In 2018, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Everyone Pours Bacon Fat Down the Drain, Everyone Lies About It”. I think you all know this to be the truth (and you all lie about it 😉).
The one thing we all know but ignore, is that cooking oils WILL one day clog your drains. Let me tell you, as someone who deals with this stuff every day, a grease clog is not just any, easy to clear blockage in the drain. It isn’t uncommon for that grease clog in the pipes to be 10 feet long or longer, rendering our regular drain snakes useless. In many cases, we need to call in the big guns – a high pressure drain jetter, which can often cost you $750-$1000 or more!
Let’s talk about WHY grease causes such terror in your drains:
Grease Hardens. We all know that grease is only in liquid form while it is hot. Unfortunately, we don’t think about what happens to it when it flows down the drain. Even when running hot water behind it, grease will stick to the walls of the drains and harden. Once it’s there, it’s there. No amount of boiling water, baking soda and vinegar, or other home remedies will clear it.
Grease is Sticky. Not only does grease stick to your pipes, it sticks to everything else already in your drains as well. It is inevitable that when pouring cooking fats down the drain that it will stick to other debris and build up over time. Worse than that, not only does grease stick to things, things stick to grease! The next time you rinse your dishes, a little bit of that food will stick to the grease; then the cycle continues, until you call me!
It Doesn’t Go Anywhere. Grease itself WILL break down over time. However, what it breaks down into causes problems that are even worse. Those fatty acids and glycerol interact with calcium found in the drains. This is the worst-case scenario. When this happens, the new product is a hard, soap like material that cannot be cleared (and is all too common). This material can be so hard that sections of drain may need to be cut out and replaced altogether!
As the article says, we all lie about putting cooking grease down our drains. This week, I just hope I’ve scared you enough to think twice about it next time. Keep me in mind, giving you a stern “tsk tsk” and wagging my finger at you as you inevitably do it tonight cleaning up after dinner 😊.