How to Unclog the Kitchen Sink: A Step-By-Step Guide

At some point, you or someone you know will find themselves in the unfortunate situation of contending with a clogged kitchen sink drain that's too tough for drain cleaner.

Before calling your local Roto-Rooter plumber, here is a detailed list of preliminary steps to deal with a clogged sink.

Directions for Plunging a Clogged Kitchen Sink

  1. Plug up the drain on the opposite side of the sink with a wet rag to aid in delivering pressure directly to the clog.
  2. Fill the clogged side of the sink with a small amount of water for the plunger.
  3. Begin plunging away (remember it's all about the up motion, not pushing down). Hopefully any food or paper products locked in the pipes will budge when you do this.

What if Plunging Doesn't Fix the Clogged Drain?

If plunging won't fix the problem, you have two additional options available to you for resolving a clogged kitchen sink:

Fix the Clogged Drain with a Wire Coat Hanger

Fashioning a wire coat hanger into an impromptu pipe cleaner. Bend a small hook onto the end using pliers, insert the coat hanger, and wiggle it up and down to try to dislodge any food that may be caught in the pipe. This may succeed where the plunger failed. (Caution: Do not stick equipment or appendages into a garbage disposal without first cutting the fuse.)

Use a Drain Snake to Clear Out the Clog

There is a chance that the clog is father down the drain, whereby none of the above methods will work. If this is the case, then first start by running a snake down the drain. These can be purchased at your local hardware store like the aforementioned examples. If that still doesn't work, you may have to take the trap beneath the sink apart, and snake the drain more directly. This requires a bit of hands-on effort, so you may want to wear rubber gloves. Be sure to place a bucket beneath the trap to catch any dirty water. Finally, you can begin snaking the drain.


When you've exhausted all remediation efforts to fix your clogged drain, you know it's time to call a licensed plumber. Don't hesitate to contact your local Roto-Rooter. They certainly won't hesitate to head over and unclog your drain.

Get $40 OFF