Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When My Washing Machine Drains?

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Why does my kitchen gurgle when my washing machine drains? It’s an annoying sound, for sure, but you should also be ready for a plumbing issue.

We will help you explore the cause of your kitchen gurgling and give you practical tips to fix them. Let’s dive in at the bottom of this problem!

Why Does My Kitchen Sink Gurgle When My Washing Machine Drains?

If your kitchen sink gurgles every time your washing machine drains, you can blame it for the blockage in the air vent, drain pipe, or sink. Poor installation is also a possible cause.

In most households, washing machines and kitchen applicants drain through one pipe. It means that you have a problem with the plumbing system. Then, your washer and kitchen sink suffer.

Often, the blockage is the main reason for the gurgling because it prevents water from draining smoothly. Let’s see which case you are encountering.

Air Vent Blockage

The air vent is in charge of keeping the pressure within the plumbing even when water drains. You can relate this simple process to pouring milk from a can.

The hole on the can allows milk to run out when you want to pour it. However, the liquid gurgles and can’t flow out evenly. But things will be easier if there is a second hole in the can.

In your plumbing system, the air vent acts as that extra hole. It lets air enter the pipe when water runs out, making it drain quickly.

If the air vent gets clogged, water can’t flow properly when your washing machine drains, making the sink gurgle.

Drain Pipe Blockage

A clog in the drain pipe prevents water from running smoothly. So instead of draining, the water will gurgle in your kink.

Sink Blockage

A clog in the sink leads to uneven pressure in the system, causing gurgling when your washing drains. The P-trap is often where the problem arises.

Poor Installation

You have to install the sink vent pipes correctly. They must have a solid connection to support the water movement.

For example, if you use a 1.5-inch pipe for the sink, installing a vent pipe at least 3.5 feet from the trap’s bottom is necessary. This spacing helps the vent create sufficient air to form the needed pressure within the plumbing system.

If the air within the vent is not balanced, your washing machine will release water with excessive pressure. As a result, the vent can’t control the airflow, wrestling the gurgling in your kitchen sink.

There can be a clog in your plumbing system
There can be a clog in your plumbing system

How to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink?

If your kitchen sink gurgles because of poor installation, you have to replace the improper components of the system soon. A qualified plumber can help you fix it quickly.

In most cases, you have such a problem because of the blockage within the system. Here are some methods to remove the clog.

Chemical Drain Cleaner

You can clean your kitchen sink drain with chemical drain cleaners. These products are cheap and easy to use while offering an instant effect.

Each chemical drain cleaner works differently. Hence, you have to check the instructions before using it. Generally, the manufacturer asks you to pour the solvent down the kitchen drain and wait about 30 minutes for it to break down the clog. Then, flush the drain.

Please note that chemical cleaners may generate toxic fumes. If not handled correctly, they can cause damage to the system.

Enzyme Drain Cleaner

The enzymes and bacteria in enzyme drain cleaners can break down the debris accumulation in the plumbing system. They also help kill mildew and mold.

Compared to chemical cleaners, these products are safer. However, you have to wait longer for them to work.

To start, pour the cleaner down the kitchen drain at night. Then, flush it the following morning.

Baking Soda

If you are looking for a friendly solution, choose baking soda and vinegar to clean your kitchen drain. The instructions are as follows:

  • Pour hot water down the kitchen drain.
  • Add baking soda and vinegar down the drain. You may need to shove it.
  • Wait about ten minutes. During this time, vinegar and baking soda interact with each other to produce a bubbling phenomenon, which can loosen debris accumulation.
  • Flush the debris residue by pouring hot water again.

Drain Snake

Drain snakes are also popular methods for cleaning your kitchen sink. Please follow these steps to remove clogs from the pipe:

  • Push one end of the snake into the clogged pipe.
  • Push it further by turning the drum’s handle until you can feel the debris residue in the pipe.
  • Rotate the drain snake against the blockage to chop it up.
  • If the snake doesn’t break through the blockage, pull it out. The clog may come out with the snake.

This video shows you how to use a drain snake to clean your kitchen sink drain:

There are many methods to fix the clogged drain
There are many methods to fix the clogged drain

How To Prevent The Gurgling Sink?

Prevention is better than cure. So do not let the kitchen sink start to gurgle; then take action. Here are some tips to prevent your sink from gurgling:

  • Use drain strainers to prevent lint, hair, and food from clogging your showers and sinks.
  • Run boiling water down your drains after using it to flush residue from the system.
  • After every heavy usage, pour baking soda down the sink drain, let it sit there for a while, and flush it with hot water.
  • Avoid pouring grease down the drain because it will clog the pipe when congealing.
  • Do not put eggshells, starches, coffee grounds, and food with skins down the drain.
  • Clean your kitchen sink drain once you notice the water is flowing slowly.
  • Even if the drain system works normally, clean it every month to prevent clogs.
Tips to prevent clogs in your kitchen sink
Tips to prevent clogs in your kitchen sink


Your kitchen sink may gurgle when the washing machine drains mainly because of the blockage in your plumbing system. You can choose one from the recommended solutions above to remove the clog. Then, your sink can recover.

By following our tips, you can enjoy a quiet and functional kitchen sink again. If you have any problems, feel free to reach us. We are always ready to help.

Thank you for reading!