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How To Fix A Gurgling Kitchen Sink

Jun 18, 2021 | Plumbing Guides

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If you can hear a strange, gurgling, bubbling noise coming out of your sink, then it is not a monster living somewhere in the pipes. The reality is not as scary as that.

A gurgling kitchen sink is a sign that there is something wrong in the drainage system, or that there is an issue inside of the pipes that needs to be rectified! Luckily, we have all the information you need as to why your kitchen sink is singing to you, and how to fix it.

What causes a gurgling kitchen sink?

You’re not going crazy, and the sink is talking to you. But why is this happening, and what causes the kitchen sink to gurgle? The gross gurgling noise in your kitchen sink is typically caused by the air escaping down and from the drain. However, this should not be happening.

In the most basic sense, this gurgling noise is usually caused by a blockage inside the drain, which then makes air bubbles as the water is poured down the sink.

When you use your kitchen sink, whether it is for washing up dishes, or rinsing off plates, small parts of food, or other debris can become lodged and stuck in the drain and the pipes.

Over time, this can build up and create a large obstruction that will clog up your kitchen pipe system.

Then, when you pour water into the kitchen sink as normal, this clogged up food, or obstruction will trap the air around it, which subsequently causes the bubbling and gurgling sound that you may be hearing.

Another reason that you may be hearing a gurgling sound from your kitchen sink is if it is connected to the main drainage. If this is the case, then once your toilet flushes, it can suck the water out of the sink trap at the u-bend pipe, which may cause a funny bubbly sound in your sink.

Finally, another cause of a gurgling kitchen sink is if there is a blocked vent pipe that is connected under the sink pipe to get rid of sewer gas.

This pipe will then run up to the roof, and any blockage in this, whether it is leaves, nests or debris may start to push the sewer gas upwards in the pipes. This will then cause a gurgling sound to come out of your sink.

For whatever the reason you are hearing the bubbling sounds, you are going to want to fix your gurgling sink.

Why fix a gurgling sink?

The last thing you need is another DIY problem that you have to fix. So, as soon as you hear the dulcet tones of your kitchen sink gurgling, you may want to try to ignore it. However, this is not for the best, as you are going to want to fix the issue as soon as you can.

If there is a blockage inside of your sink, then there is probably only a matter of time before it starts to smell, too. Bad drain smells are the last thing you want when you are cooking in the kitchen…the smell of rotten food stuck in your drain pipe, or worse…the smell of sewer gas creeping into your home.

In addition, your sink may not drain properly, and could clog up to the point where the sink floods, and the water does not go down when running, which can pose far more problems than you want to deal with.

How to fix a gurgling kitchen sink

If your kitchen sink is gurgling, and smelling, then it could be a sign that there is some rotten food lodged in the drainpipes.

Therefore, you will want to utilize a good drain cleaner that will break down any food particles stuck inside the sink. We recommend a product such as this one:


Green Gobbler DRAIN OPENER PACS | Hair Clog Remover | Toilet Clog Remover | Sinks & Tub Drain Cleaner


which comes with a cleaner and clog remover for those tough obstructions. However, any commercial enzyme cleaner will work, such as: 



Zeiff Pro-Grade Multi-Purpose Enzyme Cleaner - Powerful Cleaning & Odor Eliminating Formula For Professional & Home Surfaces - 1 Gallon - Lavender Breeze

AmazonCommercial Multi-Purpose Enzyme Cleaner

However, if this does not work, then you may need to use a drain auger:


5 in 1 Sink Snake Cleaner Drain Auger Hair Catcher, Sink Dredge Drain Clog Remover Cleaning Tools for Kitchen Sink Bathroom Tub Toilet Clogged Drains Dredge Pipe Sewers Forlivese

AmazonCommercial Multi-Purpose Enzyme Cleaner

to remove the blockage. These are long wires that can reach all the way down into the pipes to dislodge any obstructions, without damaging the plumbing. You can also use a plunger to remove any smaller clogs in the drain causing the problem: 


Master Plunger MPS4 Sink & Drain Plunger for Kitchen Sinks, Bathroom Sinks, Showers, and Bathtubs. Small and Strong Design with Large Bellows Commercial & Residential Use, Black

Master Plunger MPS4 Sink & Drain Plunger

If any of these fixes seem unsuccessful, or it is not a blockage that is causing the gurgling problem, then it may be time to call a professional plumber nearby.

A qualified plumber can check if there is a problem with the installation of the sink, as there could be a problem with the p-trap. This will mean that the vent is the reason that the kitchen sink is gurgling, and will need professional assistance.  

How to avoid a kitchen sink blockage in future

Once you have rectified the problem, you are going to want to make sure that your sink does not get blocked up again. To ensure it does not happen unnecessarily, you will need to take some precautionary measures. 

Petros from Ezy-Plumb Bayside Plumbers says you should always dispose of waste and garbage correctly. Never pour hot oil or grease down the sink, as this will also cause a blockage. Always empty your leftovers into the trash rather than rinsing food off plates down the sink, as you may be faced with a gurgling sink again! 

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