< Go back to media room
Clogged sink prevention

Tips for Avoiding a Clogged Sink

a wrench on a sink

An Ounce of Prevention: Stop Sink Clogs Before They Happen

Many homeowners know the frustration caused by a clogged sink. When a sink is clogged, water won't drain down, making handwashing, cooking and cleaning impossible. While a clogged sink can be resolved with a plunger or harsh chemicals, the best thing to do is prevent clogs from happening in the first place. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

The tips below can help homeowners avoid common household sink clogs.

Do Not Pour Cooking Grease Down the Drain

a greasy pan

Although it is a liquid when hot, cooking grease is composed of fat. When the grease cools, this fat solidifies into a hard, waxy substance, which is why cooking grease should never go down the kitchen sink. The grease will cling to the drainpipe walls, cool into a wax-like film, catch other food waste particles and slowly reduce the pipe's diameter. Eventually, this will result in a total blockage.

There are better ways to get rid of cooking grease. Some people like to save it for use in other recipes or repurpose it into bird food, dog treats, fuel and even candles. Some vegetable-based grease can be composted in small quantities, but never compost animal fat grease, as it will encourage bacteria growth and attract vermin.

The best way to dispose of cooking grease is to let it harden in the pan and scrape it into the trash. If cooking grease does go down the drain, it should be flushed thoroughly with warm, soapy water.

Use Your Garbage Disposal Properly

garbage disposal

Garbage disposals are convenient appliances, designed to shred food waste into particles small enough to pass through the plumbing system of a home. But when misused, the garbage disposal can become blocked or cause clogs farther in the plumbing system.

To prevent this, bones, eggshells, coffee grounds, celery, and other stringy vegetables, seeds or nuts, potato peels, pasta, or grease should all never go down the disposal. 

When using the garbage disposal, it should always be flushed with cold water to keep the waste moving through the drain pipes. It's also good to periodically maintain the garbage disposal by pouring baking soda and vinegar into it. This foaming solution will dissolve grime buildup and keep the appliance smelling fresh and clean.

Prevent Clogged Sinks With Drain Stoppers

An effective method for preventing clogged sinks is to use drain stoppers. These devices can be made of plastic, rubber, silicone or metal, and come in various sizes to sit inside the drain openings of the home's sinks and tubs. Some can be closed to let the sink fill with water, and all are useful at catching hair, lint and debris. 

a working sink

To maintain their effectiveness, homeowners should clean the stoppers out once a week with a paper towel, discarding any solid waste into the trash. They should also clear the holes of soap residue and buildup with a basic household cleaner. 

These DIY tips will go a long way in preventing common household sink clogs, but hiring a plumber to do a professional drain cleaning once a year is what will really prevent future clogs deep inside a home's plumbing.

Get Help From Knight Plumbing, Inc.

With over 25 years in the plumbing industry, Knight Plumbing, Inc. is Milwaukee and Racine Counties' trusted choice for drain cleaning and clog repair. The licensed and friendly plumbers at Knight Plumbing, Inc. provide prompt, expert plumbing services backed by industry-leading warranties and guarantees.