How to Clean Grease Out of Sink Drains

Yellow sponge in a sink with brown grease residue visible on the sponge and in the sink

Clogged drains are one of the most common problems people deal with when it comes to kitchen sinks, and it’s often due to grease collecting in the sink drain. This can be a real headache, resulting in standing water, messes, and unpleasant odors. If you’re dealing with this problem, here are some tips to help you clear grease out of your drains.

How to Tell if You Have a Grease Clog in a Drain

If your drain is clogged, how can you tell if you have a grease clog in the drain? There are a few ways to tell. First, think about your cooking habits in the kitchen. Do you often pour cooking fats or grease down your drain rather than disposing of it in the garbage? If that sounds like you, there’s probably a plug of congealed grease clogging up your drain.

Even if you don’t directly pour oils into your drain, a grease clog can be the byproduct of everyday cooking. If you cook with a lot of meats or dairy products, there’s fat in those foods. When you wash your pans and dishes, those fats get washed down the drain. Over time, these little bits of oils and fats will collect and eventually clog the drain.

If your drain is clogged with grease, you might notice these things:

  • Gurgling noises when the water tries to drain.
  • Slow drainage, getting worse over time.
  • An unpleasant odor near your sink that doesn’t seem to go away. This will often be a rancid, rotten food type of smell.

Related Topic: Why You Should Never Pour Grease Down the Drain

The Best Ways to Clean Grease from Drains

Depending on the severity and location of the clog, there are some DIY options to clean grease from drains. If the clog is more severe or in a spot that’s not easily accessible, you might need to call a professional. Try these drain degreaser techniques first:

  • If you’re just starting to notice signs of a grease clog, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. This can often melt and dissolve grease in drain pipes.
  • For slightly tougher clogs, try a 50/50 mixture of boiling water and vinegar. For a little added kick, consider pouring a few tablespoons of baking soda down the drain first; the fizzing action can further help break up grease clogs.
  • Whichever boiling solution you try, follow it with plunging. This isn’t a long-term solution, but it will break up the grease clog enough for the water to drain.

If none of these suggestions work, the clog may be too far down (meaning that the boiling water cools by the time it gets to the clog and isn’t hot enough to melt the grease) or there’s just too much buildup. So how do you dissolve grease in a drain pipe when it’s so far down the pipe? This is the time to call a professional to get rid of the clog for you.

Drains Still Clogged? Call In the Pros

Clogged kitchen drains are a common issue for homeowners, and grease clogs are often the culprit. If trying a few DIY solutions doesn’t get your sink running smoothly again, it’s time to call in the pros. Your local Mr. Rooter Plumbing uses HydroScrub® Jetting to disperse and clear the clog quickly. To get started call us or request an estimate online.