Can I Put Grease Down My Sink?

At Rapid Rooter Plumbing, one of the most frequently asked questions we get from homeowners is whether it’s okay to pour grease down the sink. The short answer is no, and here’s why.

Why You Shouldn't Pour Grease Down the Sink

Pouring grease, fats, and oils down your sink might seem harmless, especially when they are in liquid form. However, this common practice can lead to significant plumbing issues. When grease cools, it solidifies and adheres to the walls of your pipes. Over time, this buildup can restrict water flow and cause severe blockages.

The Science Behind Grease Solidification

Grease, like other fats and oils, changes its state based on temperature. When you pour hot grease down the sink, it may flow easily in its liquid state. However, as it cools, it solidifies. Even if you run hot water afterward, the grease can still solidify further down your plumbing system where the water temperature drops. Here are a few key points to consider:

  1. Temperature Change: When hot grease is poured down the drain, it cools and turns solid, sticking to the pipe walls.
  2. Layering Effect: Each time you pour grease down the drain, it adds to the existing layer of solidified grease, gradually narrowing the pipe.
  3. Fatbergs: In severe cases, grease can combine with other debris in the sewer system to form large, solid masses known as fatbergs, which can cause major blockages and sewer backups.

Common Myths About Grease Disposal

  1. Hot Water and Soap: Some people believe that flushing grease with hot water and soap will prevent it from solidifying. While this may help temporarily, it does not solve the problem. The grease will still solidify further down the pipes.
  2. Garbage Disposals: A garbage disposal does not solve the problem of grease buildup. While it can break down solid food particles, it cannot prevent grease from adhering to your pipes.

Safe Disposal Methods for Grease

To avoid costly plumbing repairs and protect your pipes, follow these safe disposal methods for grease:

  1. Collect and Dispose: Pour grease into a heat-resistant container, such as an empty can or a glass jar. Once it cools and solidifies, dispose of it in the trash.
  2. Wipe and Toss: For smaller amounts of grease left in pans, wipe the pan with a paper towel and dispose of the towel in the trash.
  3. Use Grease Traps: If you generate a significant amount of grease, consider installing a grease trap. These devices are designed to capture grease before it enters your plumbing system.

Regular Maintenance to Prevent Grease Buildup

Even with careful disposal, some grease might still make its way into your plumbing system. Regular maintenance can help prevent significant issues:

  • Routine Cleaning: Schedule regular cleaning of your pipes to remove any grease buildup before it becomes a problem.


Pouring grease down the sink can lead to serious plumbing problems due to the solidification of grease when it cools. This practice can cause blockages, restrict water flow, and even contribute to fatbergs in the sewer system. To protect your plumbing and avoid costly repairs, always dispose of grease properly and consider regular maintenance. At Rapid Rooter Plumbing, we are here to help you keep your plumbing system in top condition. If you have any questions or need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Picture of washing cooking grease down a kitchen sink.

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