How to Unclog a Grease Clogged Drain

How to Unclog a Grease Clogged Drain

Our kitchen sinks see quite a lot of use throughout the day. Whether it’s our go-to place to wash our hands right before eating dinner or cleaning up pans and plates after a deliciously hearty breakfast.

Depending on how our homes are laid out, we might even wash the dirt off our hands and freshly plucked, home grown veggies after an hour in the garden. We use our kitchen sinks for cooking, cleaning our dishes and so much more. So, it’s no wonder that the kitchen sink can get clogged up.

However, the clogs we find aren’t always made up out of food scraps; occasionally, you might find that the drain’s got a layer of grease sticking to your tools. A sink clogged with grease can be harder to clean than many ordinary clogs, with any attempts more than likely being somewhat temporary until the grease builds back up again. 

If you properly want to unclog it, looking into how to unclog a grease clogged drain is the most important step.

To help you figure out how to unclog your kitchen sink grease clog, we’ve collected some of the main methods you can use to do it at home. If you find that the clog is far deeper into your plumbing than you expected, call Clover Contracting. One of our highly professional plumbers will be there as soon as possible to help.

What can cause grease?

To many people, grease is often caused by fat and oils that solidify after being chilled enough. The thick, congealed layers of food oils can stick to surfaces and leave behind residues if it isn’t properly removed, eventually leading to a kitchen sink clogged with grease. 

What people don’t fully realize is that grease – and thus, your sink clogged with grease – can also be created by more than just oils and cooked food fats. 


Though this might be new news to some people, many of the soaps that are available on the market today are made out of either vegetable or animal fats. 

Much like the oils and fats that food often leaves behind, the remaining fats from your soap can clump up after the cleaning agents have been washed away. That leaves you with a smelly mixture of fermenting food scraps and the soap’s fats clumped together into a kitchen sink grease clog in your drain.

Food Scraps

It’s true. A lot of the food scraps, oils and fats you wash down the drain after cooking can cause your sink to clog up. Even if you accidentally send some tiny bits of vegetable peels and a bit of oil from a quick fry, it can all build up over time. But it isn’t only just the fats and fibrous veggie peels that can cause the clog. Surprisingly, coffee grounds, eggshells, tiny bits of meat and dairy products can lead to a sink clogged with grease and future clogs.

How to drain a sink clogged with grease like a pro

There are many different ways you can start cleaning up a sink clogged with grease, some of these ways using the very materials that’s found in your own kitchen. There are also stronger chemical-based cleaners available on the market that can be used instead, if you feel that homemade cleaners don’t work. If none of these work, you can always call Clover Contracting to help.

Use a plunger on your drain

One of the most classic methods of dealing with a clog is to simply use a plunger. Though it will need a bit more muscle to get rid of the clog, it should be just as effective. Before you do start using the plunger, however, turn the tap on for a few seconds if you haven’t already. This can help dislodge the clog. Do be aware that plungers are a shorter term fix when dealing with a kitchen sink grease clog.

Use boiling water 

Boiling water can be one of the most effective methods to get rid of grease clogged drain. However, before you go ahead and loosen the clog with a pot of freshly boiled pot of water, make sure that your plumbing pipes are completely metal. If they’re made of plastic or PVC, don’t use the boiling water since there’s a high chance that the water will weaken the joints and the pipes.

Hot water and vinegar

One great method of cleaning the grease out of your kitchen drain is to use hot water and vinegar. If your pipes are metal, the heat from the water would be enough to loosen up the fats and grease in the clog while the vinegar scours the residual grease left behind. Together, the 50:50 mixture washes the grease clog away quite effectively. Many people often say this method works just as well as a commercial cleaner.

Commercial drain cleaners

If none of the above methods seem to work quite as well and you’re faced with a really bad clog, using commercial grain cleaners are a good idea. In order to be properly effective, a rather generous amount of a caustic drain cleaner should be added into your sink that’s filled with standing water. 

As the cleaner sinks low enough to get to the clog, it clears out the grease and washes it further down. After roughly an hour, the drain cleaner should have done its job.

A denser clog, on the other hand, is likely to need more of the cleaner to work. The process is quite similar, though instead of waiting an hour, it’s best to let the cleaner sit overnight. In both cases, after the drain cleaner has worked through the clog, pour a mix of dishwashing soap and warm water into the drain to wash away any remnants.


Properly unclogging a sink clogged with grease is important. With the right cleaners or materials, getting rid of the grease can reduce the chances of further clogs from happening. Instead of tossing food scraps and bits of congealed oils or fats down the drain, throw them into your garbage instead. Investing in a fat trap catcher can also further reduce the chances of grease clogs. 

But if you do eventually get a grease clog in your plumbing that’s too deep to clean yourself, or if you need some other plumbing work done, call Clover Contracting.

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