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Fix Your Kitchen Sink Drain By Removing Gunk and Clogs Permanently

Virginia Shelley
3 minute read

If your kitchen sink seems to drain slower than it used to, chances are it’s become clogged with built-up gunk. Grease, food particles, hair and more can accumulate in pipes over time, mixing with water to create a thick sludgy mass that blocks proper drainage.

A gunked up kitchen sink is beyond frustrating when you’re trying to quickly wash dishes or rinse produce. But before you reach for harsh chemical drain cleaners or call an expensive plumber, try these DIY methods to clear gunk and restore your kitchen sink drainage for good.

This guide will walk you through homemade solutions using common household items to dissolve, dislodge and force through gunk and debris. With some simple maintenance steps, you can also prevent future clogs and keep your kitchen pipes free of problematic sludge.

What Causes Gunk Buildup in Kitchen Sink Drains

How To Clean Gunk Out Of Kitchen Sink Drain

Gunk accumulation that leads to clogged drains doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs gradually as various materials flow down into your pipes and stick to the sides over time. Some common culprits include:

As these materials mix with water and continue to coat your pipes, they form a thick sludge that sticks to pipe walls and blocks the free flow of water. Without regular drain cleaning, this gunk will only get worse until you have a completely blocked drain.

Prevent Gunk Buildup

While some gunk accumulation is inevitable, you can take steps to prevent rapid buildup that leads to clogged drains:

You can also do routine maintenance to keep your kitchen drain pipes clear:

Unclogging a Gunked Up Kitchen Sink Drain

If your kitchen sink already suffers from a major gunk problem, try these methods to remove clogs and get your drain flowing fast again:

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Combining baking soda and vinegar creates a chemical reaction that dissolves and breaks up gunk. To use this method:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain.
  2. Follow with 1 cup heated white vinegar – it will fizz and foam.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes to work.
  4. Flush with hot water to rinse away debris.

Boiling Water

Pouring boiling hot water from a kettle can help melt and dislodge greasy clogs. Slowly pour the entire kettle down the drain. Be cautious, as boiling water poses a scalding risk. Wear gloves and safety gear.


A sink plunger uses suction to loosen clogs near the drain opening. Create a tight seal around the drain before plunging forcefully several times to dislodge gunk.

Drain Snake/Auger

A metal drain snake works to hook and scrape away debris lodged deep in pipes. Slowly rotate and push the snake down the drain. Hand crank models are inexpensive; electric drill versions work quicker.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Enzyme, acidic, or alkaline drain cleaner chemicals can help dissolve serious clogs, but use extreme caution to avoid pipe or skin damage. Always follow label directions closely.

Prevent Recurring Gunk Buildup

To prevent future gunk accumulation after unclogging kitchen drains, be diligent about:

Catching gunk early is key before major blockages occur. If DIY methods fail to clear significant clogs, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to avoid damage.

Don’t let a slow kitchen drain drive you crazy. In most cases, you can use common household items like baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water to dissolve and remove gunk on your own. Follow the steps outlined here to get rid of current clogs and keep your kitchen sink pipes clear for smooth drainage in the future.