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How to Remove a Solidified Grease Clog from Your Drains

Every home in the country has a drainage system that works to eliminate waste, and your waste system will work well unless you start pouring materials down the drain that end up clogging the pipes. Grease is one of these clogging materials, and it is difficult to remove grease if you have made the mistake of pouring it down your drain. Fortunately, it is not impossible to release it. Keep reading to learn about some things you can try before you call your local plumber and schedule a drain cleaning.

Use Enzyme Solutions

Certain types of grease and oil will typically move through your drains, and these materials include vegetable-based oils. However, animal fats will solidify at room temperature and congeal on the sides of your drain pipes. The oils that will typically congeal are the ones that are made up of saturated fat. This type of fat will contain molecules that lie flat and rigid. However, the molecules will vibrate and move as they become heated. This means that you can sometimes liquefy the grease and help it move through the drainage pipes. Try to pour some boiling water down the drains to see if this helps.

If your drains are fully clogged and congested with grease, then boiling water will typically cause only a portion of the clog to liquify. The liquid grease will be unable to move past the solidified grease that sits behind it, and the grease will cool down and solidify in place once again. If drainage does not improve after you pour the hot water down the drain, then you likely have a large and solid clog. 

To release a solid clog, purchase an enzymatic cleaner that is made specifically to eat through grease at your local home-improvement store. These cleaners contain enzymes and bacteria. The lipase enzyme in the cleaner helps to break down the fats into small pieces, and the bacteria then eat the broken-up fat. Typically, the cleaner will need to be mixed with warm water to be activated. You can pour the material down the drain afterward. The bacteria will multiply and eventually eat through the entire grease clog. However, it can take some time for this to happen. You should expect to wait several hours to a full day for the drain to clear before you can use it normally.

Try a Snake with a Grease Cutter

If you do not want to use an enzymatic cleaner or if the cleaner does not remove the clog, then you can try to physically break up the grease so it can be washed down the drain. A drain snake can do this, so purchase one from your local home store. You should buy an auger that allows you to change the head of the device and a cutting head for the tool as well. 

There are several different types of cutting heads that you can buy for your drain snake. For grease removal, you want something called a u-cutter or a side cutter header. These attachments look like claws with saw blades on the sides of the claw. As the snake is moved into the drain, the head cuts away at the grease and releases it from the sides of the plumbing pipes. The grease can then be flushed down the drain.

To make sure all the grease is completely flushed away after the cutter head clears the clog, turn on your hot water for about 10 minutes. This will force the grease into the main sewer line so it cannot solidify inside your pipes and cause a new clog. If for some reason the cutting heads do not release the grease, try using a boring, spear, or arrow-head attachment. If these heads do not work, then you probably need to make a professional drain-cleaning appointment with a company like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.