If you have a serious clog in your kitchen sink, you want to avoid trying to address this with harsh chemicals or tools not designed for the job. Chemical drain openers work by eating away at the clog which means they also eat away at your pipes and their connectors. This in turn can lead to eventual water leaks which are very damaging to your home. Trying to stab at the clog with a long screwdriver or other tool can also mean chipping away at the pipe connectors and causing damage.
Consider the following as only safe ways to unclog your kitchen sink. If these don't work, be sure you call a plumber to address the clog properly.
1. Remove the pipes under the sink
Place a large bowl or pan under the pipes that are beneath your kitchen sink and then unscrew the flanges that connect all the piping. Flanges are large round pieces that look like bolts, and these are on either side of the curved bottom pipe. If they're plastic you may be able to unscrew them by hand but if they're metal, use a wrench. The flanges will then slide out of place.
Once the flanges are unscrewed, you can remove that curved bottom pipe. This is usually where the clog is contained. Food debris will immediately come out of the pipes so be sure you're prepared for the mess. Remove as much of the debris as you can and then replace the curved pipe and re-tighten the flanges. Run cold water into the sink and try the garbage disposal once again.
2. Use baking soda and vinegar
When you mix baking soda and vinegar, the mixture foams and creates pressure. This can push against your clog and allow it to move through the pipe. Dump a generous sprinkle of baking soda down the kitchen sink. Next, gently pour a small amount of vinegar over this.
Once the foam begins to appear, wait a full minute and then run hot water into the sink. If the clog doesn't clear, use a plunger and then try more baking soda and vinegar. Use a plunger as the foam develops as this can help to loosen the clog. Try the hot water again.
If these tricks don't work, you may have a clog in the garbage disposal unit itself. This can be difficult to fix so call a plumber (such as one from Steve Burke Plumbing, LLC) to replace or repair this unit rather than trying to pull the unit out yourself.