Throughout your life, you’ve probably heard warnings about pouring cooking oil and grease down your home’s drains. Many of our customers ask us if there’s any truth to these warnings and if it’s still okay to dump grease down the drain if you flush the drain with hot, soapy water afterward.
Grease is a terrible clog-causer, and despite your best efforts to rinse it through your home’s plumbing, you’re unlikely to be successful.
What Happens When You Pour Grease Down Your Drains
Grease might seem harmless enough when it’s still in liquid form. However, the farther it travels through your pipes, the more time it has to cool off and get stuck in the other grime and substances lining the drain pipe walls, such as hair, soap scum, dead skin, and sediment.
Over time, layers upon layers of grease can accumulate to form clogs. Clogs can cause multiple problems for your home, which include:
- Water that takes a long time to drain
- Foul odors that attract flies and other pests
- Sewage that backs up into your sinks, bathtubs, or showers when someone flushes the toilet or runs the dishwasher
- Leaks caused by built-up pressure behind a clog
- Pipe material weakened by acidic standing water that’s trapped by a clog
Unfortunately, grease clogs deep in your home’s plumbing are very stubborn and can be next to impossible to dislodge using a plunger or chemical drain cleaner. To clear the blockage, you’ll most likely need to involve a plumber to cable the drain or clean the pipes with a hydro jetter.
Tips for Dealing With Cooking Grease
Of course, once you’ve finished cooking and eating, the grease from your food has to go somewhere. It’s just better if it doesn’t end up down your drains.
Here are some tips for disposing of cooking grease and oil:
- Collect grease in a sealed jar to dispose of later.
- When you’ve collected a large amount of grease, pour it into a foil-lined container and freeze it. Once the grease is frozen, you can easily remove it from the container (thanks to the foil) and toss it in your outdoor garbage can.
- Wipe as much grease as you can off of your dishes and cookware before washing them.
- Wash your greasy dishes and cookware with hot, soapy water to help break up any remaining grease.
- Once you’re done washing dishes, run steaming-hot water down your kitchen drain for about 10-15 seconds. This will help move any last grease globs along.