Drain Cleaning Tips »
How Do I Remove a Cooking Grease Clog?

Unclog Cooking Grease

To remove a cooking grease clog and prevent the greasy clog from coming back as often, choose the right drain cleaner.

Needle Nose Drain CleanerCooking grease often builds up on the sides of drain pipes, making it difficult to remove with plungers, drain augers, and most other plumbing tools. Fortunately a sewer jetter can scrub away sticky grease from drain pipe walls and flush out the residue, so fewer clogs return.

A Needle Nose™ drain cleaner is a sewer jetter with a tougher, braided steel jacket and a special compact nozzle tip that allows it to pass through elbows and transitions in more sizes and types of drains.

Important: you should consider using a sewer jetter only if you have an alternate, clogged drain opening that you can use in case the sewer jetter can't pass through any short-radius elbows close to first drain opening that you try.

Needle Nose Sewer Jetter VideoYou can see the differences between a mechanical drain auger and a sewer jetter as they both take on a greasy clog in this 2 minute video.

  1. Needle Nose Drain CleanerTo clean a clogged sink drain using a sewer jetter:
    • Put on fluid resistant work gloves and eye protection. Use extra care if you believe the drain might contain drain cleaning chemicals.
    • Set up a bucket and towels under the sink trap to handle any spills, and then remove the trap.
    • Make sure the work area is well ventilated. And, if you're using a gas-powered pressure washer, only operate it outdoors.
    • Connect the drain cleaner to your pressure washer trigger gun. Then, to avoid getting water on indoor floors, while you're outside check your trigger gun and supply hoses for leaks.
    • Remove a Cooking Grease Clog From a SinkStart your pressure washer, and then guide the nozzle about a foot into the drain opening before you squeeze the trigger to start the flow of water.
    • Feed the drain cleaner into the drain opening as you squeeze the trigger. Every few feet you should pull back about halfway and then continue moving forward to thoroughly scrub the grease off the sides of the drain.
    • After you have finished cleaning the drain, pull the drain cleaner out. Use care to release the trigger to stop the flow of water before the nozzle reaches the drain opening.
    • Replace the sink trap, check for a water tight connection, and then remove the bucket and towels.
  2. You can also use a sewer jetter to unclog a main drain that's blocked with cooking grease.
    • Clog Hog Sewer JetterNote: it's often easiest to clean a main drain by starting from a drain cleanout that's downhill from the clog. You should also have an alternate drain opening available that's upstream of the clog in case the sewer jetter can't reach the problem areas from the main cleanout.
    • Put on fluid resistant work gloves and eye protection. Use extra care if you believe the drain might contain drain cleaning chemicals.
    • Make sure the work area is well ventilated. And, if you're using a gas-powered pressure washer, only operate it outdoors.
    • Connect the drain cleaner to your pressure washer trigger gun. Then, to avoid getting water on indoor floors, while you're outside check your trigger gun and supply hoses for leaks.
    • Start your pressure washer, and then guide the nozzle about a foot into the drain opening before you squeeze the trigger to start the flow of water.
    • Feed the drain cleaner into the drain opening as you squeeze the trigger to maintain the flow of water. Every few feet, pull back about halfway and then continue moving forward to thoroughly scrub the sides of the drain.
    • After you have finished cleaning the drain, pull the drain cleaner out. Use care to release the trigger to stop the flow of water before the nozzle reaches the drain opening. Then replace the drain cover.
    • For detailed help, visit our unclog a main drain tips page.
  3. If you're not comfortable performing any of these steps, hiring a good, licensed plumber could save you money in the long run. To find a good plumber in your area: Licensed Plumber
    • Start by asking family, friends and co-workers to recommend a licensed plumber who has performed similar services for them.
    • If you are unable to find a good recommendation from someone you know, search local directories like Google Maps, Yelp and CitySearch for licensed plumbers nearby who have good online reviews. Don't always trust reviews from individuals who published very few other reviews, or from people who give only positive reviews to everyone. Be aware that good service providers sometimes get a small number of negative reviews for reasons that might not be relevant to your situation. Look for a company with several reviews that tell a positive, believable story about repairs that are similar to yours.
    • After you find one or more licensed plumbers who seem to have a good reputation, search online for the company name and the names of individuals at the company, if known. Take into account both the positive and negative information that you find about the company.
    • Be aware that good plumbers sometimes have a backlog of several days during peak times when there are low temperatures, heavy rainfall or holidays. Sometimes heavy demand can be a sign of a company with lots of repeat customers.

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