No one likes dealing with a clogged kitchen sink. Seeing all of the food bits floating around murky water can send you into serious frustration mode. It turns out, there’s an easy way to avoid that from ever happening — and the solution is already sitting right next to your faucet.
We all know we really shouldn’t let grease go down the drain, but even the most diligent dishwashers can still accidentally let some slip by. That, or we’re too distracted by the chore of rinsing things off that we let ourselves ignore that golden rule for kitchen sinks. Either way, you can just add a few squirts of your regular dish soap down the pipe to help keep any of the gunk from building up.
Aaron Mulder, co-owner and operations manager of Mr. Rooter Plumbing in San Antonio, Texas, recently shared this clever tip with The Kitchn. He recommends doing this pretty much any time you scrub up dishes, but especially if you know there’ll be more grease than usual.
Once you have an empty sink, start by cleaning around the drain and wiping down the strainer (if you have one). Mulder suggests using a scrub brush to really get rid of any food remnants that get stuck around the top of the drain. Then just add a couple squirts of your soap, wait 30 seconds, and rinse it out by running hot water for about 60 seconds.
You might still see bubbles foaming up from the pipe after rinsing it, but that’s a good thing! Mulder says this “will increase the amount of time the degreasing soap spends on the sides of the pipe, and this will help to become more effective at removing any unwanted buildup.”
It makes a lot of sense — the thing we rely on to get rid of grease on our plates, pots, pans, and more can obviously have the same de-gunking effect on our sink. If you’re afraid of running out of soap by doing this every single time you clean the dishes, Mulder says you can get by with doing it at least just once a week.
Bonus: This trick won’t just keep your sink from backing up, but also help it smell nice and fresh all the time, too!