There are all kinds of things that really should not go down a kitchen drain but one of the biggest no-nos, even if you have a garbage disposal is fatty grease. You know, the kind you might have left in the pan after frying up some yummy bacon.
Why is grease such a problem? Because often rather than going straight down the drain it hardens and clings to the sides of the drain pipe. Do it often enough and you’ll end up with a clogged pipe. If everyone in your neighbourhood does it it can even eventually lead to clogged sewer pipes.
Preventing Greasy Drain Pipes
What’s the best way to keep grease out of your drain and yet still actually cook and eat all the foods you love? Many people think that garbage disposals remove grease, but it’s not true. To avoid grease getting in your drain:
• Make sure you scrape greasy foods off your plates into the garbage can instead of your garbage disposal. You should also use a strainer in all of your sink drains so that greasy leftovers don’t accidentally slide in.
• For cooking grease, let it solidify in the pan, then throw the solid waste into the garbage can.
If you create a lot of grease at one time, like when you use a deep fryer, this oil should be collected and then taken to a collection facility where it is usually accepted for free. A tallow company typically picks up this cooking oil and then recycles it.
Accidental Grease Spills
What if, despite your best efforts, you accidentally get grease in your drain?
Well, one spill isn’t going to cause your pipes to clog but it is better to be safe than sorry (and standing in a kitchen full of water at some point because a clogged sink overflowed.) In this case it’s always a good idea to boil some water and then pour it down the drain regularly. This will help to turn the grease from a solid back into a liquid so that it will move along smoothly as it should. By adding vinegar and baking soda to the boiling water you’ll break the fats down and make your drains smell fresher too.
Dealing with a Grease Clog
It’s pretty easy to tell if grease is starting to clog your pipes. You’ll see that the water is draining slowly. There may also be a gurgling sound as it flows through the pipes. And there may be bad smells coming from the drain. This can indicate a grease clog just waiting to cause a problem.
If there is a small clog often the baking soda and boiling water trick will solve the issue. If that does not work you can try (gently) plunging the clog away. Should that fail don’t be tempted to waste your cash on drain unclogging potions. They often do not work, are not designed for grease removal anyway and may contain chemicals that harm your pipes (or you!) Instead call the plumber to have them degunk your pipe properly. Yes it’s an extra expense you could probably live without, but better to live with that than the headaches and hassles a water damage incident as a result of an ignored clogged drain pipe can bring.