What are the tips to unclog a sink with standing water?

Laura Tom Jan. 7, 2019, 2:06 a.m.

My kitchen wastes always blocked the sinks filter and, for this reason, water does not clear from the pipes. Water stands in the sink and, the clog doesn't move. I have done small repair such as changing out the washer and replacing the drain cover. But still, the problem exists.  If you have any DIY tips, please do share it with me so that, I can do it on myself.

Responses (1)

Ecohome Jan. 7, 2019, 4:48 p.m. Reply


Hi Laura,

Before calling a plumber there are few easy things I would suggest you try first. These are in no particular order, so choose the one that seems the most appealing, but with some you will need to bail out any standing water first, others will need some basic tools. 

1) The first thing I would do to unclog a kitchen sink would be to go at it with a plunger. For sanitary reasons you may wish to zip down to the hardware store to get a fresh one that has not seen any other uses and keep that one dedicated to sinks. You could do that with or without water in the sink.

2) Remove the plug in the P-trap, which is at the bottom of the U-shape in the cabinet under the sink. To do this, place a bucket or pan underneath to catch any water or debris. If that doesn’t do it, you could use a wire coat hanger to try to dislodge the blockage, use a pair of pliers to bend it into a little hook if you can.

3) Empty any standing water and try a combination of vinegar and baking soda. With luck, some of the water in the pipe will have drained through, so this one may be worth waiting for a few hours after your removed standing water so the reaction happens right at the blockage.

First, dump about a cup of  baking soda into the drain (if it will fit) , then pour in about a cup of vinegar. Quickly put the stopper back in if you can to contain the reaction within the pipe. Hopefully the chemical reaction between the two will loosen up whatever is in there. If it looks like there is movement, try it again with the baking soda and vinegar, then with some boiling water to further help dissolve the blockage.

4) another suggestion I’ve heard are to leave baking soda and salt in it over night, but if you’ve tried all the other stuff with no success I wouldn’t have high hopes for that, but it won’t do any harm.

5) There are also enzyme-based drain cleaners available either online or at building supply stores that will eat away at organic materials. I personally have a jar of one called Bio-clean that has worked great on several occasions in the kitchen and bathroom as well. It's something you let sit over night, so read the directions carefully before starting. 

6) If none of those work, you may need to start disassembling the pipe at the P-trap and going in with a plumbing snake, but that may be a step beyond the current assets in your tool box or your comfort level, if so it's probably down to a plumber. Good luck!