Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are natural byproducts of our food. But meats, dairy products, coconut, olive, and other oils, butter, margarine, lard, sauces, gravies, and creams all contribute to clogged drains. In turn, drain blockages can lead to overflows and backups in your home or yard.
Keep Drain Lines Clear
As in human arteries, these fats slowly build up over time, lining the pipes and then eventually blocking the pathways. Below are recommendations to keep your drain pipes clog-free:
- Pour fats, oils, and grease into empty cans or jars, allow the liquid to cool and solidify, and then place the can or jar in the garbage. Do not pour liquid fats, oil, and grease down the drain.
- Wipeout greasy pots and pans with paper towels or rags before washing. Put the towels or rags into the garbage.
- Put food waste into the compost bucket and not down the garbage disposal. Garbage disposals can’t process fats, oils, and grease. The disposal chops up small food particles, but cannot chop grease. The disposal blades may cut fat into smaller pieces temporarily, but the fats, oils, and grease clump back together.
- Running hot soapy water down the drain pushes oils and fats further down the pipes. The fats will eventually solidify, so it’s best practice to not put these down the drain line in the first place.
- Remember the toilet is a drain. Pouring fats, oils, or grease down the toilet isn’t better than pouring them down the kitchen sink. A toilet clog can back up into the house.
- Kitty litter is sometimes recommended to absorb grease and oils. If you use kitty litter this way, place the litter in the garbage can and not in the toilet. Kitty litter hardens into blockages that are difficult to clear. Even flushing the so-called ‘flushable’ kitty litter is asking for trouble.
- Recycle large quantities of used cooking oil. Per Seattle Public Utilities, pour large amounts of liquid oil into a container, close it with a lid, and placed it next to your recycling cart for curbside pickup. (Maximum two plastic, one-gallon containers with a screw-top per pickup.)
- Restaurants are required to install grease traps that must be periodically cleaned so that the fats, oils, and grease don’t clog their pipes.
Ignoring the FOG issue pushes the problem to the plumber, who will happily unclog your pipes. Further downstream, fats, oils, and grease are pushed to city utility workers. Our utility bills increase as more workers are needed to mitigate the FOG problem.
Contain FOG at their source and keep your drains flowing. Call Raymark Plumbing & Sewer when you need help with your plumbing, drain, or sewer lines: 206-440-9077.