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How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink With Standing Water

How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink With Standing Water

Let’s face it, nobody likes doing dishes. Add to that a clogged sink with standing water, and you’ve just added a bunch of unnecessary stress to your life.

This quick guide will show you several methods for effectively dealing with the situation. Plus, you will learn a few tips to minimize clogged sinks in the future.

How to Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink With Standing Water

Here are six effective methods you can use to unclog your double kitchen sink. Sometimes, you may need to repeat one method a few times to see appreciable results.

Method 1: Hot Water

Boiling water in a stainless steel pot for a piece on how to unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water

Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Water is readily available in the kitchen and, luckily, is the cheapest way to unclog your kitchen sink. All you need to do is boil it. Nearly all methods for clearing clogged sinks are more effective when boiling water is introduced into the mix.

Here’s how to unclog a double kitchen sink using nothing but water:

  1. Use a small bowl or mug to remove the standing water from the sink.
  2. Bring two large pots or kettles of water to a boil.
  3. Carefully empty one of the kettles into the sink and wait until the water completely drains.
  4. Check to see if it unclogs the sink by running hot water down the drain for up to a minute. Pour the second kettle of boiling water down the drain if the clog is cleared.
  5. Repeat the steps as many times as necessary if the drain is still clogged.

Hot water is great for removing grease and gunk from inside your sink drain pipe. However, if you have a significant amount of standing water in your double-sink configuration, you may be dealing with more solid residue, including food particles, tiny objects, or mineral buildup. 

If this is the case, add half a cup of salt to the boiling water before pouring it into the sink. Salt works great to dissolve clogs in drains. 

Method 2: Salt and Baking Soda

To illustrate how to unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water, a picture of sale and baking soda sits on a light wooden table in a blue room


A mixture of salt and baking soda may be all you need to unclog your drain. This easy homemade cleaning solution effectively clears a clogged sink drain caused by soap scum, grease, and similar blockage. 

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pour half a cup of salt into a bowl.
  2. Add one cup of baking soda and thoroughly mix it up.
  3. Bail out any standing water in the clogged sink.
  4. Pour the mixture into each sink drain.
  5. Allow the salt and baking soda to do their thing for about four to six hours, and then run hot water down both drains for about a minute. You can follow up with boiling water afterward to make the method even more effective.
  6. Repeat the procedure as needed until your drain is clear.

Method 3: Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda and vinegar sit in jars on a light colored wooden table to unclog a double sink drain with standing water

Focal Point/Shutterstock

Another natural way to clear a double sin drain is by using baking soda and vinegar. These two common household cleaning agents fizz when combined, breaking up the blockage. 

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Get rid of any standing water in your sink.
  2. Pour a cup of baking soda into each drain.
  3. Next, pour one cup of white vinegar down both drains.
  4. Allow the mixture to work for about an hour.
  5. Rinse out the baking soda and vinegar by pouring a kettle of boiling water down each drain.

Method 4: Plunge the Sink Drain

Plumber using plunger to unclog kitchen drain

New Africa/Shutterstock

Coffee grounds and other food remnants in the sink drain will usually require a more physical technique to clear up. You need to get a sink plunger to use this method.  

One of the sinks in a double-sink configuration usually has a garbage disposal unit. For this method to be effective, it’s best to first plunge the side with the garbage disposal. Make sure the sink has enough water to cover the plunger cup.

Then do the following:

  1. Use a drain stopper to plug the side without the garbage disposal unit. This will prevent making a huge mess. A wet rag will work in the absence of a stopper, as long as it can properly close off the drain.
  2. Place the plunger over the clogged drain in an upright position. The idea is to form a tight seal.
  3. Pump the plunger hard about 10 to 15 times using an up and down motion.
  4. Next, cover the opposite side and plunge the drain.
  5. Remove the plunger and run hot water for about three to five minutes down each drain.
  6. Repeat the entire process if the sinks don’t clear.

This method should work if the clog is near the top of your drain line. If it doesn’t, you need to dig deeper using the next two methods. 

Method 5: Check the Drain Trap

White PVC trap under kitchen sink for a piece on how to unclog a clogged double kitchen sink with standing water


If the previous method fails to clear up the clog, you’ll likely need some basic DIY plumbing skills to unclog the double kitchen sink. Fortunately, it’s nothing technical or complex. 

This method requires you to disassemble the drain trap and manually remove the clog. The sink trap is the S-shaped or P-shaped trap under the kitchen sink drain that prevents dirt from getting into the main drainage line. 

Get a bucket and plumber’s wrench, put on your gloves, go under the sink, and do this:

  1. Place the bucket under the trap to collect water.
  2. Lose the trap using a plumber’s wrench and detach it.
  3. Empty the trap into the bucket and check to see if there is any residue lodged inside that can cause the clog. Remove any particles you find. Take the trap outside and wash it if you find tougher buildups inside.
  4. Replace the trap once it’s clear of clogs.

Method 6: Use a Drain Auger (Plumber’s Snake)

Man using a kitchen drain snake on a stainless steel sink bowl that is clogged

Narin Eungsuwat/Shutterstock

A drain auger, drain snake, or plumber’s snake can reach deeper into the drain pipes to break and remove clogs in your double kitchen sink.

Using this tool isn’t difficult, and you can use it to unclog your kitchen sink, even if you aren’t a professional plumber. 

Here’s how:

  1. Follow the steps in the previous method to remove the drain trap.
  2. Insert the snake wire into the pipe that goes into your kitchen wall. Slowly let more wire in until it reaches an obstruction.
  3. Use the auger to dislodge or break the clog.
  4. Carefully retract the snake to extract the clog from the pipe.
  5. Reassemble the trap and run hot water down the drain for up to one minute.

Preventing a Clogged Sink

No guide on learning how to unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water is complete without a few tips on preventing clogs.

You will likely end up with a clogged drain sooner or later if you don’t know what causes it and how to reduce its occurrence. 

Here are a few practices that can save you the headache of dealing with clogged sink drains:

  1. Do not dispose of solid food, including coffee grounds, in the sink. These should go in the trash.
  2. Your sink isn’t for pouring grease, fat, or cooking oil. These will build up over time and clog the drain.
  3. Pour boiling water down the drain at least once a week.
  4. Routinely clean your sink drain and deodorize your garbage disposal unit using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get rid of standing water in my sink?

The best way to get rid of standing water in your sink is to vacuum it up with a wet vac. Alternatively, you can scoop it out with a bucket, with bowls, or dry it up with towels (if there's very little water).

How do you unclog a deep clogged?

Start by pouring boiling water down the drain. If this doesn’t solve the problem, use baking soda and vinegar solution, invest in a vacuum or a drain snake. You may need to enlist professional help if you're dealing with a stubborn drain clog.

How do you plunge a double sink?

Place the rubber cup of the plunger over the drain and pump the handle several times. Remove it and allow the water to drain. Start with the basin that has a garbage disposal.

How Do You Unclog a Double Kitchen Sink With Standing Water?

All of the above methods are effective depending on the nature of blockage you have in your kitchen drain and how well you follow the steps.

Now that you know how to unclog a double kitchen sink with standing water, it’s time to put the knowledge to work.