What Dissolves Grease in a Drain?

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What Dissolves Grease in a Drain?
Dissolve grease in your sink drain with common household materials. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Grease commonly causes clogs in kitchen sinks. Running hot water down the sink drain after you pour grease down it can help prevent the grease from building up, but sometimes the grease can still become clogged in the drain. Grease clings to the inside of pipe drains and it will continue to build until a clog forms. Items around your home are safe to use and can effectively remove clogs. If the clog does not budge, you may need to resort to chemicals to aid you in the removal process.

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Baking Soda and Vinegar

Remove any standing water in the sink. Dry the sink to remove the excess moisture. Pour 3/4 cup of baking soda into the clogged sink drain. Pour 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar down the drain slowly and plug the drain with a washcloth or drain stopper. Allow the solution to sit in the drain for 30 minutes to loosen the grease. Remove the washcloth or drain stopper and pour 1 gallon of boiling hot water down the drain to remove any remaining grease. Turn the hot water on to flush the sink drain to determine if the clog remains.

Hot Water and Salt

Remove standing water from the sink. Combine 1/2 cup of salt with 1 cup of hot water. Stir the water until the salt dissolves completely. Pour the mixture down the sink drain and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Run hot water down the drain to determine if the grease remains clogged in the drain. Repeat the process until you remove the grease from the drain completely.

Boiling Water

Remove standing water in the sink. Fill a large cooking pot with water. Bring the water to a boil on the hob. Remove the boiling water carefully to prevent burning your skin. Pour the boiling water down the sink drain carefully so that it does not splash onto your skin. Insert a washcloth into the sink hole. Fill the sink with enough water to cover the plunger. Place a plunger over the sink hole and press it up and down quickly to loosen the clog in the sink. Run hot water down the sink drain to determine if you removed the clog. Repeat the process until you remove the clog.


Remove the sink trap. Insert a plumbing snake into the sink drain carefully. Push the snake into the drain until it will not go any further into the drain. Push the snake down and up to loosen the grease in the pipe. Remove the plumbing snake and run cool water down the drain to rinse away the clogged grease. Replace the sink trap and reseal it with a pipe joint compound. Rinse the sink with hot soapy water to help dissolve the grease. Repeat the process until the sink drains completely.

Commercial Drain Cleaners

Purchase a commercial drain cleaner from your local retail store. While chemical drain cleaners are not safe for the environment, you can use them as a last resort to remove clogs from drains. Always open the windows and doors to ventilate the room. Always read the directions on the drain cleaner to ensure that you use it properly. Drain cleaners are caustic and can cause injury to people and pets. Always wear gloves, masks and goggles when handling the cleaners to protect your health. If you still have difficulty removing the clog, consult your plumber to aid you in removing the grease from the sink drain. Never mix drain cleaner chemicals because a lethal reaction can occur.

(See Reference 2) (See Reference 3)

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