If there’s one thing every homeowner should know, it’s that grease does not belong down the drain. Even pouring a small amount of bacon grease or used cooking oil into the kitchen sink can cause plumbing woes. Let’s explore the problems with pouring grease down the drain and what you should do with it instead.
Why Grease and Drains Don’t Mix
It’s a common misconception that pouring grease down the drain is okay if you run hot water and pour dish soap after it. In reality, grease should never go down the drain. Even if it’s hot and easy to pour out of the pan, it will eventually cool and solidify somewhere in your plumbing. This causes a gummy, goopy mess to form along the pipe walls, trapping other debris that flows down the drain. Over time, the resulting clogs could bring your drains to a standstill.
Even if the grease makes it past your home’s plumbing system, it continues to wreak havoc in the municipal sewer system. Some cities spend millions of dollars a year addressing damaged sewer systems and clearing out masses of solid waste—obstacles the industry calls “fatbergs,” which are named for the cooking oil and grease that hold the obstructions together. By never pouring grease down the drain, you can help prevent clogs and other plumbing problems further down the line.
How to Dispose of Cooking Grease
A convenient, mess-free way to dispose of cooking grease is to pour it into an empty jar, can, or other container. Screw the lid onto the jar, or wait for the grease to cool and harden in the can. Then, throw it in the trash.
You can also wait for the grease to solidify in the pan and then wipe it out with paper towels, which you should then throw away. To prevent your garbage can from getting smelly, be sure to empty it shortly after disposing of the oil or grease.
Too Late—I Already Poured Grease Down the Drain
Many people only find out about the problems with grease in the plumbing system after it’s too late. If you’ve already poured grease down the drain, you can try the hot water and dish soap trick as a temporary solution that may remove the thickest part of the clog. However, if you’ve been disposing of grease in your kitchen sink for years, you may need help from a plumber. A professional has the tools necessary to unclog your drain thoroughly so it flows freely once more.
Schedule Drain Cleaning in San Jose
Mike Counsil Plumbing and Rooter uses advanced techniques to clear stubborn grease clogs, including motorized augers and hydro jetting. With a history dating back to 1994, you know you can trust our team to deliver the highest quality plumbing work. After all, we know that great service isn’t just about clearing your pipes—it’s also about ensuring your complete satisfaction. To schedule drain cleaning in San Jose, CA, please call 408-618-8002 or contact us online.