerns about your blocked sink, call out the experts. Drainflow engineers won’t charge you a callout fee. They’ll assess the problem and, if professional attention is required, they’ll offer an instant no obligation quote.

“After discovering my 80 year old in laws had blocked drains with no toilets and had booked a plumber for THREE weeks time, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Turns out I didn’t need to try very hard, this was the first company I called, and they could be there in an hour (I didn’t even get round to saying it was urgent), their price was reasonable and Gary who turned up was very friendly and professional and fixed the issue in 5-10 minutes. I could not fault this company at all, and I rarely give 5 stars. Highly recommend.”

– Olivia Scarlett, Google Review

We’re a local Bedfordshire company with over 3 decades of experience to draw on. The Drainflow team can be relied upon to respond to your enquiry promptly, diagnose the problem efficiently, and propose an effective solution. Our aim is always to fix the problem on our first visit and get your household back on track. In 99% of cases, that’s exactly what we do.


If DIY remedies don’t clear your blocked sink, or the problem persistly returns, don’t hesitate. Call the drain experts in Bedford on 01525 718500