Kitchen Sink Clogged Past Trap – How to Fix – 6 Steps

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

A common issue that homeowners face is a clogged kitchen sink. In most cases, you don’t need the expensive services of a professional plumber to fix the clog. How to fix a kitchen sink clogged past the trap?

To fix a clogged kitchen sink past the trap, follow these 6 easy steps:

  1. Pour Baking Soda Down the Drain
  2. Pour White Vinegar Down the Drain
  3. Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain
  4. Use a Plunger If Still Clogged
  5. Unscrew and Clean the Sink’s P-trap
  6. Use a Plumber’s Snake

It is not really that difficult to unclog a kitchen sink. Many times a clog can be released by following steps 1 to 4 (baking soda, vinegar, boiling water, and plunger). However, if the sink is still clogged, you can do steps 5 and 6 (unscrew and clean the P-trap and use a snake).

If you have tried everything and cannot get it fixed, you can call a plumber. But by following these steps, you should be able to clear the clog yourself!

Read on to learn more about how to fix a kitchen sink clogged past the trap and how to keep it unclogged.

Also, take a look at one of the best liquid pipe cleaners, the Liquid-Plumr 128 oz Full Clog Destroyer Pro-Strength:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Also, a very handy snake tool for clearing clogged drains is the Oriflame 25 Feet Plumbing Snake:

Click here to see it on Amazon.

Kitchen Sink Clogged Past Trap – How to Fix

An effective way of unclogging a kitchen sink that is clogged past the trap is by using baking soda in the drain. Then, follow it up by pouring white vinegar. Let these substances stay there for about 30 minutes, and then pour hot water down the drain.

Next, get a plunger and try to suck out all the blockages from the drain. If the sink is still clogged, work under the sink and unscrew the P-trap. Check for signs of obstruction. If you can spot the debris, get a plumber’s snake and slowly push it down the pipe. Work the snake inside the pipe, and once you feel the debris breaking up, pull out the snake slowly.

There could be a lot of food residue and debris in the pipe, so be ready with a bucket to collect it. Keep doing this process until you feel that there are no more blockages inside the pipe.

After trying to unclog the sink on the top side, if the draining of water is still slow, the pipes under the sink and around the P-trap could be clogged with debris. Sometimes, the blockage is deeper into the pipeline, making things more difficult.

For more detail, follow the 6 easy steps listed below to unclog your kitchen sink drain:

1. Pour Baking Soda Down the Drain

Baking soda is an excellent tool for freeing up clogged pipes. Pour a half-cup to a cup of baking soda down the drain. You can use a funnel to ensure it all goes down the drain. Let the baking soda stay there for about three minutes to let it settle onto the clogged debris.

Baking soda will not just break up the debris in the pipe but will also remove the foul smell emitted by the decaying debris. It is also safe to work with, unlike some chemical cleaners.

how to fix clogged kitchen sink past p trap

2. Pour White Vinegar Down the Drain

The acid content of vinegar will break up the food residue blocking the pipe. Vinegar is also a natural deodorizer, so it will help get rid of any odors coming from within the pipe. You will see it foam and bubble up. Allow this reaction to occur for a few minutes so that it settles into the debris in the pipes.

When baking soda and vinegar are mixed, the sodium and bicarbonate ions in the baking soda mix with the hydrogen ions in the vinegar.

The result of this initial reaction is two new chemicals: sodium acetate and carbonic acid. The second reaction is decomposition. The carbonic acid formed from the first reaction decomposes into carbon dioxide gas and water.

The carbon dioxide (formed by the decomposition of the carbonic acid) rises to the top (like carbon dioxide bubbles in a soda). This creates the foam and bubbles you see when you mix vinegar and baking soda.

An even stronger solution than vinegar is the Liquid-Plumr 128 oz Full Clog Destroyer Pro-Strength.

Click here to see it on Amazon.

The Liquid-Plumr has a triple-action formula that can easily break up full clogs. It will also keep pipes clog-free with its protective PipeGuard technology – a repellent barrier that prevents grime from sticking to the pipe.

3. Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain

Hot water will remove food residue and leave the pipe clean and unclogged. You can also shorten the process from steps 1 to 4 by mixing baking soda and white vinegar. Pour this baking soda-vinegar mixture down the drain, and then pour boiling water down the drain several times.

You also could find success in clearing the kitchen sink that is clogged past the trap by just pouring boiling water down the drain. However, baking soda and vinegar give added effectiveness, and they help eliminate odors.

4. Use a Plunger If Still Clogged

If the sink is still clogged, it is time to use a plunger. Push the plunger up and down on the sink’s drain. Do this method around ten times to suck out the clog.

Suppose it’s a washbasin with an overflow hole; stuff a rag into the overflow hole before plunging. If it’s a double sink in the kitchen, plug the other drain opening with a wet rag. Doing so will prevent air from escaping out of the other drain or overflow hole, and therefore make the plunging more effective.

My favorite plunger for sinks is the Master Plunger MPS4 Sink & Drain Plunger for Kitchen Sinks.

Click here to see this plunger on Amazon.

This sink plunger has four cups of water displacement, which means that it has double the plunging power of other plungers. So it can surely unclog your kitchen sink drain, even if the clog is past the trap.

5. Unscrew and Clean the Sink’s P-trap

If there is still a clog, then it must be very clogged past the trap of the kitchen sink, so it’s time to check the underside of the sink where the P-trap is located.

Unscrew the P-trap with the use of a pipe wrench. In some cases, the process can be done by hand. Before doing this step, prepare a bucket to catch whatever will fall out of the P-trap.

Check if the blockage is in the trap. If it is, remove the blockage, and your job is finished. However, if the sink still drains slow, follow the next procedure.

Below is a great video demonstration of how to remove and clean the P trap of a kitchen sink:

6. Use a Plumber’s Snake

If the clog is around the entry or exit of the p-trap, then you could clean it out just with some paper towel and your hand.

Many times, however, the clog is deeper in the p-trap or beyond the p-trap in the pipe. If this is the case, what you will need is a plumber’s snake or a drain auger. These tools are designed to be inserted into pipes. By rotating them inside the pipe, they can reach farther and unclog the pipe. A plumber’s snake can reach the blockage and pull it out from there.

If you think the snake has caught enough debris, pull it out slowly from the pipe. Be ready with a bucket to receive any debris from the pipe. Reinsert the snake into the pipe, keep working with it, and pull out whatever debris it can. If the snake pulls no more debris, your job is finished. You have unclogged your kitchen sink beyond the trap.

Next, I explain in more detail how to use the plumber’s snake to fix a kitchen sink clogged past the trap.

Clogged Drain Deep in Pipe – How to Fix It?

How to Use a Plumber’s Snake to Fix a Clogged Kitchen Sink

Most clogs past the P-trap happens in double kitchen sinks. In other words, if you have a double sink in your kitchen, you should also have a plumber’s snake. This snake is also called a drain cleaning auger.

This tool has a long line of flexible metal springs with some grooves distributed on its head or tip. This snake has a handle and mechanism, which allows you to rotate it. You have to insert it slowly into the pipe and turn the handle so that the line will slowly snake its way inside the pipe.

As it goes inside the pipe, the grooves along the snake line will break up the debris along the way. There will be a buildup of debris in the line. So, you have to pull out the snake every so often to ensure that the line will not be overladen with debris, or else it will be difficult for you to pull it out of the pipe.

Plumber snakes usually come in lengths of 15-50 feet. The typical length used by plumbers is 25 feet. This length is more than what they need for the usual unclogging of drain pipes. There are electric snakes and manual snakes. Some snakes are hybrids, while others can operate automatically. In your case, it is more reasonable to get the manual type.

One of the best snakes that you can use is the Oriflame 25 Feet Plumbing Snake:

Click here to see this plumber’s snake on Amazon.

This drain-cleaning plumber’s snake is 25 feet long, enough to unclog debris past the P-trap. The Oriflame Snake will enable you to quickly and effectively remove any blockages from your drain.

Here’s how you can effectively use a plumber’s snake:

1. Insert the Plumber’s Snake into the Drain

It is easier to insert the snake in the P-trap section (after you have unscrewed the trap) instead of the drain opening at the top of the sink. Slowly rotate the snake clockwise. This movement will cause the snake to move forward.

Continue turning and pushing it forward. The idea is to cut through any blockage and clear it. Don’t force the snake to move forward. You will likely jam it inside the pipe and damage it.

2. Gently Pull the Plumber’s Snake Out of the Drain

If you think that the snake has gone through the length of the pipe, pull it out slowly. Take note that since you are rotating it clockwise, you have to pull it out counterclockwise. The snake will be springy in its movements, so be careful when its tip is about to come out of the pipe. Its head or tip will be whipping around vigorously as it comes out, so be careful that you won’t get hit by it.

Also, be prepared with a bucket. You need something to receive the debris or clog from the pipe. It will also be smelly, sticky, and dirty. So, you need to wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes.

It will be quite easy for the snake to wind its way through the pipe if you break the blockage first. Repeat the procedure of inserting and pulling out the snake until there is no more debris being picked up.

clogged kitchen sink beyond the p trap

What If the Snake Stalls Inside the Pipe?

If your drainpipe is clogged, it will be natural for the snake to encounter some resistance as it winds its way inside the pipe. When this happens, you need to do the following:

1. Keep Turning It

Continue turning the snake clockwise even if it encounters some resistance. The resistance could be from the debris clogging the pipe or a corner in the pipeline. The tip or the head of the snake is designed to corkscrew around the corners and through blockages. Continue to push it forward, and when it bites through, you will feel the release of the tension.

2. Pull Back the Snake

Once the tension is released, pull back the snake by rotating it counterclockwise. As you retract the snake, it will carry bits and pieces of the debris clogging the pipe. Just repeat this procedure until no more dirt is being pulled out of the drain pipe.

List of Supplies Needed to Unclog Debris Beyond the P-trap

A full list of supplies you can get to fix the kitchen sink that is clogged past the trap is as follows:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Plunger
  • Plumber’s snake
  • Water bucket
  • Suitable pipe wrench
  • Hand gloves
  • Goggles
  • Drain cleaner (optional)

You can get these tools and materials before attempting to unclog your kitchen sink.

How to Prevent Sinks from Clogging

You will be able to prevent the clogging of your kitchen sink if you are careful with what you put in it. Please don’t put the following things in your kitchen sink as they will clog your drain:

  • Hair
  • Cheese
  • Cooking oil, margarine, butter, or grease (including bacon fat)
  • Fatty meats
  • Coffee grounds

It’s also a good idea, every month or so, to pour baking soda and/or vinegar down the kitchen sink drain to remove food residue and odors.

Conclusion – Kitchen Sink Clogged Past Trap – How to Fix

So, to recap, how can you fix a kitchen sink clogged past the trap? The process of fixing a clogged kitchen sink beyond the P-trap is as follows:

  1. Pour Baking Soda Down the Drain
  2. Pour White Vinegar Down the Drain
  3. Pour Boiling Water Down the Drain
  4. Use a Plunger If Still Clogged
  5. Unscrew and Clean the Sink’s P-trap
  6. Use a Plumber’s Snake

By following these steps, you should have no problem breaking up and unclogging the kitchen sink clog, even if the clog is past the trap.

Read next:

Can Coffee Grounds Go Down the Sink? What Happens?

Do You Tip Plumbers?