The next time you are doing the dishes, pay attention to what’s being washed down the drain. Letting waste flow down the kitchen sink (or any sink for that matter) can cause drain clogging and potentially lead to sewage spills that hurt the environment.
Fat, Oil and Grease
Fats, oils, and grease (aka FOG) should never be put down the drain or garbage disposal. Examples of FOG include bacon grease, pan drippings, cooking oil, gravy, butter or margarine, lard, shortening, mayonnaise, and salad dressings. Fatty substances like the ones mentioned here are the number one cause of drain clogging. They may go down the drain quickly in a liquid state, but as they travel through the pipes cool off, they turn into solid fats that coat the pipes. Over time the solid fats build up until you end up with a slow drain or a complete blockage. Instead of running water over your cookware to wash away grease and oil, wipe it away with a paper towel (or old cloth towels), and throw it away. If you use cooking oil, let it cool, recycle it or put it in a plastic bag and toss it in the trash.
Vegetable peels and large food particles that become trapped in the curved pipe under the sink are common causes of kitchen drain clogging. Food accumulation restricts flow in the pipes and can result in untreated wastewater backing up into homes and businesses (causing a costly repair). Using a strainer in the sink is the easiest way to catch small food waste.
Even with careful maintenance, clogged kitchen sinks can happen. If it’s a problem you can’t fix yourself, call a licensed plumber in your area. And Remember . . . putting it off will only make matters worse.