Why is it around the holidays I always clog up my kitchen sink drain. Having a disposer I guess I assume it can eat anything! If you are like me, I try to put way too much down it. Stringy vegetables, like celery are the worst! I have some tips that have worked for me that I thought I would share during this time. I did not want to add a nasty photo as we all know how bad the gunk looks standing in our sink. Obviously, try not to get it clogged in the first place. While running the water, try inserting food down into it slowly. Too much in too quickly will clog it up fast. So here are my tips for unclogging it:
First things first, unplug the disposer unit!!
- Use a flashlight to look down the drain. Once in awhile, you can see what's in there that shouldn't be.
- Use a pair of pliers -- or do what I do, which is use a gloved hand (it’s ok, the unit is unplugged!) — and carefully reach inside and pull out whatever shouldn't be in there. I've usually got stringy vegetables (celery is the worst for your disposal).
- If your garbage disposal suddenly turns itself off, look on the unit for a little button that says "reset" and press it to turn it back on. Mine is hidden on the very bottom of the unit.
- If the garbage disposal gets clogged, keep running water and turn the disposal off and then back on to see if it will push the clog through.
- Another avenue to try is a plunger. This works great for unclogging the garbage disposal. Plug the other side of the sink (if you have a double-basin sink), and the use the plunger on the disposal side. Sometime my plunging on the clogged side isn't working, so I fill the other side of the sink with water and the plunge it through to help loosen things.
If this does not work, I resort to a liquid drain cleaner. I wanted to unscrew the pipe and clean it out, but my husband got nervous when I started talking about messing with the plumbing, and got some Liquid-Plumber Gel at Costco. I was very skeptical. I mean, if my strong arm muscles and the plunger hadn't worked , I doubted that Liquid-Plumber would work. But, in less than 24 hours, it had completely cleared the clogged drain!
Tip: Scoop all of the standing water out of the sink, so the Drano can go in full-strength.
If you don't want to use Drano, look under the sink and find the spot in the pipes where you believe the clog is located. If you have plastic pipes, you should be able to unscrew them and unclog the area. I found directions for doing this online (Be sure to have a big bucket ready to catch everything below!)
To help maintain clean drains and pipes naturally, sprinkle baking soda in drains and then pour in some vinegar once in awhile. Remember doing this as a volcano experiment in school? Flush drains with boiling water. Doing that usually keeps all our drains running great!
Do you have any drain or clog tips to add? We'd love to hear from you! (Unfortunately I know this is not the last time I will ever clog a drain...) :)