Best Drain Cleaner for Kitchen Sinks

By  Enda McLarnon

The best drain cleaner for a kitchen sink really depends on the type of clog you're dealing with and your individual preferences for chemical or non-chemical solutions. In the UK, sinks that are slow to release water (slow running drains) or simply get blocked up is a pretty common occurrence.

Let's have a look at the four main options. for cleaning drains in your kitchen sink.

1. Natural Method - Using Baking Soda and Vinegar.

hands using baking soda and vinegar to unblock a kitchen sink

Those looking for a natural and environmentally friendly solution will use baking soda and vinegar to break down minor clogs.

  1. Pour a pot or kettle of boiling water down the drain
  2. Then add about half a cup of baking soda down the plug hole.
  3. Leave that for about 5 minutes
  4. Then add a cup of vinegar and leave that for about 5 minutes
  5. Pour another kettle of boiling water down the drain.

This combination will help break down any grease or small blockages in your kitchen sink.

2. Commercial Enzyme Cleaners

Buster Kitchen Sink Unblocker

These off the shelf cleaners contain enzymes that break down organic matter like grease, food particles, and soap scum. These products are available in supermarkets, hardware stores, or online retailers in the UK. Some of the most popular are:

Cleaner Name


Average Price UK

Amazon UK

Mr Muscle Drain Gel Unblocker

This product contains enzymes that target and break down organic matter, including grease, food, and soap residue, to clear blockages effectively.

£7 for 2 litres

HG Kitchen Drain Unblocker

HG offers a range of cleaning products, including a specific drain unblocker for kitchen sinks. Their formula uses enzymes to dissolve grease and other organic materials causing blockages.

£7.50 for 1 litre

Buster Kitchen Plughole Unblocker

Buster offers an enzyme-based gel specifically formulated for kitchen sink blockages. It aims to break down organic debris and keep pipes clear.

£10 for 0.9 litres

Ecozone Enzymatic Drain Cleaning Sticks

These sticks contain natural enzymes and bacteria that work to break down grease and organic matter within the drains over time. They are easy to use by simply inserting them into the drain.

£3.60 for 12 sticks

They are generally safe for pipes and septic systems. It is really important to follow the instructions on the product to get the best results.

3. Chemical Drain Cleaners

Caustic chemical drain cleaners work really well at breaking down tougher clogs in your kitchen sink. However, they can be harsh on pipes (especially plastic pipes) and also harmful to you, if mishandled.

plumbo chemical drain unblocker

Item 1

Item 2

Average Price UK

Amazon UK

Sulfuric Acid Drain Cleaners

Products like "Hercules" or "Liquid Fire" contain sulfuric acid. They are strong and can dissolve various types of clogs including organic matter, paper, hair, and grease. However, they can be highly caustic and should be handled with extreme care.

£9 for 5 doses

Hydrochloric Acid Drain Cleaners

Examples include "Caustic Soda" and "Zep." They are also potent and effective against different types of clogs. However, they can be corrosive to certain materials and should be used cautiously.

£7 for 1Kg

Sodium Hydroxide Drain Cleaners

Often marketed as lye-based cleaners, these products include "Drano" and "HG Drain Cleaner Liquid." They work by generating heat and breaking down organic matter, but they might not be as effective on some tough clogs..

£5 for 1 litre

Potassium Hydroxide Drain Cleaners

Similar to sodium hydroxide cleaners, these are also used to break down organic matter. They are less common but may be found in certain products labeled as drain cleaners.

£0 for 0.9 litres

If you decide on using this type of drain cleaner, follow the instructions carefully and consider using them sparingly to avoid damage to your plumbing. Use protective gear such as gloves and goggles, ensure good ventilation, and never mix different drain cleaners or chemicals as they can produce dangerous reactions. 

It's important to note that frequent use of these strong chemicals can damage pipes and might not be suitable for older or sensitive plumbing systems. Consider professional help if the clog persists or if you're uncertain about using these products safely.

4. Plumbing Snake or Auger

drain snakes

For those really stubborn clogs, your may need a plumbing snake or auger. These are pushed into the pipes and can physically break up the blockage. They're available in different lengths and can reach much deeper into the pipes.

Read my information on drain snakes here.

What Causes Blocked Kitchen Sinks?

drain cleaner for blocked kitchen sinks

Blocked sinks can occur for various reasons:

  • Food scraps, such as coffee grounds, eggshells, pasta, rice, etc. don't break down easily and over time these can build up and cause blockages.
  • Grease, fats, and cooking oils also end up going down the drain and can lead to blockages when they solidify and those stick to the inner walls of the pipes over time.
  • Residue from dishwashing detergents and soaps can build and those can lead to blockages.
  • If you live in a hard water in the UK, limestone deposits inside pipes can happen. They reduce water flow and eventually causing blockages.

To help prevent blocked kitchen sinks, use drain guards to catch food scraps. Try to avoid pouring grease down the drain and regularly flush the drain with hot water. you can use any of the above methods to deal with blocked sinks.

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