While you most likely know that grease can be one of the main causes for kitchen clogs, you may not know how complicated the issue of plumbing and grease can be. Below are five things every homeowner should know about drains and grease.
Grease Does Not Only Come From Meat
One of the most common culprits for grease clogs is grease from meat, especially bacon or other meats that release large amounts of grease when fried. However, grease build-up can be caused by several types of fats and oils. Butter, lard, or any oil that is solid at room temperature can cause clogs. Additionally, oils that are liquid at room temperature can cause food to stick in your drain.
To avoid clogs, make sure to throw any excess food that was cooked with any type of fat or oil into your trash can as opposed to your sink. Additionally, give your plates and cooking pots a quick wipe with a paper towel to remove excess fats before washing them.
Your Kitchen Sink Is Not The Only Source Of Grease In Your System
When you think of grease clogs, you probably think of what you put down your kitchen sink. However, other drain lines can get clogged with grease as well. Your dishwasher drain line, your washing machine drain line, and your toilet drain line can all suffer from grease buildup. It is important that you consider all of the items that go into these drain lines and use degreaser when appropriate. For example, spraying a degreaser on your clothing can prevent grease clogs after your washing machine.
You May Be Able to Recycle or Compost Your Oils
If you do not feel comfortable throwing away large amounts of grease or oil, you should consider contacting your local recycling company to see if they have a program in place to recycle used oils. Many cities recycle cooking oils into bio-fuels or soaps.
If you have a small quantity of oil that has not been used to cook meat, cheese, or fish, you can generally add it to your compost bin. Alternatively, cooking oils that are solid at room temperature can be used to make fat ball bird feeders. This involves mixing birdseed with some fat, allowing it to harden, and then hanging it from a tree in your yard.
Removing Grease Monthly Will Help Prevent Clogs
Despite your best efforts, if you cook with fats it is likely that you will eventually have some grease make it down your drains. You can clean your drains monthly to prevent grease from building up and causing a clog. To do this, you should mix equal parts boiling water with vinegar and pour it down your drain. The heat from the water will soften the grease and the vinegar will help eat away at the grease. After a few minutes, you should pour a pot of plain boiling water down your drain to rinse away the grease and vinegar.
If your kitchen pipes are PEX as opposed to metal, you may want to use nearly boiling water as opposed to fully boiling water to prevent unnecessary damage to your pipes.
Some Drains Benefit From The Addition Of Oil
Although fats and oils should generally be avoiding in your pipes, there is one circumstance when a bit of vegetable oil can help protect your pipes. If you have a drain that you use rarely, the drain can dry out, become rough, and begin to stink. To prevent this, you should regularly flush all of your drains with water. However, if you will be away for a long period of time, a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil can help keep your drains moist and prevent damage from drying out.
If your drains have become clogged from grease, contact a company like Backlund Plumbing to address the problem.