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Grease accumulation inside the drain pipe is a common major problem in every home. Not only is this problem frustrating, but it may lead to significant expenses, foul odors and bust pipes if not rectified. When grease accumulates in your drain pipe, it reduces or blocks the flow of water completely, causes overflows and may lead to a bust pipe if the water pressure is high. While there are many solutions on the internet on how to drain your pipe, it is first important to understand the source of grease in your drain pipe and how it accumulates and later how it causes problems for you.

Sources of Grease

Simply, grease is fat or oil based, that is it comes from oily products that we either consume or use in our houses. Most of the products we consume such as dairy products, oil-/-fat based soaps, egg shells, meat leftovers, and some detergents contain oils. Anything that is consumed at home may be a potential source of grease. Even when you are a cautious person, you may not notice the grease as it flows down the drain pipe. For kitchen drains, washing dishes that a large amount of fats are the most important culprits. Bathroom grease will most come from soaps and detergents that are oil based. Most soaps and detergents are either made of vegetable oil or animal fat. When you use them, then it might lead to accumulation of grease in your drain pipe> although grease tends to buildup very slowly, a household with more than three individuals will likely to suffer grease buildup within short periods. This will become worse if members of your family prefer foods that are rich in fats or oils, and when cleaning your utensils, the oil emulsion is allowed to flow into the drain pipe. So in the long run, you will have a drain pipe that looks like the one below.

Grease in a drain pipe

So what should you do to prevent such buildup?

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure! Preventing grease from accumulating in your drain pipe is the key weapon against the struggles that accompany unblocking clogged greasy drain pipes. The following are preventive measures you can take to prevent grease from clogging your drains

Tip 1: Avoid Grease or Ditch it

Avoid draining any leftovers, fatty liquids into the drain. It is better to always wipe your utensils before you wash them to remove the grease and fats. I would not recommend using hot water to wash your grease utensils. Rather, you should first wipe the utensils and wash them with hot water. This method will ensure that only little grease goes into your drain pipe.

Tip 2: install stoppers to catch any debris

In most cases, grease combines with debris such as hair, food leftovers and other waste to form a layer that with time continues to catch and allow grease to accumulate in the drain pipe. Stoppers and mesh screens can catch any form of junk that might induce clogs in your drain. Always ensure that these screens and stoppers are removed and cleaned to avoid bad odors in the kitchen or in the bathroom

Tip 3:  Always Maintain your Drainage System

You have to regularly maintain your plumbing system. Always inspect your drain pipes once a month to detect any forms of grease accumulation. Also, always call a plumber to check the drainage system at least twice a year.  This will allow for timely detection of any grease accumulation that may lead to clogs in the future. If inspection is not carried in a timely fashion, there is a likelihood that you will realize there is trouble only when the symptoms of blockage such as slow flow of water emerge.

Tip 4: Use Cold and Hot Water Appropriately

Generally, hot water melts grease and fats, which encourage them to stick to the sides of the drain pipe. Overtime, the layer grows thicker leading to blockages. You should use hot water sparingly when cleaning greasy utensils. As I noted earlier, the best option is to wipe the greasy utensils first before cleaning. While most plumbers recommend that you use hotter than usual water, I wouldn’t recommend this. If the grease and fats reaches the sewerage system, they form fat bergs, like the famous London fat bergs, which have more dire consequences than clogged drain pipe, if they form in your septic tank.

Tip 5: Remove the grease mechanically

During your routine maintenance, you may notice that grease is starting to accumulate in your pipes. If you detect this problem, just use mechanical tools, such as a screw to detach the grease and remove it. You can also run hot water to remove the grease. Mechanical removal of grease is the most appropriate and the safest method.


Now that you know where grease comes from, it’s time to take preventive measures to control any buildup. In case of any clogs or buildups, you can use our recommended best drain cleaners for grease to assist you in clearing those greasy clogs.