How to Remove and Install a Kitchen Sink Strainer

Applying kneaded plumber's putty around hole in sink.
Applying kneaded plumber’s putty around hole in sink.

Step #4: Apply Plumber’s Putty to Sink

After the sink and strainer are clean and dry, scoop out a golf ball sized glob of plumber’s putty, and knead it with your hands for several minutes to warm and soften it.

Once the putty is soft, use a back and forth motion with you hands to roll it into a rope of putty half an inch in diameter that’s long enough to go around the strainer opening in the sink.

Apply the putty around the sink opening, pressing it down in place. Insert the strainer in the sink opening, and press it firmly down so that putty oozes out all around it.


  1. I removed excess putty from the bottom of the sink opening and strainer. However as I tightened the locknut washer some putty eventually came out between the sink and the top of the rubber gasket… when I used less of the putty (an earlier attempt) there wasn’t enough and water eventually leaked from that area. This might fail, too. Frustrating.

    • Katherine,
      Plumber’s putty should squeeze out all around the sink strainer when you tighten up the locknut. A little of the putty may continue to ooze out for a time, but it can be easily wiped off.

  2. Yes, I understand the putty squeezing out around the top of the strainer, but should any come out under the sink, around the gasket(s)?

    • Katherine,
      Putty didn’t squeeze out around the gasket under the sink when I replaced mine, but it should still seal OK if it does.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here