How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink with Standing water?

how to unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water

How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink with Standing water?

The kitchen is the most used place in your house, as the kitchen is used primarily for cooking every day. It is important to keep the kitchen clean and tidy at all times, make sure to keep a high level of the hygiene because the kitchen is also where you keep all your food which eventually goes to your mouth. Unfortunately, sometimes we can issue some problems in the kitchen, like standing water in sink and kitchen sink won’t drain. Not only it is an unpleasant scene,  but also hazardous in a way, as standing water in sink can attract a lot of bacteria and microbes.

The good news is that to unclog the sink you don’t really need to call a plumber. With the right techniques and tools, you can do it easily yourself. In this article, we will guide you through the steps on how to unclog a drain with standing water and what can you do in order to prevent the clog from happening in the future.

Let’s begin first from a brief discussion about the reasons, or to be more precise the agents that can cause your sink to be clogged.

Why my kitchen sink is clogged? Here are the most common reasons:

Food Waste

If you think that garbage disposal can deal with all the food waste, you are wrong. Although garbage disposal main function is to deal with food waste, unfortunately, not all food particles can be dissolved. In some cases it can even damage or break the garbage disposal device. Here are some products you should avoid flushing down your sink:

Refrain from:

  • Grinding up eggshells or coffee premises: These items are a larger issue than you might imagine. When ground up by disposal, eggshells and coffee premises develop actually tiny granular waste that will adhere to any sludge discovered in the pipes, quickly becoming an obstruction.
  • Grinding potato peels: As soon as ground up, they form a starchy paste similar to mashed potatoes that will quickly block the drain.
  • Grinding banana peels: These are a comparable problem to potato peels, other than they also include stringy fibers to the mix.
Our main recommendation is to remove the leftovers of the food from
 the template before dishwashing.

Oil Buildups

You might think, that what can be wrong with oil since it is a liquid substance. Well, yes it does not clog your sink immediately, however, over some time, it can lead to unpleasant consequences. In fact,  oil does not clog your sink, it actually reduces even double sink drain capacity. Especially, if you are flushing oil with cold water since it cannot dissolve the grease. How to clean grease and oil buildup? We will talk about it soon in this article. So keep reading.

Minerals Buildup

Some people probably have never heard of this issue, others, on the contrary face it all the time. What is exactly mineral buildup? Mineral buildup usually affects households with hard water. Because of the hard water, over some period of time, the minerals start to buildup on the drainage and pipes that can cause the blockage of the drain. If this happens, we will advise you to call a plumber.

Small Objects

Such objects are not flushed on purpose, but rather as an accident. Ring, earing, part of the bracelet all these things can accidently fall into your drainage and cause a clog.

Now when you are aware of the most common agents to clog your sink, let’s move to the part where we explain how to unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water.

How to unclog a drain with standing water?

Use Hot or Boiling Water

It is the cheapest and probably the easiest solution that exists. If you have any standing sink water, attempt to remove it first. It is especially very effective for grease and oil since the hot water just melts these agents. Now you probably wonder, how do you actually pour hot boiling water into drainage if you already have standing water in your sink? So how to unclog a sink with standing water?

Well, the answer is very simple, you will have to attempt to remove the standing water before you can actually pour hot boiling water into a sink. Use a mug or a small bucket to do so. Only after you removed all standing water you can proceed with pouring hot one into the sink. Boil the water, and start pouring the water into your sink drainage very slowly. You need to make sure, you are doing it slowly so that you don’t have water buildup again. Although it might help quickly, sometimes it can take up to 5 attempts to unclog the sink and get rid of oil buildups.

Use Plunger

Typically, double sinks have a garbage disposal on one of the sides. Similarly, like you use the plunger when your toilet is blocked, use the plunger in your sink. However, in case of the double sink, you first need to plug one side of the sink (the one where is garbage disposal unit is located). Start plunging on the other side of your sink to see if the water will start draining. If the plunger will work on your sink, and your kitchen sink backing up will stop, it means that the extent of the issues was not that big. Also, if the plunger unclogged your sink, it is advisable to pour hot water down the drain to remove all access grease. However, do not get too excited, because in some cases plunger cannot be enough to deal with the clogged drainage.

You can read about the right techniques for using the plunger in our related article: What to Do if Water Keeps Coming Back Up The Kitchen Sink?

Check the P Trap

kitchen sink pipe

The P-Trap is the curved part pipe below your sink. P-trap can be the number one reason for a clog to occur, especially if you don’t flush your disposals with water properly. Once they reach the P-trap and they are not flushed with the water they can accumulate there, making the water drainage slow. To check the P-trap, you will need first to take the bucket and place it below the sink, so once you open it, all the water and garbage goes into a bucket. We advise to use the wrench to lose the pipe as you are removing it. Once the pipe is removed, check for the debris and source of the clog. Also, it is very handful to use the plumber’s snake to remove any debris that got stuck to the pipe. In case you find a lot of debris, it means that the plunger will not work in this case, neither will the hot water. Remove the trap and clean it up. Once you clean it, place it back and open the water to check if the problem with the drainage is solved. If the water goes down the drainage, it means the clog was successfully eliminated.


Use the Plumber’s Snake

fix sink drain


The plumber’s snake is often used as a tool to help you clean the P-trap. Sometimes, the clog can be located at a hardly reachable place and that’s when you would attempt to use the plumber’s snake. The plumber’s snake allows you to reach deeper into the pipe and remove the clog. You can buy a plumber’s snake from a hardware store since it will be of use if you considering doing double sink plumbing yourself. Once you used this tool, place the p trap back and open the water to see if it is easily draining. You can also use the hot water method, after using the snake.

Tip:If you don’t have a plumber’s snake, try using the coat hanger. 
A wire coat hanger can come in handy and it is available in every house.

A mix of Sault and Baking Soda

unclog disposal

Sault and baking soda can be found in every kitchen, that is why it makes it a perfect combo in fighting the clogged sink. Mix around ½ cup of sault with a cup of baking soda. Pour the mixed substance into the drain and leave it for up to 6 hours to work.

Note: Make sure to remove the standing water from the sink before you pour a mix of salt and soda into it.

After 4 hours, pour slowly hot water into the drainage. This method is good to use to fight the grease and oil buildups issue. You might have to make several attempts before it works out completely.

A mix of Baking Soda and Vinegar

kitchen sink clogged both sides

These ingredients can also be easily found in the kitchen, if not than in the nearest convenience store. You will need 1/3 cup of baking soda to mix with the equal portion of the vinegar. Once you mix the two substances, you will see that it starts to fizz. Once you notice the fizz, pour the substance into the sink. Leave the mixture to work for 30 minutes. Once the time is over, open the hot water and leave the water running for a couple of minutes.

This video on YouTube is very  helpful:

Check your garbage disposal, reset if needed

how to unclog disposal

Although garbage disposal usually works to eliminate the debris and food waste, it can also be a reason for the clog. Sometimes, all it needs is just to reset the garbage disposal. You can locate it under think from either side of you have a double sink. Press to reset a couple of times and check if the water started to drain. If you see garbage disposal not draining, you might have to use the Allen Wrench to loosen the blades. Use Allen wrench to move the blades (clockwise). When you feel like the resistance is less, that would be an indicator the blockage is breaking apart. Turn on the disposal again. If you see the water starting to drain than it was your garbage disposal backing up and causing a particular problem.

How to prevent kitchen sink clog?

how to unclog a garbage disposal with standing water

The most effective way of preventing is refraining from flushing the food waste and debris down your sink. You can use a drain stopper which is very handy to use not only in the kitchen but also in the bathroom. There are a lot of nice models, most of them are made from silicone, so it is easy to use and wash them. Before dishwashing, make sure you remove all the remaining from the plates and empty it into the garbage bin.

If you were cooking some oily meal, we would strongly advise removing the access oil from the plates before washing them. You can do it with a paper towel.

Remember: Oil does not like hot water, so in case you flushed some oil 
down the drainage,make sure to pour boiling water right after it.

From time to time use readily available mixtures of soda and salt to prevent the clog. In case you are leaving in the area where water is hard, consider buying softener or filter to prevent minerals build-up and damaging your pipes.

Very often the sink problems come also with a gurgling sound, if this is the case, make sure you check our article:How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink? 

How to keep your drain smell fresh?

drain pipe

Clogging is not the only problem that can occur in the household. Another unpleasant problem that you might face is a bad odor coming from the sink. Sometimes the smell can be as a result of old pipes. More often the smell will be because some food leftovers got trapped in the P-trap and not flushed completely down the pipes. So, what do you do if you are experiencing bad odor from the kitchen sink?

Plug the stopper and fill up the sink with hot water. Add some salt, pour some dish soap, lemon, and stir it. Leave it in the sink for 30 minutes then flush it down. Lemon eliminates smells very good.


We have looked into most common and handy solutions of unclogging the sink, however, if you tried all the methods and you still have problems with a clogged sink, we advise calling a professional. A professional plumber will be able to detect the clog and identify reasons for it. However, it will cost you some money. So if you want to save money and first try the methods described in this article, go ahead!


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