When your kids are old enough to start cooking by themselves, they might flush things down the drain they shouldn't. When you're teaching your kids to cook, also explain how to deal with things like grease and food scraps. They may innocently think grease can go in the garbage disposal, but if they make a habit of pouring grease in the garbage disposal or drain, a clog will probably happen sooner or later. Here are some tips for clearing a grease clog and how to prevent one.

Methods For Clearing A Grease Clog

The problem with grease is that it hardens once it's in the drain. It may go in the drain warm and thin, but when it meets up with a cold pipe or cold water, the grease gets hard and attaches to the top or bottom of the drain and builds up over time. One way to work a grease clog loose is to pour hot water in the drain to melt the grease so it can slide on through. This may not eliminate the grease completely, but it might get rid of enough of it that your drains empty normally again.

Another thing to try is to pour vinegar down the drain. Vinegar has an acidic nature and it may help loosen the grease. Vinegar is a safe alternative to chemical drain cleaners that might cause injury to you or your drain. Alternate vinegar with hot water and try plunging in between to work the clog loose.

If you're lucky, the grease clog will pass on through, but it's also possible the grease won't budge. When that happens, call a plumber to bring in tools to clear the drain, such as an auger or a water jet. A water jet is especially good on grease clogs since the strong stream of water scrubs the sides of the drain to eliminate all the grease.

How To Prevent Future Grease Clogs

Once you've cleared a grease clog, you'll probably want to avoid repeating the experience. One thing you can do is keep a container by the stove to collect grease from cooking so you or your kids won't be tempted to pour the grease down the drain when you're in a hurry to wash the dishes. You could use a metal can with a lid to hold down odors and then throw the can out when it's full of grease.

You might also want to clean your kitchen drain regularly just to keep it as clear as possible. Even if the drain isn't clogged, you may want to run hot water down the drain or use a vinegar and baking soda treatment. By cleaning your drains regularly, you might be able to prevent build up that leads to a clog. Call a plumbing specialist if you have regularly clogged drains or to find more information on how to adequately keep your pipes clear.