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How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink with Standing Water?

Save Hassle: How to Unclog a Kitchen Sink with Standing Water

Do you see a pool of water standing in your kitchen sink? Don’t panic and call a plumber right away. Chances are, you can handle the problem on your own and save a few bucks that a plumber will charge for the trip.

So if the water is standing in the sink, your kitchen drain is clogged with debris. How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water? It’s pretty simple. Follow our guide, and you’ll unclog it in no time!

Possible reasons why your kitchen sink is clogged

Before moving to resolve the issue, let’s delve into the source itself! Multiple reasons could clog your drain. Here’s what might have happened:

  • Food

Even particles as tiny as tea leaves or coffee grains can clog the sink if they’re in the mood to be nasty! Dump all the food waste, including pasta, rice, and vegetable leftovers in the garbage disposal before washing the dishes.

  • Grease

Here’s another enemy of your kitchen drain. Most people think they can dump oil and grease into the sink; it’s liquid after all, how can it clog? While it’s true that fat won’t cause a blockage right away, it will start to build-up on the underside of the pipe. It may even catch food particles and create a blockage.

Grease is the hardest to remove since not even draining hot water is a permanent solution. Hot water may push the grease deeper down the pipe and aggravate the situation.

  • Hard water

Hard water is hazardous, not just for your dishes and kitchen equipment but for the drain as well. Since the water is packed with minerals, the drain can catch mineral deposits and, with time, form a blockage.

  • Dish soap

If you’re using the old-fashioned dish soap, switch to a good quality dishwashing liquid to prevent clogging in the first place. Some varieties of dish soap are made with animal fat, which will, again, build up on the inside of the pipes and will ultimately cause a blockage.

How to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water?

So we’re back to our problem: you have a clogged sink. What to do about it? There are multiple things to try before raising a white flag and calling in a professional.

Here is what you can do:

Drain boiling water

Drain boiling water

The simplest way to handle a clogged kitchen sink with sitting water is to drain boiling water down the sink. Boil around 1 to 1.5 liters of water in a large pot and dump it down the sink. If you’re lucky, the water in the sink will start to drain gradually.

Simple problems like some food particles that may have blocked the drain pipe are most often drained away by boiling water.

If the water is still sitting in the sink, we need to try something else.

Baking soda and vinegar

So now that boiling water fails to work, how to unclog a kitchen sink? 

If boiling water doesn’t work, let’s hope this magical combo will!

  1. Take 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar. Don’t mix these just yet!
  2. Pour half of the baking soda down your sink.
  3. Next, pour half the vinegar.
  4. Now repeat step no. 1 and 2.
  5. You’ll hear fizzing. This fizzing is due to the acid reaction between baking soda and vinegar. Cover the sink and leave the components to do their job for a good 20 minutes.
  6. Not boil water in a kettle and dump it down the sink.

The steps above should clear up the clogging in most situations. If not, the problem is more severe than you think. Let’s pull up our sleeves and resort to harsher steps.

Metal wire

If you don’t have a thick metal wire at home, you can unbend a clothes hanger into a straight cable. Now push it down the drain through your sink and reach for the blockage. If you find one, either try to pull the stuck item out of the sink or push it down, so it’s drained out the other way. Be careful not to scratch the sink or the insides of the PVC pipe while doing so.



Another method that you can try if neither boiling water nor baking soda and vinegar combo work, is using a plunger. Follow the steps when using a plunger to unclog a kitchen sink:

  1. Cover the entire opening of the sink with the cup of the plunger.
  2. Hold the plunger tightly with your hands; it should be upright on the sink.
  3. Push it in and out vigorously a few times.
  4. Hear the sounds inside the sink.
  5. When the pipes sound empty, pull out the plunger.
  6. Pour boiling water down the drain to remove anything that may remain.


If nothing else works, you’ll need to do it the professional way, if you still don’t wish to call a plumber.

P-trap is simply the P-shaped pipe that’s under the sink. Most of the blockages form in the joints, so these are the points that you should be aiming for.

  1. Place a bucket under the pipes.
  2. Work open one of the joints using pliers. Let the water that comes out, drain into the bucket so that you may throw it out later.
  3. Remove all the pipes one by one to check which one is blocked.
  4. Cleaned the pipe that’s blocked and throw away the water and waste, not back in the sink, of course!
  5. Screw the pipes back in place.

Open the tap and see if the water is draining correctly now.


So you’ve learned how to unclog a kitchen sink with standing water. The chances are that one of these DIY projects will work, and you’ll achieve your aim: an unclogged kitchen sink!

If nothing works, you’ll have to call in a plumber for some professional help. If the situation is complicated, don’t delay calling in a professional since you don’t want dirty water overflowing all over your kitchen floor.