How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink Drain

Updated on July 12, 2012
My double kitchen sink
My double kitchen sink

I absolutely love my double kitchen sink. It is perfect in every way. I can wash dishes in one side and then place them in the drying rack on the other side preventing the issue of wet counter tops. I can have a pot or pan soaking in one sink and still have another sink on hand ready for use. It is the perfect set up for our home. But being that this is the first double sink I have ever had I was unaware of one issue that drove me to the edge of insanity one night some nine years ago........

Reinactment of clog
Reinactment of clog

It's Just A Simple Clog! Right?

Apparently one night after draining grease out of a pan I neglected to run hot water down the drain. My neglectfulness of not running the hot water caused my drain to become clogged. Unfortunately I did not realize this until my sink was more than halfway filled with gross dirty water. I did not panic because I knew all I had to do was fetch my plunger and simply plunger away the clog.

I grabbed my plunger and began plunging. It appeared as though I was doing a great job. The water was quickly leaving the sink via the clogged drain. I did it! But wait....why is the other side filling up with water? Now the original clogged side was empty, but the other sink was now half way filled with gross dirty water. After staring for a few moments I began to plunger the other side. Once again the sink began to empty but yet once again the other side began filling. After quite sometime of plunging the sinks back and forth I realized this apparently is not working and it was time to try something else.

Metal hanger
Metal hanger
Unethical unclogging tool
Unethical unclogging tool

Unethical Tools

I was so frustrated with the fact that my plunger was failing to complete the simple task of unclogging my drain. But what else would work in a situation like this? I did not have any Drano products on hand so I decided to use an unethical tool.

I started thinking about what I could use to get inside of the drain..... It hit me in an instance! A metal cloths hanger. I ran upstairs to my closet and grabbed a hanger. I brought it down to the kitchen and unraveled the ends to make a long metal "stick". I began pushing it into the drain in my attempt to just push the clog loose. After a short while I realized this is not working. I realized days later why my idea did not work.

It was virtually impossible to unclog my drain with my unethical tool because it could not navigate through the curves of the pipes that make up the draining system. Duh! How did I possibly expect that to work? I truly do know better. But I guess at the time I would have tried almost anything. Well back to the plunger!

View underneath double sink
View underneath double sink
Plug one side, then use plunger on other side
Plug one side, then use plunger on other side

Simple Solution

I literally spent about one entire day trying to unclog my double sink drain until it finally dawned on me. I was glaring at the pipes underneath the sinks when I realized how easy the solution was to unclog the drain.

Although I technically have two sinks in my kitchen, I actually only technically have one drain. Each sink has it's own drain but the two sides share one draining pipe system. So if the drain is clogged it prevents water from leaving either or both sinks. When I was plunging one side all I was doing was pushing the water back and forth through the pipes of each sink drain because the clog was preventing the water from going into the single pipe they join in to. So now that this was realized unclogging the drain became quite simple.

All I had to do was plug one sink and then begin to use the plunger. In a few short minutes both of my sinks were empty and the water was once again able to flow freely down the drain. It was a rather aggravating fact of how simple this minor task was to accomplish, but what can you do? I know this will never happen again to me and I hope I can prevent someone else from facing this stressful issue!


Drain insert
Drain insert

Conclusion

I would like to end by saying that you should not attempt to use my unethical unclogging tool. It does not work and will not work. Also it does not even begin to enter the pipes of the draining system due to the turns and curving of the pipes. With that being said here is a recap of what will work.

If you should find yourself facing a clog in the drain of your double kitchen sink remember to plug one sink before you begin plunging away the clog. This will prevent the water from pouring up in to the other sink and will allow the water to push the clog loose while you are plunging. You may have to hold the plug in the opposite sink in place because as you use the plunger the plug will not stay tightly in place. (Please refer to the below video clip)

You can avoid clogs like mine by running hot water into the drain when disposing of grease that is leftover after cooking. Other clogs can be avoided by placing a debris type catcher inside of your sinks drain. These easily catch pieces of food and whatever else that may try to enter your sinks draining system to cause a clog!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Kate 

        6 weeks ago

        Thank you so much!! Ive been frustrated for 2 weeks trying to unclog my kitchen drain. I used Draino.. no results, Went out and purchased Zep Drain cleaner, followed directions.. back and forth after the hot water one sink to the other, still clogged..I too was about to call a plumber until I found your site.. What a life saver.

        Went and got my plunger, closed off the left side of my sink and away I go. I ran the hot water while plungering and within 4 minutes Max .. it was running clear!

        I'll always pass this on to others that may run into this problem.. and thank you for saving me at least 150.00 for a service call..

      • profile image

        Lynette Betts 

        6 weeks ago

        Did the double sink clear, plugged one side and plunged the other. Spent half my day trying other methods before finding this post. Brilliant!!! Thank you from me and my drain.

      • profile image

        Low Blow 

        2 months ago

        What happen! The shit got stuck! We have all been there. Sitting Waiting and nothing is happening. The pain of the unknown. When will the shit happen. Wait no more! Give it some motivation. Pickup the phone. Call that number. igotdope@hotmail.com Help is on the way!

      • profile image

        JoAnne Weber 

        5 months ago

        When I did this, it caused the pipe in my laundry room to overflow, and backed up into the neighbor's house, as we are a duplex. I am stumped, and can't plunge, going to HD to get draino.

      • profile image

        Bud 

        7 months ago

        Use a plastic dishpan and fill it with water on the side without the trap. Now use a plunger on the trap side without having to hold on to the drain stopper. Better force for a quick and easy solution.

      • profile image

        SUSAN TORBUSH 

        8 months ago

        yes this works plenty of hot water and a cup of white vinegar with a box of baking soda monthly 2 run hose pipe full blast down stack vent with some inside to watch for over flows it works EVERYTIME anytime we have uncooperative clog.

      • profile image

        Kathy Fennell 

        9 months ago

        Really, you should NEVER dispose of grease or cooking oil down the sink drain. Remember where this water goes after being cleaned by your local water department. I keep an empty coffee can with lid under my kitchen sink. When I have grease or oil from cooking I scrape it into the coffee can. Wha- la! Problem solved. When the can gets full, which typically takes months, I throw it in the garbage and off to the landfill it goes. Much better solution, especially for the water system in your area.

      • profile image

        Natalie 

        10 months ago

        You saved me !! it worked

      • profile image

        Connie 

        11 months ago

        It worked like a charm! Thank you so much...this relief is like an early Christmas gift...

      • JillKostow profile imageAUTHOR

        Jill Kostowskie 

        14 months ago from Pennsylvania

        Awesome I am glad this article is still helping people!!

      • profile image

        James 

        14 months ago

        First search result in Google, drained first try! Thank you

      • profile image

        Adam 

        18 months ago

        Well this method did seem to work for me but let the disposal do the work. I simply placed a plunger over the non-disposal drain and held it in place then started the disposal and ran more water into it. This seemed to create more pressure than I could get with plunger alone and the sink was draining normally in just a few moments. I'm sure this won't work in all situations but sure did in my case

      • profile image

        Handy Dandy 

        18 months ago

        I recommend, instead of chasing grease down the drain with hot water, to put it in a coffee tin or something like that and then in the garbage after it hardens as a preventative measure.

      • profile image

        Brenden 

        20 months ago

        Jill, you just saved my wife and I lots of cash for a plumber. She held the stopper down and I plunged! Thanks so much!

      • profile image

        Chris 

        2 years ago

        I have double sink in kitchen that has been clogged for days. He checked the p trap first and it was clear. First used 1 1/2 -2" plumber bladder straight into the drain pipe under sink. It went in about 4' and burst the rubber! Bought strongest liquid type of draino HD sells ...let it stand over night. Still clogged. Tried several times with the liquid...after using a half gallon still clogged. Bought 25' snake. Used it directly into drain outgoing pipe in wall ...nothing. Used it on roof vent . Nothing. Used on bathroom sink and on washer drain just in case somehow /somewhere connected. Nothing works ! At wits end. Going to go rent 75' snake from HD today.....before I put dynamite in drain pipe!!! Any other suggestions? Just in case it matters this is a 1972 double wide mobile home ....maybe plumbing was different back then when built??? I don't know what else to try....a plumber would just use snake too........thank you. Email : vabel17@gmail.com

      • profile image

        Beth 

        3 years ago

        Omg!! It worked! I just chest bumped my husband! I won! Thank you!!

      • profile image

        DeborahG. 

        3 years ago

        Good article, however we have had the same problem off and on for almost a year now. We have tried everything! Snakes, Drano, plungers, etc. Found out the hard way that plunging isn't the way to go as we have an airflow? or overflow? pipe under the sink. I even went to our local hardware store and was told that there was nothing wrong with the piece that screws onto the pipe. There doesn't appear to be a clog in the outside trap as I have filled each toilet with toilet paper and flushed while someone was watching the flow of water and the flow is normal! We recently had our septic drained and that didn't help either. (It was due to be drained anyway!) So being a stubborn Italian, I'm still perplexed as to why this keeps happening. We are very diligent about making sure no grease, food etc. goes down the drain! So if anyone has any other ideas I would be grateful for feed back before I cave in and call a plumber! My husband is a contractor and he is equally stumped one this one as well! Thanks for at least letting me vent! Good day to all!

      • profile image

        Dawn 

        3 years ago

        Lifesaver!!! Thank you!

      • profile image

        Zarch 

        3 years ago

        Awesome awesome, thank you! Saved me frustration and the expense of multiple bottles of drano. The internet is awesome! Thanks

      • profile image

        Dev 

        5 years ago

        Unfortunately, if you have an overflow pipe, this doesn't work. We've had a clogged sink for nearly 2 weeks now and nothing seems to work :(

      • profile image

        stainless steel undermount Kitchen sinks 

        5 years ago

        There are lots of ways to unclog kitchen sink drains.

      • JillKostow profile imageAUTHOR

        Jill Kostowskie 

        5 years ago from Pennsylvania

        I am glad that I was able to help everyone unclog their sinks!! I know mine drove me crazy for three days before I figured out how to do it!!

      • profile image

        maceo 

        5 years ago

        WOW! And I wasabout to spend 100 bucs on a plumber. This worked. I had my girlfriend hold the stopper in over my garbage disposal sink while I plunged the other side. Teamwork! It worked like a charm. Saved $$$

      • profile image

        Jes 

        5 years ago

        This saved me!! Thank you!!!

      • profile image

        karina polk 

        6 years ago

        Hey ..thank u so much for your info it safe my sink lol

      • profile image

        jenubouka 

        7 years ago

        I did...I think I am going to have to some open heart surgery here.. thanks for the info. Great hub and pics!

      • JillKostow profile imageAUTHOR

        Jill Kostowskie 

        7 years ago from Pennsylvania

        jenubouka - If your drain plug is shooting out you should try holding it in place while plunging the other side. That should do the trick!

      • profile image

        jenubouka 

        7 years ago

        As your hub was eye opening, I tried never thought of that, though I think mine is deeper, i tried plugging one side and the drain stopper shot out, funny and frustrating at the same time

        Now what

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