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Aug 23, 2012 09:15 AM

Soap suds come up the other side of my kitchen sink

In our new house, we have a double sink in the kitchen. I use one side to wash and rinse dishes and the other side to drain the dishes in. My problem is that as I am washing, soap suds creep up on to the "clean" side of the sink.

I have tried using less soap and I have tried using different soap but the problem still occurs.

Does anyone know why this happens? It's driving me bananas! Hoping it's something as simple as a partially clogged drain. The sink is a little funky.


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  1. The sink is a little funky. First is to make the sink not funky including a simple drain cleaning.

    Could be a clog/restriction at main drain.

    Could be a design flaw in having too short of connecting pipes from sink to main drain pipe. Not an especially expensive redo.

    1. Hi. I had the same problem. In my case, the drain pipe for both sinks ran into a single trap = U shaped pipe connection to prevent back flow... when i pulled the plug on the full sink the water came up the empty one. I fixed it by using two traps, one for each drain.

      1. If it is just from one sink to the other in a double sink, probably not a big fix. Look underneath to see which of the double sinks drains straight into the trap. Usually the other side has a short horizontal pipe, and the horizontal pipe can fill with suds. Try using the other bowl of the double sink to wash in, and see if that doesn't solve the problem.
        My MIL had a problem that she fussed about for years. And years. Her washer would drain and the wash water would come into the sink bowl, and the dishwasher would drain and come up into the sink bowl. After she passed away we called a real plumber (she'd had handymen try to fix it over the years, no luck with fixing it, but "Plumbers are expensive!"), and for less than $200 they reamed out the drain pipes and installed a new trap. No more problems, but we had to solve it over her dead body....

        3 Replies
          1. re: Lotsofscots

            Interesting- it's my observation that old people's houses always have partially clogged plumbing- now mine is and I think i'll just go ahead and call a plumber, since I don't think the dishwasher is draining as well as it should, and draining pasta involves raising it way up above the bottom of the sink to avoid backwash. I hate old people plumbing!

            1. re: EWSflash

              Old people plumbing? That's a new one. I don't like when I have a minor house repair and I'm too lazy to learn how and then fix it my self.

          2. Lots has a good idea, also take a look at the drain pipes. I will bet $$$ they are horizontal, causing your suds need some slope. Java has the best solution, tho I've only seen twin traps once. Cheap fix if you have the room, and the suds thing really bugs you

            1. Thanks for your suggestions everyone. I had a look under the sink yesterday and yep, the pipes are joined and are horizontal. I guess I'll just have to learn to live with it! Damn suds!