If you notice that water starts to back up in your double kitchen sink when you run your garbage disposal, that signals a clogged double sink. In most cases, the backed-up water appears alongside food scraps.
What to do? You unclog your double sink ASAP. Otherwise, if you leave this problem unattended for long, you’ll have to deal with a bigger problem with your plumbing system.
Fortunately, you don’t need to call in a professional plumber to fix this issue. You can take a few actions that will help unclog your kitchen sink so that it starts functioning normally again.
Our guide below features the seven most effective methods for unclogging a double kitchen on your own.
How do you unclog a double kitchen sink?
1. Boiling water
One of the easiest and least expensive methods you can use to unclog your double sink involves using boiled water. The technique works around the idea the hot, boiled water will quickly melt any grease and fat residue that may be clogging your sink drain, thus getting them out of the way and leaving your drainage popes running clean and smooth.
If your double sink is clogged with standing water, using boiling water to unclog might not sound like a good solution. But you can still find a way to get rid of the standing water using a small bucket and a mug.
After getting the water out of the sink, you can now go ahead and put the hot water into your sink. We suggest doing it in small amounts to prevent possible build-up. As you pour water, watch if it drains gradually.
TIP: The boiling water method might not work with the first attempt. Repeat the entire process several times to give the hot water enough time to eliminate all the grease and oils that might be clogging your drain.
2. Use your sink plunger
Another way to get rid of the clog in your double sink involves using a sink plunger. But the process of using this helpful tool will be a bit different from that of a single sink. You’ll first need to use a rag to plug unclogged drain on your double sink.
Next, place your plunger cup over the clogged drain and create a strong seal. If your sink doesn’t have standing water, add just enough amount to cover the plunger cup.
Now plunge the drain by making six even up-and-down thrusts as you keep the seal intact.
Remove the plunger and see if water drains away. If it does, it means you have cleared the clog.
In case the water stands still, you’d want to repeat the whole process all over again. This time, reverse the process and plunge the other side of your sink while you plug the side you had initially plunged.
After the plunger has fixed the clog, we suggest running hot water down through your sink system to help eliminate any oil and grease residue that might have accumulated over time.
3. Try resetting your garbage disposal button
Another possible reason your double kitchen sink has a clog is that its garbage disposal requires a reset.
Resetting this garbage disposal can surprisingly fix your double kitchen sink has a clog.
Press the device reset button severally and see if it gets rid of the drainage problems. If it doesn’t seem to work, grab an Allen wrench and turn the center crank in a clockwise direction—this action will help loosen the blades and alleviate any blockage present.
After resetting the garbage disposal, turn on your faucet to see if it fixes the clog.
4. Baking soda and vinegar method
Baking soda and vinegar mix make a great natural cleaner for clogged sinks. Both ingredients are also non-toxic, making them safer to use than the chemical cleaning products out there.
To use baking soda and vinegar to unclog your sink:
- Put 1/3 cup of baking soda into a bowl. Add an equal portion of vinegar into the same bowl.
- Immediately your mixture fizzes, pour it down your sink drain without delay. It is because the fizzing action is the real deal; it’s the cleaning action that helps you clear up everything that might cause clogging, whether it’s grime, grease, residue, etc.
- Give the mixture around 15 minutes to an hour to work. if you’re not in a hurry, we suggest that you let the mixture stay overnight. The longer you give it to work, the more it reacts with the residues in your sink, promising you even better-cleaning results.
- Finally, after you have this natural cleaner enough time to work, run hot water into your sink system to clean the drain. Your sink should now drain water smoothly.
Side Note: If you don’t like the idea of mixing vinegar and baking soda in a bowl, you can pour a generous amount of baking soda in your sink, followed by an equal amount of vinegar. The mixture will start fizzing instantly. Give it enough time to work.
5. Salt and baking soda
If you don’t have vinegar within reach, you can use baking soda alongside common salt as an alternative natural cleaning solution for your sink. Salt itself works as a great anti-clog agent for sinks.
How to unclog your double sink with salt and baking soda:
- Put ½-cup of salt in a bowl followed by a cup of baking soda. Mix the two ingredients thoroughly (you shouldn’t expect any fizzing action here).
- Pour the resulting mixture down your sink drain and allow it to sit for four-six hours. If there’s standing water in your sink, you’ll need to remove it before pouring in this mixture.
- After the waiting period is over, pour hot water to flush the mixture.
This method will work for breaking clogs made by grease and oil. If the method doesn’t bring results on the first attempt, give it a try a few more times.
6. Try the plumber’s snake.
If your double sink doesn’t come with the garbage disposal, you might also try using the plumber’s snake (also known as an auger or sink snake) to see if it helps remove the clog.
The snake is usually a long, flexible cord that you send deep down into your sink’s drained system to help break and clear off any clogs present.
For you to use this helpful tool effectively, you’ll first need to disassemble your drainpipe and p-tarp underneath the sink to give your snake easy entry into the “stubot” or “sub pipe” that runs behind the cabinet wall.
Insert the snake pipe into the “sub pipe” pipe continually at a slow pace until you feel some resistance which is the clog. Applying some extra force will help you break it.
Once you have fixed the problem with the sink snake, you can now put the sink drain trap back in place. Make sure you run hot water through the sink system to melt any grease, fat, and oil residues that might have remained in your system during cleaning.
Run the faucet to see if your sink is draining water normally.
Alternative to plumber’s snake:
Not everyone has access to the plumber’s snake. If that’s your snake, a good alternative for you would be the wire coat hanger. You’ll first need to straighten it and then use it just as you’d use a coat hanger.
But keep in mind that this improvised snake won’t get to the deep lengths a plumber snake would. Nevertheless, it can still do an excellent job of reaching some clogs and helping clear out your sink.
7. Get the drain trap out for cleaning
The P-trap refers to the plumbing assembly underneath your sink. It sits inside the cabinet and usually assumes a U or P shape.
Cleaning this plumbing assembly can help clear a sink clog located below the garbage disposal.
Before you start detaching this plumbing assembly, make sure you have a bucket or pan underneath the drain to catch the water and debris that will fall out.
Now unfasten the drain trap from the drainpipe. Empty it into the bucket and inspect for any clogging agents. Cleaning it up and then put it back in place. Ensure you close up and tighten all the connections.
Be sure to run warm water through the sink and into the pipes for a few minutes. In most cases, this technique eliminates the clog.
Don’t let your clogged kitchen double sink stop you from carrying on your cleaning work. Apply the methods discussed above to help you get rid of the clog on your own and bring your sink back to a smooth drain function. We advise you to start with simple methods like boiling water, plunger, and resetting the garbage disposal button.
If these don’t seem to bring results, you can go for advanced techniques like cleaning the drain trap or using a plumber’s snake.