If you ask people what sink in their home is most likely to become blocked, many will no doubt answer that it is their bathroom sink, but many more will likely answer that it is their kitchen sink.
See, if you compared both bathroom and kitchen sinks, you will find that bathroom sinks are exposed to relatively little that can result in clogs. Sure, soap scum or hair can clog a bathroom sink, but besides that, all that goes down your typical bathroom sink is soap and water. A kitchen sink, on the other hand, is exposed all sorts of different things that could potentially result in a clog. This is why the kitchen sink seems to end up clogged so often. You have grease, fat, oil, food scrapings, soap scum, and more. All of this gets thrown down kitchen sinks even though much of it should not be.
So, if you have a clogged kitchen sink and are wondering why it is clogged, then you can stop scratching your head. In this post, we are going to go through all the various things that could potentially clog a kitchen sink and how to avoid having clogs appear in the future.
Fats, oils, and grease
Fats, oils, and grease (often abbreviated as F.O.G. in the plumbing world) are an extremely common cause of kitchen sink blockages. When people are cooking something in a pan, it’s almost second nature to just dump excess grease down the drain. This is especially true if you happen to still wash your dishes via hand. After all, you cannot dump grease or fats into the garbage because it creates an awful odour and it can attract pests. So, the most obvious location is down the sink.
The problem with this is that fats, oils, and grease can harden over time. As they harden, they start to stick to the inner walls of the pipes in your sink. Once they have thoroughly coated the inside of your pipes, other debris can start getting caught on the hardened grease. Eventually, this will turn into a major clog.
So, if you cannot throw fat down the drain, then where should you throw it? Well, the answer is not to throw it out at all. The best thing to do with leftover kitchen grease is to pour into a sealed container and stick it in the fridge. After about a day or so, the grease will have thoroughly hardened into a solid, jelly like substance. Once it has gotten to that stage, you can easily just throw it in the garbage, without any worry of disgusting liquid leaking everywhere.
If, for some reason or another, you are unable to do this and must throw some grease or fat down the kitchen sink, then make sure that you mix it with a lot of water first, which will help dilute it and prevent it from clogging your sink. Never, under any circumstances, should you throw fats, oils, or grease down the drain without at least mixing it with water first.
If you are not in the habit of scraping little bits of food off your plate before you rinse them in the sink, then they are going to get washed down your sink when you rinse your plates off. Now, it may not look like it at first, but these little particles of food will wreak havoc on your kitchen sink.
They will get caught in parts of the sink and other bits of food will start getting caught on them. This builds up over time until you have a major clog on your hands. The solution to this is you need to make sure that every piece of caked-on food on a plate gets put in either your garbage disposal or garbage bin. Even though it is far easier to just rinse the small pieces off and wash them down the sink, take the time to scrape the food off first.
Soap scum is a common issue that effects all sinks, and kitchen sinks are no exception. See, when soap is washed off your hands, it goes down the sink. Ideally, the soap will be carried through the pipes normally. However, sometimes the soap run off can mix with hard water – water with a high mineral content. This produces what is called “soap scum.”
This soap scum can absorb other things and it will eventually cause a clog. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with a blockage caused by soap scum will be to dig out the blockage. You can choose to do this on your own, or you can give us a call and we will do it for you.
So, this kind of ties in with the food scraps point, but we wanted to keep it separate because of how prevalent of an issue it is.
A lot of people tend to just dump their coffee grounds in the sink and wash them down the drain. Again, it is easy to just wash them down your kitchen sink, but you are just raising your chances that you will have to deal with a headache induced clog down the line. Coffee grounds can easily mix with other things that come down your pipes and form a very troublesome clog in your kitchen sink.
Remember, a good rule of thumb when it comes to putting things down a sink is to ask yourself “can this be dissolved in water?” If the answer is yes, then you can put it down a sink. If the answer is no, then it should be put in the trash or in the garbage disposal. By following this simple rule, you can avoid a lot of annoying blockages.
See how we were recently featured in an article about the best plumbers in Sydney here.
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