There is nothing more frustrating than trying to deal with a clogged drain. For some reason, this problem often happens when you are in the middle of preparing for a holiday dinner or dinner party. The problem is seen as water collects around the drain and that is when you know you have a problem. The good news is that fixing a clogged drain is generally an easy task.
The first thing that most people do is grab a bottle of chemical to unclog the drain. While this is a good option in some cases, remember that there are times when chemicals are not the right solution. First, if you have a clog, the drain cleaner will work. However, if the clog is caused by mechanical problems, then it will not help. Just be sure you read the directions carefully before pouring any chemicals into your drain. The reason is that if you have anything but metal piping, the chemicals could eat right through them, creating an even larger problem.
When your drain becomes clogged, start by determining the location of the clog. For example, is water backing up only in the kitchen sink or do you also see backup in the bathtub and toilet? More than likely, it will be associated with just one but you need to make sure. If you find that the backup is in several locations, then you probably have a clog somewhere in the main drain line, which can be a real problem.
A great solution is to pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain and then pour one-half cup of vinegar immediately after. Place something over the drain to cover it and allow this mixture to stand for about 10 minutes. Next, pour boiling hot water down the drain to see if the clog is fixed. This particular mixture is great for dissolving fatty acids, which are huge culprits for kitchen drain clogs.
If you find that the drain is clogged around the actual strainer or stopper, you can remove the screws holding it in place and then remove any standing debris. To ensure this problem does not occur again, be sure you clean your strainer and stopper on a regular basis.
If the drain looks serious and backing up quickly, your best tool is a good, old-fashioned plunger. Place the plunger over the hole and be sure you block off any second drain that might be in a second kitchen sink. If the sink is clogged but does not have standing water, first run the water so you get three inches of water in the sink. Then, put a thick layer of Vaseline over the rim of the plunger to help create a tight seal. Now, forcefully push the plunger over the hole several times in a row.
After about five times, stop to see if the water is pushing out. If not, do it again. You might need to repeat this process four or five times, depending on the type of debris clogging the drain. When done, run hot water for about five minutes to finish pushing any particles out the drain.