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Cooking Fat Causes Blocked Drains

Why You Shouldn’t Pour Fats and Oils Down the Drain

There are some things that should never go down your drain. Some of the worst offenders are oils, greases, and fats. These items can severely clog up your pipes, leaving you with costly repairs. If your sewage pipe gets backed up, you can be left with a smelly, difficult-to-clean mess in your basement or yard. Since fats and oils are also difficult to remove from the water system, they also harm the environment.

While the best solution to clogged drains is prevention— which you can read about here, the following article was written because we have had a large number of people call us because they poured cooking fat and oils into the kitchen sink. This could have been prevented, along with a call out expense from the plumbers.

Why Fats and Oils Clog Your Pipes

Many oils and fats are solid at room temperature. Although they may be liquid when you pour them down the drain, eventually they will return to their solid form. As they solidify, they may pick up other items that have been flushed, like wipes and cotton balls, and form a large, solid mass that clogs your pipes. Even liquid fats cling to your pipes, creating a mess and eventually clogging your pipes.

As time goes on, they may restrict water flow or stop it completely. If the clog forms underneath your house or in any hard-to-reach area, it may be difficult to unclog. Since oils and fats travel some distance while in their liquid form, the clog may even end up in a city sewer line, causing a major backup for you and your neighbors.

What to Avoid Pouring Down the Drain

Items to avoid pouring down the drain include:

  • Salad dressing
  • Poultry skins
  • Peanut butter
  • Butter, shortening, and margarine
  • Grease and drippings from cooking meat
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cooking oils, including vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil, and corn oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Dairy products, including cheese, milk, cream, sour cream, and ice cream
  • Gravy

How to Properly Get Rid of Grease, Oil, and Fats

For further reading, please refer to more tips on how to unclog a pipe without harsh chemicals.

To dispose of fats that solidify, let them cool down and then throw them out with the household garbage. You can put them in the refrigerator or freezer to get them to cool down faster.

If you’re working with greasy pots and pans, let them cool down, and then wipe them out with a paper towel to get rid of the grease. You can do the same with dishes after a greasy meal.

If you’ve been working with a deep fat fryer, or anything else that uses a lot of oil, first let the oil cool down, then pour or scrape it into a disposable container. Empty butter containers or other food containers work well.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the fat or grease, make sure the container is sealed, and then throw it away. Make sure that the fat, oil, or grease you’re getting rid of has completely cooled before throwing it away. Hot fat can put a hole in your trash can liners and leave a big mess.

Some communities also offer special recycling programs for cooking oil.

If you’re concerned that your pipes are already clogged, contact Staggs Plumbing today. We can examine your pipes for clogs and provide a solution that will get your pipes flowing again. For over 25 years we have been serving the DFW metroplex area fixing clogged and backed up drains.