Say no to cooking oils in your sink

Have you ever used a hosepipe and had it twist so that the water either slows down to a trickle or stops?

Well that’s like what pouring oil and grease down your kitchen sink or drain is doing. And over time it can lead to significant damage and associated cost to your property and your local sewers and infrastructure.


Because that cooking oil and grease solidifies inside the pipes. This leads to restrictions and pipe blockages, both of which can cause bad smells and backed-up waste water. Not much fun!

But the good news is that it can easily be avoided and we’re going to share how below.

What not to do
The most common way people try to combat the situation after blocking a drain with cooking oil or grease down is by running hot water and detergent down the drain either at the same time or immediately after each other.

What’s wrong with that?

The heat only melts the solidified oil and grease for a short time. Therefore, the oil and grease re-solidifies further down the pipe. This really only displaces the hazard and most likely makes it harder and more expensive to fix when a professional plumber is called.

Worse still, some people regularly use drain cleaners and chemicals. Not only are these an environmental disaster, but the inherently corrosive nature of these products can cause damage to the pipes and joints too. So the ‘quick fix’ for a blocked drain could actually be causing more damage and more cost.

What are the best options?
Prevention is the best cure i.e. don’t pour cooking oils and grease down the drain. But let’s assume you do have a blocked sink or drain. How best to deal with that?

Rather than using commercial drain cleaners you can opt for a less corrosive natural drain cleaning option such as baking soda and white vinegar. When combined, these products help to dissolve fatty acids and clear sink blockages.

Try this method:

  1. ½ cup of baking soda – pour it into the drain/sink plughole
  2. ½ cup of white vinegar – pour it down the same drain/sink plughole
  3. Leave for 10 minutes – let it fizz
  4. Pour a kettle-full of boiling water down to flush it all away

How should you dispose of cooking oil?
By now we’re sure it’s clear that you never flush cooking oil down your sinks, toilets or drains.

Instead, a great option is to pour the cooking oil and/or grease into a container. Once it cools and solidifies you can simply scrape it into your waste bin.

Alternately, some recycling centres collect cooking oil and grease. There are many uses for it such as making alternative fuels, ingredients for pet foods and even cosmetics.

Handy Hint: Another little trick is to wipe out excess cooking oil and grease from your pans using paper towels. Doing so will reduce the amount of pipe-clogging sludge that goes down your drains!

Contact Parrish Plumbing if you need a hand
Our professional plumbers are based up and down the NSW South Coast and are available 24 hours a day. So if you need help to clear you blocked drains, just give us a call any time, day or night.



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