A clogged drain is a pain, and grease is one of the worst culprits for clogs. There is a lot of advice out there about the best way to clear grease from a kitchen drain, but some methods definitely work better than others. Here are our best tips for clearing a grease clog.
Tips for Keeping Kitchen Drains Clear
Prevention is much easier than dealing with a grease clog. The easiest way to ensure you’ll never have to deal with a grease clog is to avoid pouring grease, fats, and oils down your drain in the first place.
- Pour cooking oil or grease into a disposable container such as an empty jar or can. Keep this container in your refrigerator, and pour any grease into it as you cook. Once the container is full, toss it in the trash.
- Wipe pots, pans, or other cookware with a paper towel before washing them in the sink.
- If you’d rather not use paper towels, sprinkle flour into the pot or pan and allow it to soak up the grease. Then dump the flour into the garbage before washing the dishes.
How to Tell if Your Drain is Clogged with Grease
How do you know the clog in your drain is from grease and not something else? There are a few ways to tell if you have a grease clog, including foul odors from your drain that don’t go away, no matter what you do, and gurgling sounds when water runs through the drain.
How to Clean Grease Out of Sink Drain
Once you’ve determined that it’s a grease clog that you’re dealing with, it’s time to get to work. You might be tempted to reach for a plunger. Don’t do it. Step away from the plunger! At best, it won’t do anything; at worst, it will push the clog deeper into your drain, making it even harder to clear. Here’s what to do instead.
Step 1: Prep the Sink
If the sink is full of water, scoop out as much as possible with a bowl or cup. Pull on rubber gloves, if you have them, and clear any food or other debris that may have collected in the drain.
Step 2: The Best Drain Cleaner for Grease Buildup
Many homeowners wondering what dissolves fat in drains overlook the most straightforward solution: Dish soap! Dish soap is specifically made to break up grease. Put that grease-fighting action to work on your clog. Pour some dish soap down your drain and follow it up by pouring a kettle’s worth of boiling water down after it. Give the water a few minutes to work – hopefully, the water will start draining. Follow it with another kettle of boiling water, and then run hot water from your faucet for a few minutes. This will flush the broken-up grease out of your system completely.
If you don’t follow up with this flushing step, the chances are more likely that the grease will re-collect further down in your system. So, let the water run for three to five minutes or so, to be sure.
Related Content: Drain Maintenance: How to Keep Drains from Clogging
Step 3: Keep the Drain Clear with Regular Treatments
In addition to avoiding pouring grease into your drains, you can keep them clear by giving them a baking soda and vinegar treatment every couple of weeks.
- Pour half of a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half of a cup of vinegar.
- Let the mixture work for ten to fifteen minutes.
- Pour a few cups of boiling water down the drain to rinse it clean.
In addition to helping to keep your drains clear of grease and other clogs, this treatment also deodorizes your drains, eliminating any odors from your kitchen plumbing.
Commonly Asked Questions About Grease Removal from a Sink Drain
Q: What will dissolve grease in a drain?
A: There’s a lot of debate about what substances will actually remove the grease from your drain for good. One of the best home remedies for grease-clogged drains is a 50:50 mix of white cleaning vinegar and hot water. Another is to use dish soap and hot water.
Q: Can you put a degreaser down a drain?
A: Most plumbers will advise against using commercial degreasers because while they may break up clogs, they’re not good for your septic system or pipes. The harsh chemicals in these degreasers can kill off the good bacteria in your septic system and cause harmful bacteria to build up, which may result in a backup.