Keeping a kitchen clean isn't always easy, but certain habits can be adopted to ensure your kitchen is easier to maintain. You should scrape food waste off your dishes before you put them in the sink or dishwasher. Leaving bits of food on dishes and cookware can clog your sink and lead to plumbing issues that can be expensive and involved to repair. However, if you accidentally rinsed rice down the kitchen drain and it has caused a clog, some methods can be used to safely remove it.
Kitchen Sink is Clogged With Rice
Of course, the best way to keep your kitchen sink's drain clear of rice is to avoid putting rice in it in the first place. However, we've all left a pot of rice in the sink to soak and later drained it, inadvertently letting rice fall into the drain without even thinking.
If your kitchen sink is clogged with rice and you've tried everything you can think of, fear not: there are many methods to remove tricky clogs. Some of these strategies require using household cleaners and products you likely already have at home.
Manual Drain Clearing
Before you do anything more invasive, try to remove any cover or grate over your sink's drain with a screwdriver. It's possible that rice has embedded itself in the holes of the grate and hasn't made it to the pipes. If the grate is clear, try to use a flashlight to see if there's a visible clog farther down in the drain. If you're able to reach the clog, clear it by hand.
You can use a plumber's snake or balloon to clear superficial clogs that are still difficult to reach by hand. If you think the clog is somewhere a bit farther down, you may also be able to access it by removing the trap underneath your sink. Don't attempt to undertake this removal if you're not sure of how to turn the water off or correctly reassemble the pipes.
Using Baking Soda and Vinegar
You can use baking soda and vinegar to clear a rice clog in your drain. This is an eco-friendly method that's achievable using ingredients you likely already have at home. Even drain-clearing chemicals like Liquid Plumr tout the benefits of clearing a clog with baking soda and vinegar.
First, pour boiling water down the drain. Then, pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. You'll then need to quickly follow it with a solution of 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug for 10 minutes and let the chemical reaction work on your clog. After that time has elapsed, uncover the drain and flush with hot water. If the clog has cleared, you're all set.
Using Chemicals for Clogs
There are several chemicals available on the market for clearing clogs in the sink. You should use these sparingly as they can cause damage to your pipes over time. If you do choose to use this method to clear your drain, read the package instructions carefully and be sure you're in a well-ventilated area. Keep chemicals out of reach of children and pets.
Getting Help From a Plumber
If all else fails, you may need to get help from a professional. Plumbers have power drain snakes that are stronger and longer than most of those you can buy at the hardware store. You may need something like this to clear a tough clog from gloppy rice.
In addition, plumbers can, if necessary, cut through your pipe at or near the site of a clog, remove the food waste and reattach the pipes. This is a project that you can also undertake on your own if you have the proper tools and know-how to safely use them. You also need to be sure that your water is turned off before you attempt to cut any pipe or even access traps because you could cause significant water damage or flooding if it's not.
Danielle Smyth is a writer and content marketer from upstate New York. She holds a Master of Science in Publishing from Pace University. She owns her own content marketing agency, Wordsmyth Creative Content Marketing (www.wordsmythcontent.com), and she enjoys writing home and DIY articles and blogs for clients in a variety of related industries. She also runs her own lifestyle blog, Sweet Frivolity (www.sweetfrivolity.com).