Gurgling Kitchen Sink: Reasons & Fixation

Getting that ‘Burrrr’ sound whenever you turn the tap on is downright disgusting.

This gurgling sound is usually caused by the air trapped inside the plumbing system.

Drain clogging or poor plumbing can also cause the gurgling kitchen sink. And gurgling is often accompanied by bad smells that stink the whole house.

It is very irking to hear the gurgling sounds every time you use water. Water can still flow smoothly if the drain is partially obstructed, but the sink will still produce a gurgling sound.

However, you should never take it lightly as it shows that there might be a problem with your home plumbing system. The earlier it is handled, the better.

It is essential to identify the proper cause of a gurgling so that you can fix the gurgling sink.

There are several reasons for a kitchen sink bubbling up, and different degrees of gurgling sound that reflect how severe the problem is.

Any obstructions in the drain pipe or vent pipe are the main cause of gurgling.

In this guide, I will discover why the kitchen sink gurgles and how to fix the gurgling kitchen sink. You’ll be able to identify the exact reason and eliminate the gurgling sound by taking some simple steps.

Let’s get started.

How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink

Why Kitchen Sink Gurgles and Smells

To prevent gurgling in your kitchen sink, you should identify the problems first.

I have figured out the reasons behind the sink bubbling up. Here are some of the most common causes.

1. Drain Pipe Clogging

Rinsing dirty plates or pots in the sink is common in every household. But the food debris and greases go directly into drain pipes and clog the pipe over time.

Once the drain pipe is clogged, air will be trapped inside the pipe.

The water flow from the sink or dishwasher will also be obstructed, causing the sink to gurgle.

In worst cases, wastewater from the drain pipe could flood the sink and the kitchen.

And the smell usually comes from the rotten food inside the drain pipe.

Such waste can attract insects to make the situation worse and severely risk the hygiene of your kitchen.

2. Vent Pipe Blockage

This is one of the most common reasons behind gurgling kitchen sinks. Vent pipes are used to let sewer gas out.

These pipes usually rise higher than the roof level of your house.

As the top of the vent pipes remains open, they can be easily blocked by bird nests, leaves, or other debris.

Once the vent pipes get blocked, the air gets trapped inside the pipe. As a result, gurgling can occur whenever you drain your kitchen sink.

The worst part of this problem is sewer gas gets trapped inside the drain pipe and is emitted through the sink.

It creates a hell of bad smells inside the kitchen and the house. If you ever get the smell of sewer gas along with gurgling, be sure that the vent pipe is somehow blocked.

3. Poor Plumbing

Improper installation of drain pipes or vent pipes can be a big cause of gurgles and smells in your kitchen sink.

If the plumbing isn’t done carefully, there can be leaks in the system. These leaks will trap air inside the pipes and obstruct the wastewater from flowing smoothly.

Also, if you don’t install the P-trap correctly or hook up the vent pipe properly, it can cause a gurgling sink drain.

As a result, gurgling can happen whenever you turn on the tap. But if the pipes don’t have any food residue, poor plumbing might not cause any smells in the kitchen.

4. Water Shut-Off

This isn’t necessarily a problem. If you leave the water line off for some time, P-traps and other system parts get filled with air.

When you turn the line back on, a sudden flow of water through the pipes can cause gurgling.

But this won’t cause any smells if there is no food debris or other waste inside the pipes.

3 Ways to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink

Method 1: Using Chemical Drain Cleaner

Well, this is the most common method of cleaning drain pipes to fight gurgles and smells.

Chemical drain cleaners are made in various formulas and found in different forms such as liquid, gel, or powder.

After applying the cleaners, they chemically react to accumulated substances in the drain pipe to remove them.

They break the residue particles down through chemical reactions and melt greasy substances by generating heat.

These cleaners work very fast to help get rid of gurgles and stinks in no time.

You can simply apply the cleaner and allow it a few moments to work. Then wash the sink pipe with hot water to clean everything.

Method 2: Using Bio-Enzyme Drain Cleaner

This is a more environment-friendly solution to clean your drain pipes and prevent gurgling.

These are usually concentrated enzymes and bacteria. Good bacteria present in an enzyme drain cleaner eat and digest the food particles, mold, and mildew inside the drain pipe.

As a result, you will get rid of unwanted smells from the sink drain.

Though this method is non-harmful to the drain pipes and the environment, it will take longer than chemical cleaners to remove clogging.

Method 3: Using Home Remedies

If you want a quick solution without buying expensive cleaners, you can use baking soda and vinegar to clean drain pipes.

Simply sprinkle baking soda inside the drain pipe and pour some vinegar.

Leave it for some time to react, and then wash it with hot water. It will remove the clogging and smells quickly.

How to Prevent Kitchen Sink From Gurgling

You need to follow these simple steps if you don’t want to get the gurgling noise while using the sink.

Make the Right Use of the Sink

Most of us tend to dispose of food waste directly in the sink. This can cause clogging in the drain pipe, resulting in gurgles and smells. We should always avoid doing that.

Any solid food residue should be disposed to the waste bin. Before rinsing dishes in the sink, they should be free from solid fat or other greasy substances.

Also, be careful while straining the tea or washing grainy food items. These can go into the drain pipe and cause clogging in the long run. Plus, these are very difficult to clean.

Use Sink Strainer

Having a sink strainer is a blessing. It will prevent large particles from entering the drain pipe, hence preventing it from clogging.

We often don’t concentrate on what to rinse in the sink and what not. In such cases, a sink strainer can be a lifesaver.

Maintain the Drain Regularly

Checking the drainage system every once in a while will help you get rid of issues like gurgles and smells.

But it can be pretty difficult to reach the inside of the drain pipe. So, you should call for professional help if necessary.

Importantly, running hot water after use is significant; it breaks down greasy substances and helps push the accumulated debris after washing the dishes.

Kitchen Sink Gurgles but Drains Fine – What to do?

1. Use Clog Removers

You can clear Clogs that cause gurgling using a chemical drainer purchased at a home improvement store.Ideally, your drain cleaner should be septic tank compatible.

Consider using an alternative if you’re concerned that the chemical drainer will damage your pipes. The only other choice is to use a biodegradable enzymatic cleanser.

As long as the enzyme solution doesn’t harm your pipes, it’s a better option for clearing clogs.Wait a few minutes before flushing out the drain with a chemical drainer.

2. Add Vinegar and Baking Soda into the Drain

Pour 180g of soda into the drain. In this case, a funnel will help ensure the water goes straight down the drain. Alternatively, flush the drain with two cups of hot, scalding water.To assist the baking soda in reaching the clog more quickly, use hot water to flush out grease or fat.

You should add a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar after a time. Cover the drain with a plug when the foam starts to rise.The obstruction will eventually dissolve if you keep running hot water down the drain. Leave if you can still hear gurgling. A cup or two of boiling water is needed to eliminate the sludge and other debris.

3. Use a Plunger

If you locate the tool, you can use a Plunger to tackle your sink’s blockage concerns. To determine if the gurgling noise will disappear, try using a plunger to clear the obstruction.

The plunger will continue sucking the air out of the pipe for a more extended period before relaxing and allowing the same amount of air back in.

The resulting force will dislodge the barrier. Place the cup in a plug hole to see whether there’s a blockage.

Drive the handle up and down as if pumping to seal the entire setting. If the water in the sink begins to drain fast, it will clear the obstruction.

Why Does Kitchen Sink Gurgle when Dishwasher Drains

There are many reasons why your sink gurgles when your dishwasher drains, and it is important to investigate. The reasons why this sound occurs are:

1. Prolonged usage

No matter the amount of care you take when washing dishes, there will always be those food particles that go down the dishwasher.

Some of these particles are washed away to the drain horse and end up sticking there.

Over time, more and more particles are stuck, which eventually leads to a clogged drain.

When you pour water down to the drain, the air traps around the clogs, causing the sink to make a gurgling sound.

2. Blocked vent pipe

A blocked vent is another possible reason for a gurgling sound in your kitchen sink. The vent pipe is the pipe that runs to the roof and connects to the sink pipe.

Its purpose is to get rid of the smell in the kitchen sink. Since this pipe runs outside, it may get blocked by leaves and animals such as birds due to nesting.

Hence, the sewer gas ends up getting trapped inside the drainpipe instead of getting vented, resulting in a gurgling sound every time your dishwasher drains.

Why Sink Gurgles but Drains Fine

Kitchen sink plumbing can be overwhelming to you as a homeowner, and many things can go wrong. For instance, you may realize that your pipes drain okay, but your sink still gurgles.

You may recognize that you are trying as much as you can to minimize rinsed-off food particles from going down the kitchen sink, but still, your sink keeps gurgling. It’s possible because of partial clogs.

Partial clogs are not gradual, but they are with harmful effects. They make the sink take longer to drain, preventing it from operating efficiently.

Moreover, the clogs can attract bugs, leading to complete sink blockage over time.

Partial clogs cause partial obstruction to the drainpipe such that water and sewer gas do not flow smoothly without getting into the way of each other hence the sewer gas is trapped.

Thereby, the water still drains, but the air is trapped at the point of obstruction, thus producing a gurgling sound.

So that you can eliminate these partial clogs, it is essential to try some home remedies for clogged drains, such as using vinegar to help dissolve greasy layers and eliminate the smell in the kitchen sink.

However, if a problem persists after trying a couple of things, you can call in a professional to help mend the situation and help you identify the root cause of the problem.

It would be best to use drain cleaners for more challenging clogs as they are made to handle more formidable drain problems, especially those involving sink gurgling in dishwashers.

Typically, it doesn’t take long to fix these issues, as in most of these clogging, all you need is a drain cleaner. It is good to take your time to find high-quality drain cleaners and to use drain strainers to minimize food disposal into pipes to stop bad smells and gurgling kitchen sink.


Though clogging is one of the most common reasons for gurgling kitchen sinks, gurgling can occur if the vent pipes are blocked or not properly fitted.

If you can identify the root cause of why the kitchen sink is gurgling, fixing them will be a lot easier.

Routine maintenance is very important to keep your sink and drainage system pristine.

Know how to use the sink properly so that the drain pipes don’t get clogged.

Lisa Burks

This is Lisa Burks, the Author. I provide free informative sink and faucet guides. I hope you love your time here.

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