How to Prevent Drain Clogs

Don’t tell anyone we said so, but there are numerous ways to block a sink or toilet. You’ve probably managed to accomplish that a few times yourself, maybe even with the able assistance of your kids.

Frying on the pan

Well, today’s lesson on preventing drain blockages focuses squarely (or roundly) on fats, oils, and grease – the remnants of a cooked meal.  That wondrous combination of drain glue even has its own acronym:  FOG.

Fatty, oily, or greasy food is no picnic for your body, either. But at least the human body can break down some of them. Sewers aren’t nearly as successful. Instead, the FOG elements stick to the pipes and pile on top of each other, ever-narrowing the amount of space for water to squeeze by. At first, you’ll notice a slow-moving drain. If you ignore the symptom, eventually you’ll be left with a clogged drain. As Mr. Andrews (the shipbuilder) stated in James Cameron’s Titanic, “it’s a mathematical certainty.”

FOG to Keep Out of Your Drains

Just to be clear on what we’re talking about, here’s a hit list of FOG offenders:

Fats (solid at room temperature)

  • Butter, shortening, & margarine
  • Peanut butter
  • Meat trimming
  • Uncooked poultry skin
  • Dairy products, including cheese, milk & sour cream

Oils (liquid at room temperature)

  • Vegetable oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Corn oil
  • Salad dressings

Grease (turns to liquid during cooking, but solidifies when cooled)

  • Gravy
  • Mayonnaise
  • Melted meat fat
  • Bacon and sausage
  • Boiled poultry skin

How to Lose the FOG

For happy, healthy sink drains, we recommend the following:

  • Dispose of fats in your trash
  • Pour oils and grease into a lidded container and toss that in the trash, too
  • Reduce the amount of FOG by dry wiping your dishes to get rid of small scraps of food and traces of oils and grease

And yet, no matter how careful you might be, sooner or later you’re bound to experience a clogged blocked drain problem, and one you can unblock on your own. That’s when it’s time to contact Mike’s Plumbing & Heating, your well-equipped sewer and drain cleaning resource. We also offer drain repair and replacement services, just in case such measures are called for.