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How to Fix Gurgling Kitchen Sink – 6 Easy and Quick Steps

One of the most frustrating things in the world is dealing with a plumbing-related problem at home. Picture this: it’s the weekend, and you want to get some spring cleaning done, but every time you wash dishes or clean vegetables, you hear a gurgling sound from your kitchen sink. 

Before you freak out and worry about whether or not you need to spend a ton of money on your gurgling sink, we will walk you through six easy fixes that you can do by yourself at home! 

We’ll walk you through the different ways to diagnose a gurgling sink, the causes and solutions to this problem, and when you need to call for professional help. 

Let’s dive in. 

What Causes Gurgling in Kitchen Sink?

When your sink starts to talk to you, you must pay attention. Gurgling in the sink could be caused by a few different factors, some of which are as follows. 

1. The draining pipe is clogged. 

Sink Draining Pipe

One of the most common answers to why your sink is gurgling is because the pipe that drains water is clogged. Food, grease, and oil are often the usual suspects! When washing dishes or stacking them in your sink, we all tend to ignore the leftover bits of food waste on our plates and prefer to deal with them by letting them wash down the sink. However, even though allowing food particles in the drain can seem convenient, it can turn into an expensive plumbing problem in the future. Additionally, you might have gotten into the habit of draining cooking oil or grease into your sink, which is a bad idea. This is because grease and oil coat the inside of your kitchen’s drainage pipe. Over time, they start to slow the flow of water down. 

2. There is a blockage in your sewer line. 

Blockage in sewer line

Another factor that could cause your sink to gurgle is a blockage in your home’s sewer line. These blockages are usually caused by what plumbers refer to as FOG, or fats, oil, and grease. As mentioned above, pouring any type of liquid fat down the kitchen sink drain is terrible for your plumbing system. Many believe that when they pour hot fats down the drain, they will flow smoothly into the larger drainage system. However, this is far from the truth. This is because the fats will start to congeal after making contact with the cool water, eventually coating your kitchen pipe, blocking water and debris from falling, and causing the sewer line to get blocked. 

3. Your vent pipe is blocked.

Every home has a vent pipe that lets harmful gases out while ensuring your plumbing system runs smoothly. The vent pipe also ensures that a vacuum doesn’t form in the sewer line and causes water to come back up your kitchen sink drain. Since the vent pipe sticks out of your house’s roof, a blockage means that something like a bird’s nest, dead leaves, twigs, or other debris is causing the vent pipe to remain blocked. As a result, the blockage means that your sink gurgles when water flows down the drain. 

What To Do if Kitchen Sink Gurgles and Smells

Even though this problem can seem huge, don’t panic! There are many different solutions to your plumbing problem, as given below. 

To overcome a smelly kitchen sink, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Pour vinegar and baking soda down the sink. 
Pour vinegar and baking soda down the sink

When your kitchen sink starts to smell bad, it’s usually due to several reasons. There could be bacterial growth in the pipes, mold, mildew, or a drain clog. Therefore, to remedy this problem, pour a cup of baking soda down the sink, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Please ensure that you don’t run any other type of vinegar down the sink because you will not achieve your desired results. Baking soda and vinegar will flush the drain and remove any bad smells. 

Also Read: How to Unclog a Bathroom Sink Clogged with Hair

  1. Pour dish soap and hot water. 

Hot water and dish soap might do the trick if you don’t have baking soda and vinegar at home. Pour at least a cup of dish soap down your sink, followed by at least a liter of boiling water. If your sink has a stopper, fill your sink halfway with boiling water and add a few tablespoons of dish soap. Use a spoon to mix the water and soap, then let the mixture sit for 15 to 30 minutes, or until the water starts to cool. After letting it sit, drain your sink, and pour some extra boiling water to flush the sink a second time. Doing this should help get rid of the bad smells and gurgling. 

  1. Use lemon peels, salt, and ice.

While these three ingredients sound like crucial elements of a delicious cocktail, they can also help you eliminate the foul odor emerging from your kitchen sink drain. To make the most of this method, you must first switch your garbage disposal on. Next, you need to put around 12 to 15 ice cubes, a handful of lemon peels, and a couple of tablespoons of coarse salt down the drain. Let the garbage disposal run, then check to see if the smell is gone. You add the lemon peels to get rid of foul odors and the ice and salt to clean the drain. 

Here’s what you need to do to stop your kitchen sink from gurgling. 

  1. You need to unclog your sink. 
Unclogging Kitchen Sink

While this first option might sound like the most obvious, it might be something that you overlook. You can unclog your sink using a plunger, a plumber’s snake, or the baking soda and white vinegar method mentioned above. Here’s how to try out each of these methods. 

  • Use a plunger. 

Purchase a sink plunger if you don’t own one already, then fill your kitchen with a couple of inches of water. Take the plunger and hold it directly over the kitchen drain, making sure that you create a tight seal. The seal prevents water from going down the drain while creating a vacuum simultaneously. After creating the seal, hold the plunger’s handle firmly and lift it and down vigorously. Once you’ve done this, run some water down the sink. If your sink has stopped gurgling, you’ve successfully unclogged your sink. If not, repeat the plunging process until your sink stops gurgling. 

  • Use a plumber’s snake. 

The next step is to try using a plumber’s snake. You can buy one from your local hardware store if you don’t have one already. Gently thread the plumber’s snake through your kitchen drain, stopping only when you can feel the substances clogging your drain. Once you’ve done that, rotate the snake with its handle so that you can break the food particles apart. Depending on the size of the clog, you will be able to break it apart enough to let water flow again. If you cannot break the substances apart, you can also pull them up using the drain snake and dispose of them in your garbage can. 

  1. Clean your sink by using a drain cleaner.  
Drain cleaner

The next step to unclogging your sink is to clean it using a drain cleaner. It is important to note that you must use the drain cleaner only in your home’s drains because it will help keep your sink clean. It is also worth remembering that there are two different drain cleaners: enzyme drain cleaners and chemical drain cleaners. Enzyme drain cleaners contain necessary bacteria that help keep your drains healthy. They also don’t have any harmful or toxic chemicals that can be difficult for you to inhale into your system. However, even though enzyme drain cleaners are safer for your health and the health of your plumbing system, they are much more expensive and harder to find in stores. 

If you cannot find an enzyme drain cleaner, you can always use a chemical drain cleaner. Chemical drain cleaners are easier to find in stores and can help eliminate clogs much more quickly than enzyme cleaners. This is because they contain more potent chemicals specially designed to remove clogs efficiently. 

6 Ways to Diagnose a Gurgling Sink

Even though it might seem odd, there might be times when your sink gurgles without you realizing that it is happening. If you suspect that your sink is gurgling, here are six ways to diagnose it. 

  1. Flush a toilet in the bathroom closest to your kitchen. 

If you flush a toilet and hear weird sounds from your kitchen sink, there’s a good chance that your sink is gurgling. 

  1. Put on a load of laundry. 

Since all the water outlets in your home will be connected to one primary water connection, you will hear weird sounds when you put on a load of laundry, and your sink makes strange noises. 

  1. Pour a bucket of water down your sink. 

If the water takes a while to drain, your sink is gurgling. 

  1. Check the other drainage outlets in your house. 

If water isn’t draining properly from your shower and washing machine, there’s a good chance that your kitchen sink will be affected as well and could be gurgling without you realizing it. 

  1. Check your vent pipe. 

If your vent pipe is blocked, your sink will gurgle. 

  1. Check the air admittance valve. 

If your home doesn’t have a vent pipe, it will have an air admittance valve. Check the valve, and if it is broken or clogged, your sink will gurgle. 

When Do I Need Professional Assistance? 

You need to call a plumber when all the above methods don’t work and you cannot fix the problem independently. 


Why does the sink gurgle, but the drains are fine? 

If your drains are fine, but your sink gurgles, it usually means that air that shouldn’t be in the drain is escaping. If the air cannot escape, it creates a suction, causing you to hear a gurgling sound. 

Why does my sink gurgle when my dishwasher drains?

Your sink gurgles when the dishwasher drains because of a clog in the drainage pipe, causing water to flow more slowly. 

Wrapping up 

In this article, we walked you through how to fix a gurgling sink, diagnose the problem, and prevent bad smells from lingering. Plumbing problems are stressful, but hopefully, you now know what to do the next time you’re in a pickle!