How to Dissolve a Food Clog in the Kitchen

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Things You'll Need

  • Baking soda

  • Vinegar

  • Rubber gloves

  • Liquid chlorine bleach

  • Teapot

A clogged sink can overflow and cause a mess in the kitchen.
Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Even if you have a garbage disposal, clogs formed by grease and stubborn food particles can still haunt your kitchen sink. Not only will clogs slow down the sink's drainage, but they may also fill your kitchen with unpleasant odors. You can dissolve soft clogs of food with household ingredients, including baking soda and vinegar. Severe clogs will require extensive cleaning of the pipes.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Step 1

Turn off the garbage disposal. Remove any large pieces of food from around the drain.

Step 2

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by 1 cup of white vinegar.

Step 3

Place the drain plug over the opening and leave it in place for 10 minutes. The foaming mixture of vinegar and baking soda will dissolve food debris.

Step 4

Boil 2 cups of water in a teapot. Pour the boiling water down the drain. The hot water will flush the remaining clog.

Chlorine Bleach

Step 1

Plug the sink and fill the basin with 1/2 gallon of lukewarm water. Add 1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach.

Step 2

Remove the plug and allow the mixture to drain. Wear a rubber glove when removing the plug as the cleaning agent may irritate sensitive skin.

Step 3

Pour 2 cups of boiling water down the drain.


When dealing with stubborn clogs, try both methods and repeat as necessary.

If the clog doesn’t dissolve, remove the trap beneath the sink and use a plumber’s snake to clean the drain. Consult your garbage disposal’s maintenance manual or call the manufacturer for additional cleaning tips.

Avoid dumping grease down your drain. Grease can build up along the interior of the pipe and obstruct drainage.

Always run cold water when using the garbage disposal. Water will help force remaining food particles through the pipes.


Boiling water can damage PVC pipes. If you don’t have metal pipes, substitute boiling water with lukewarm water.

Wear a mask to protect yourself from fumes that may result from the dissolving bacteria within the drainage system.


Mitch Reid

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.