Though there are many products to buy at the store to help you clean and maintain your kitchen sink drain, many of these products are dangerous to children and pets and can cause damage to the environment when flushed out into nature. There are many alternatives to using harsh chemicals and store-bought cleaners when cleaning and maintaining your kitchen sink drain.
Unclogging a Slow-Moving Drain
If you notice that your drains are moving slowly and you can catch them while they are only moderately clogged then you can fix this problem yourself very easily. You can use a combination of first baking soda and then vinegar poured down your drain. This combination will foam up and fume quite a bit but after setting for a couple of hours your drains should be running smoothly.
Clear Grease Build Up
You can use the following eco-friendly method if you suspect a slow drain is due to grease or just for regular maintenance and up keep. Pour salt down your sink drain and allow it to set for a while. After a bit dump a gallon of boiling water slowly down the kitchen sink drain. This method should work especially well to break up grease and will also, done regularly, will kill bacteria and keep your kitchen sink drains from smelling.
Clearing Clogs Manually
Another method that may help to clear more stubborn clogs without using harsh chemical drain cleaners is to use a plunger in kitchen sink drain that is clogged. In order to get the proper suction for the plunger method to work you need to plug the over flow opening with a wet rag. If you have two side by side sink basins like in some kitchens you will need to use one drain for plunging and plug the other with a wet cloth. You will fill the clogged basin until the plunger head is submerged and then begin plunging. This can be messy due to water splash back so it is advisable to lay down some towels on the floor and the area around the sink. Once you pump the plunger about 10 or so times to build up pressure yank the plunger up off of the drain. There should be an audible "pop" and the water will drain out quickly if the drain has been cleared. Vaseline can be used on the rim of the plunger in order to create a better seal.
Using a Drain and Trap Auger
If a drain is completely clogged and the plunger method is not working you can try a drain and trap auger. For kitchen sink drains just remove the pop up strainer in the sink’s drain and insert the auger directly. You should be able to work the auger wire back and forth and keep turning the auger until you encounter and free the clog. If your drain is still clogged, you may have to remove the trap underneath the sink and send the auger in where the piping goes from the trap into the wall.