How To Clean A Kitchen Sink Drain And Stopper

Just because your kitchen sink is clean and fresh does not mean that you have managed to get rid of bacteria and debris in the drain.  How do you ensure that the drain and stopper are as clean as your sink? We sought expert advice to give us the answers below.

There are several ways you can clean your kitchen sink drain and stopper, including:

  • Flushing with water
  • Using baking soda and white vinegar
  • Using a professional drain cleaner

Keep reading to learn how to clean the kitchen sink drain and stopper. We'll also discuss the benefits of doing so and the costs to expect when you hire a professional for this task. 

Cleaning products and rubber gloves in a dirty kitchen sink, How To Clean A Kitchen Sink Drain And Stopper

How Do You Clean A Kitchen Sink Drain And Stopper?

A clean kitchen sink will prevent food-borne illnesses, extend the life of appliances, and make preparing food easier. But these benefits can be short-lived if the drain and stopper are dirty. 

When cleaning your sink, remember that the drain can also harbor germs and release unpleasant odors due to clogged dirt.

Below are methods of cleaning your drain and stopper. Let's start with the sink drain. 

How To Clean The Kitchen Sink Drain

The sink drain is just as important as the sink itself. That's why it is critical to clean both often.

Flushing With Water

Boil enough water in a kettle or a pot over the stove. Let it boil to 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. 

Take note that if the drain is PVC or plastic, 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius will suffice. Otherwise, the drain might get damaged.

Pour the hot water slowly down the drain. Be careful that you do not pour hot water on yourself. Pour all the water down the drain to flush it. You may add some dish soap to the hot water to help break down the grease. 

After pouring hot water, wait for five minutes. Pour an equal amount of cold water down the drain. This will help further remove any debris or grease. 

You can repeat the process a second time and flush with the same amount of water you used the first time to remove any remaining debris or grime. Do this weekly for a clean drain.

Using Baking Soda And White Vinegar

Baking soda with white vinegar

Pour 240 ml or one cup of baking soda down the drain. It breaks down the buildup of grime and removes odors.

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Next, boil 950 ml or 4 cups of white vinegar in a pot. White vinegar deodorizes the drain and sink.

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Carefully pour the vinegar down the drain. You may hear it fizzling as it mixes with baking soda to create foam. Allow the mixture to sit for one hour. Next, flush with hot water to remove the remaining debris or grime. 

You can do this every week to get rid of odors. 

Using A Professional Drain Cleaner

There are two types of drain cleaners, natural and chemical. Which one should you use? Let’s find out below.

Bio-Friendly Drain Cleaner

A bio-friendly drain cleaner contains natural enzymes that help remove debris, soap, and grease. It can kill millions of bacteria.

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They're your best bet if you do not want to risk damaging your pipes. Also, they are available in liquid or dry powder. You can get them online or from your local hardware store. It can take one day or two to have the drain cleaned.

Chemical Drain Cleaners

Clean the blockages in the bathroom with chemicals

These cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can damage and discolor the pipes. If you are not sure if you should use these chemicals, call a plumber to advise you accordingly. These are available also online and in local hardware stores.

How To Clean Your Sink Stopper

The stopper is quite easy to clean. Mix hot water and vinegar and place it inside the solution for 10 to 15 minutes. It should remove the scum, grime, and any other debris that is stuck to it. This is the first thing you should do when washing the sink and drain. Also, replace it if it is worn out.

Benefits of Regular Drain Cleaning

There are several benefits to cleaning your drain and stopper including:

Prolongs Drain Lifespan 

Cleaning regularly helps extend the lifespan of your drain because it lessens the likelihood of damage to the drain.

Limits Expensive Repairs

Regular maintenance of your drain means that small problems are taken care of early before they develop into huge and complicated damages that can be expensive. 

Removes Bad Odors

Food particles and debris that clog the drain can produce foul or unpleasant odors. These odors can permeate not only the kitchen but the rooms nearby. Cleaning the drain often will stop odors from happening before they start. 

Speeds Up Drainage

Cleaning your drain will also reduce the formation of clogs. This means there’ll be no obstruction to the flow of water. Otherwise, water won't drain well. This can be quite messy, especially when water overflows to the floor.

Promotes Good Health 

Dirty drains are a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. If they are not cleaned, they will keep multiplying and could lead to illnesses, infections, or any other problems that could occur due to exposure to these microbes. 

How To Maintain Your Kitchen Sink Drain

It's important to properly maintain the sink drain in your kitchen. Don't wait until there is a clog or a stench coming from your sink to do this.

The following are some tips on how to maintain your sink drain and stopper in good condition.

Keep Food Particles From Going Down The Drain

Food waste from the washing up in the sink and trash traps grid of drainage holes

As you wash your dishes, try not to let the food particles, leftover food, oil, and grease go down the drain as much as possible. 

Instead, make sure you clean the dishes and get rid of any debris on them before washing them Any substance, big or small, should not go down the drain. 

Check Drain Stoppers

Check your drain stoppers often for any buildup of soap or other particles that could eventually block the drain, preventing the proper flow of water.

Clean The Drain Often

As mentioned earlier in this post, do not forget to clean your drain and stopper regularly to prevent bad odors, clogging, and infections. 

Be Careful With Chemical Cleaners

This is something you should never forget. Despite these cleaners being available in the market for use, be very careful when using them to prevent damaging not only the sink but the piping as well.

Involve a professional plumber who will either advise you accordingly or clean the drain for you.

Occasionally Pour Hot Water

This is very easy to do, and you can do it weekly. It does not take up too much of your time, and a little hot water every so often will go a long way in maintaining your sink drain in good condition. You can do this in only a few minutes.

Clean The Garbage Disposal

The worker is installing a household waste shredder for the kitchen sink

Even if your sink has a garbage disposal, keep substances such as food particles, oil, or grease from going down the drain. This is because the garbage disposal can also get clogged.

Make sure to clean the garbage disposal regularly. Keep in mind, though, that it uses electricity to work. So, before you clean it, disconnect the power to prevent electrical shocks, which can lead to injuries or even death.

What Is The Cost Of Cleaning A Drain?

Cleaning your kitchen drain and stopper is something you can easily do. But, if it clogs or blocks, you may need the help of a professional, which will incur costs. 

In general, the cost of unclogging a drain is between $130 and $180. This covers finding the clog and removing it. 

If the clog is extensive, more complex unclogging methods may have to be used. For example, hydro jetting costs between $350 and $600. A less complex method like snaking the drain costs between $100 and $275.

In Closing

It is important to clean your kitchen drain and stopper, as much you clean your kitchen sink. Ignoring the former can be a breeding ground for bacteria which can cause illnesses, release foul odors, or clog the drains.

You can easily clean your drain if you follow the methods mentioned in this post. However, if you intend to use chemicals, it is highly recommended you call a professional.

Maintenance is the key. This minimizes the consequences of an unclean drain and stopper. It also eliminates the need for spending on having your drain professionally unclogged.

Are the kitchen sinks purchased together with the drains? Click here for more information: "Do Kitchen Sinks Comes With Drains?"

Do you really have to match your kitchen sink drain with the faucet? Click here to find out: "Should Kitchen Sink Drain Match Faucet?"


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