How To Clean A Kitchen Sink Drain

When your sink is clogged, draining slowly, or has a funky smell, it probably needs a good cleaning. This is how to clean a kitchen sink drain in no time flat!


We tend to have plumbing issues in our old home. Unfortunately, I have dealt with a clogged and smelly kitchen sink drain more than I would have liked to. However, it has allowed me to learn a few things that I can share with you!


There are a few different ways you can clean your kitchen sink drain. One way that you might have heard of isn’t actually effective. Keep reading and find out which is which. 


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What Is A FOG Clog? 


The most common cause of a clogged kitchen drain is FOG – fat, oil, and grease. This is a normal buildup that happens as we rinse off our dishes in the sink. 


The best way to prevent a FOG clog is to clean off your dishes in the trash can before placing them in the sink.


What about garbage disposals? Do they help prevent clogs? No, they do not! The only thing they do is chop up these bits into smaller pieces. It’s still possible for the grease and food to collect in the drain and clog up the entire system. 


How To Remove Grease From A Kitchen Sink Drain


The most effective and safest way to remove fat, oil, and grease from a kitchen sink drain is with really hot water and dish detergent. The hot water will work at melting the grease and the soap is a surfactant that removes the food particles and build-up. 


Here’s how to do this method: 


  1. Heat a large pot of water to boiling.
  2. Stir in a few tablespoons of dish detergent. 
  3. Slowly pour the boiling water down the clogged drain. 
  4. Flush with hot tap water. 


This might take a few tries and a few pots of water. Yes, it’s a slow process, but it really does work! The dish detergent helps dissolve the fat and the combination will allow your pipes to run more freely. 


Does Baking Soda and Vinegar Clean A Kitchen Sink Drain? 


You might have heard the hack to use a combination of baking soda and vinegar in your drain when it is clogged. Even though the chemical reaction is a lot of fun to watch, it doesn’t effectively remove the clog. 


This is because the baking soda and vinegar don’t have any surfactants to remove the grease and fat. After the fizzing slows down, the clog will still be there. It might eat away at it and your drain might flow easier, but the clog will return very soon after. 


Is It Safe To Use Commercial Clog Removers? 


On a purely chemical standpoint, it is safe to use products like Liquid Plumr in your kitchen sink. The danger of it comes from how comfortable you feel flushing chemicals down the drain. Even though these chemicals do get cleaned out eventually, it’s still more stuff that you are putting out into the environment. Not to mention the harsh chemicals that you and your family will be breathing in while using the product. 


Personally, I prefer to use hot water and dish soap. It’s toxic-free, a lot cheaper, and it’s just as effective as the chemicals. 


How To Get Rid of Bad Smells From Your Kitchen Sink Drain


Who else hates to play that game, “what’s that smell?”? If you smell it in your kitchen, it’s probably either your kitchen sink drain or your trash can. 


Bits of food get stuck in the drain and then they start growing bacteria. This is where the bad smells come from. Garbage disposals chop up the foods, but small bits might stick around in the drain and begin to smell really bad. 


Whether you have a garbage disposal or not, here are some ways you can clean your drains so they smell better. 


How To Fix Bad Smelling Garbage Disposal


The easiest way to make your garbage disposal smell better is to chop up a lemon – rinds and all – and put it in the garbage disposal. Do a small amount at a time, and run some sea salt along with it. 


As you run the garbage disposal, the acid from the lemon and the abrasion from the salt will grab at and remove food and grease that is causing the stink. 


What you are left with is a lemony-fresh scent! It really does smell amazing! 


If you have essential oils, you can also add a few drops to the lemon for a burst of more pleasant aromas too. 


Here are some more hacks for keeping your kitchen clean and smelling fresh. 


How To Make A Sink Without a Garbage Disposal Smell Better


If your sink still has a funky smell and you don’t have a garbage disposal, your drain might still benefit from removing any potential FOG debris. Follow the dish soap method mentioned earlier. Before you do the rinse cycle with tap water, add a few drops of essential oil or fresh-squeeze of lemon juice. 


You will also want to scrub the basin and walls of the sink, as well as the faucet and behind your faucet, just in case there are some hidden bacteria somewhere adding to the smell. 


How To Prevent A Drain From Stinking


That saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is so true – especially when it comes to a stinky, clogged drain! 


You can revent a drain from getting clogged and smelling awful in the first place. Scrape off as much food and grease as you can before you wash or rinse them in the sink.


There are also lots of hand products out there that will catch the food before it goes down the drain. 


Even if you think “I’ll just use my garbage disposal,” throw as much as you can into the trash before you rinse it off. 


How To Clean A Kitchen Sink Drain: Final Thoughts


If you ever wonder how to clean the kitchen sink drain, you already have everything you need in your cabinets. Work hard to keep fat, oil, grease, and food particles out of your drain as much as you can.


If you keep your sink cleaned and the areas around it cleaned, you will run into far fewer problems and have a much cleaner sink drain! 


Read More And Continue Keeping Your Kitchen Clean:


How To Quickly Clean Your Oven

The Easiest Way To Clean Your Dishwasher

How To Clean Your Air Fryer 


More Simple Homemaking Tips


It is my goal here at KatiesKottage to help you build systems and routines that will makes homemaking eaiser. Be sure to checkout all of my free content by browing through the menu at the top of the page. 


Plus! You can sign up for access to my FREE PRINTABLES LIBRARY and have all the tools you need to organize, declutter, and clean your home. 


Thanks for stopping by. Come back any time. 🙂


1 Comment

  1. Adrienne Crawford

    September 4, 2023 at 6:30 am

    Keeping the kitchen sink drain clean is essential for a healthy home. Your tips are practical and can help prevent clogs. Thanks for sharing this valuable advice!

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