If you have noticed your double sink backing up on both sides, it is one of two reasons.

There is either a clog in the garbage disposal or a blockage in the sink’s main drain. 

Don’t worry; both problems are fixable by doing it yourself. And we will show you (step-by-step) how to address issues with double sink backing up on both sides on this page. 

However, the first time is to identify the problem. Is it coming from the sink’s main drain or the garbage disposal? 

Let’s uncover that below. 

Double Sink Backing Up On Both Sides (Reasons) 

Let’s take a moment to understand the reason behind clogged kitchen sinks.

Cooking and eating almost always involves oils and greases, which end up in our dishes and drain into the sink when washed.

Unfortunately, these substances only remain liquid when warm, so when they cool down in the pipes, they solidify and cause blockages.

Additionally, food waste can accumulate in the pipes and contribute to clogs even with waste disposal units.

Hard water can also deposit minerals that accumulate over time and create blockages. And, let’s not forget the occasional lost item like a ring or coin that accidentally gets washed down the drain.

With all of these factors at play, it’s no wonder that kitchen sinks can quickly become clogged.

Double Sink Backing Up On Both Sides (3 Simple Solutions)

Having your double sink backing up on both sides during meal preparation is frustrating and time-consuming. 

It leaves dirty standing water that prevents you from using the sink.

However, this is a common culinary problem that can happen to anyone. 

The good news is; there are a few SIMPLE things you can do to unclog the sink.

1. Remove The Pipe

Most kitchen sinks have a pipe attached to the filter with a screw, but removing the pipe and filter is a breeze, even if it’s not attached.

Once you know how to do it, simply clean the pipe using a plumber snake or any other tool that you find convenient.

The next step is to eliminate all those particles and waste clogging up your sink and enjoy the satisfaction of having a fully functioning kitchen again.

Remember, you can remove the P-trap and use a plumber snake or an unused coat hanger to drain any standing water from a double sink.

So, take charge of the situation and get your kitchen sink back in working order today!

2. Boiled Water

If you’re looking for an easy and cost-effective solution to unclog your kitchen sink, boiling water is the way to go!

Boiled water is a simple yet effective method to help eliminate grease and fat residue in your drainage pipes.

Despite its effectiveness, pouring boiling water into a double sink can be tricky, especially if standing water is in both drains.

But don’t worry! You only need a small bucket, pot, or mug to remove the standing water before pouring it into hot water.

The great thing about boiling water is that it’s a natural, chemical-free solution that won’t harm your pipes or the environment.

Finally, you may need to repeat this process multiple times to completely clear out any accumulated grease or oils on both sides of the sink.

3. Baking Soda And Vinegar

double sink backing up on both sides
Credits: EKramar/Shutterstock

This step is even easier!

It is one of the most straightforward techniques to unclog your sinks. Moreover, you don’t need to break out any heavy-duty plumbing tool —just a regular baking soda and vinegar. 

We mix both to form a formidable solution.

Begin by taking about 1/3 cup of baking soda and placing it on a dish. Then, add an equal portion of vinegar to the same dish with the baking soda.

The mixture will begin to fizz immediately, signaling it’s time to pour it down the drain without delay. 

This fizzing action is a cleaning agent, effectively clearing away grime, grease, and residue.

Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to an hour or overnight if you have the time. This will ensure it fully reacts with any residues in your sink’s drainage system.

If you prefer not to mix vinegar and baking soda in a dish, place a large quantity of baking soda directly in the sink and follow it up with an equal portion of vinegar. The mixture will fizz just the same.

After allowing the mixture to settle, run hot water down the drain to flush out any remaining debris.

Not only is this method better for your pipes, but it’s just as effective as most drain cleaners. Give it a try and see the magic for yourself!

How To Prevent Clogged Sink

In as much as you can unclog a double sink, there are possible ways to prevent it from occurring.

However, the simplest way to avoid a clogged sink is the prevent food particles from entering the sink as much as possible.

Although it can be impossible to avoid this, you must take proactive measures to clean up and dispose of waste properly before placing dishes and utensils in the sink.

Another helpful tip is to run hot water into your sink weekly to help reduce the buildup of grease and other particles.

Also Read: Sink Only Drains When Garbage Disposal Is On?

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Clean My Kitchen Sink To Prevent Clogs?

It is necessary to keep your kitchen sink in good condition by cleaning it regularly.

Clean your sink at least once a week or more frequently if you use your sink very well to avoid clogging.

To clean the sink, use soap and enough water to remove the food particles and debris sticking to the sink’s surface.

You can also use vinegar and soda to break down any buildup and clear your pipes.

Additionally, clean your sink after preparing greasy foods, such as fried chicken or bacon, as grease can quickly build up and cause clogs.

Is It Safe To Use Chemical Drain Cleaners For The Sink?

While it might help to make your sink clean, it is not advisable to use chemical drain cleaners.

So the simple answer to this question is NO!

The chemicals in these cleaners can be harmful to your pipes, as well as the environment. They can cause corrosion or damage to your plumbing system, leading to costly repairs. 

So, it is recommended to use natural methods like hot water, baking soda, or vinegar to unclog your sink.

However, it’s best to contact a professional plumber who can help safely and effectively clear the blockage if you don’t have the time.

What Causes A Double Kitchen Sink To Clog With Standing Water?

A double kitchen sink can become clogged with standing water due to a buildup of various materials, including food particles, grease, soap scum, and other debris in the pipes or P-trap.

Over time, these materials can accumulate and cause blockages in the drain, preventing water from flowing through the pipes and causing standing water to accumulate in the sink.

This can also happen if foreign objects such as hair, dental floss, or other non-degradable materials are flushed down the drain.

Can I Use A Plunger To Unclog A Double Kitchen Sink?

YES, you can use a plunger to unclog a double kitchen sink. But when using a plunger, block off the other drain with a wet rag or other barriers to create suction.

You can then plunge the clogged drain vigorously up and down to try and dislodge the blockage. You must do this for both drains if you have a double sink.

Remember that plunging may not be effective if the blockage is caused by something solid, like a piece of food or an object, rather than a debris buildup.

If plunging doesn’t work, you can use a plumber’s snake or an unused coat hanger to remove the blockage.


While having a double sink backing up on both sides can be a real pain in the ass, the solutions are pretty straightforward. 

And whether you choose to use a plunger, a drain snake, or a combination of methods, you must approach the problem with patience and persistence.

Remember to take preventative measures like regularly cleaning your drains and disposing of food scraps properly to avoid future clogs.

Also, you can call a professional plumber if you need help with the clogged sink.

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