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Old 06-13-2021, 10:51 PM   #1
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Does dishwashing detergent dissolve oily residue?

From time to time, my kitchen sink is clogged for no known reason. Then I have to hire someone to unclog it after all
common methods are tried, like using plunger or draining hot water or unclogging chemicals (all useless). Hiring someone always works but service cost is always high.

I admit that I wasn't extremely careful when draining wastes but I never, ever drain any large solid waste. Now I hope to be more careful, in fact my goal is to never drain anything into the kitchen sink except the original tap water.

However, it's okay for the first few days to work carefully but it is really inconvenient in the long run to avoid all other solid and liquid wastes draining into the kitchen sink

In fact, what are the main causes of clogging? Is it only because of solid waste? Could oil residue accumulate deep inside the pipe over time and cause
clogging? It is often said oil is the cause of clogging but I really doubt, isn't dish-washing detergent just designed to neutralize oil?

I really do not want to hire someone again, but when it gets clogged, all those suggested methods online never works. However, I still cannot think of any real reason causing the clog.

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Old 06-13-2021, 10:57 PM   #2
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Preventing Kitchen Sink Clogs
Save your cooking grease in a coffee can or disposable container, then toss it in the trash.
Throw coffee grounds in the garbage straight away or add them to a mulch pile in the backyard.
Install a screen or drain-grate to prevent soap scum and food debris from falling into the drain.




I really doubt. How could soap scum cause clogging????
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Old 06-13-2021, 11:52 PM   #3
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I don't have problems in my kitchen drain, but I have a powder room that only gets soap in the drain, and very gradually slows down, to the point where I have to put drano in it, at which point it is clear for a few months. So soap scum definitely will clog. Not sure what your recurring clog is, but I recall a problem my Mom had in which the drain kept clogging far from the sink, and the plumber said that there was a long run in the crawl space that was was not at a very steep slope, which probably caused the buildup.


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Old 06-14-2021, 01:00 AM   #4
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I don't have problems in my kitchen drain, but I have a powder room that only gets soap in the drain, and very gradually slows down, to the point where I have to put drano in it, at which point it is clear for a few months. So soap scum definitely will clog. Not sure what your recurring clog is, but I recall a problem my Mom had in which the drain kept clogging far from the sink, and the plumber said that there was a long run in the crawl space that was was not at a very steep slope, which probably caused the buildup.


is dish-washing detergent a kind of soup scum? Can I drain dish-washing detergent into the sink??
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Old 06-14-2021, 01:40 AM   #5
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Soap, at least solid soap, is made of fat, and lye. It is hard, solid. As it goes down the drain pipe, it cools, and leaves a thin film on the inside surface of the pipe. This film hardens before the nest batch of hot water can wash it away, and another layer of soap deposits on the drainpipe wall from anything going into the sink. Solids stick to the soap scum, causing the drain to clog faster. Cooking oil clogs drains like crazy, as do animal fats, such as bacon grease. Eventually, you have a clog. Never put any kind of fat down the drain. Solids also need to be removed.

Drano (crytalized lye), and Works (sulfuric acid) will generally unclog slow draining sinks. I use a hose attached to my hot water spigot, snacked to the clog from the clean-out in my basement, letting it flush back to the sump hole, until the pipe is cleared, messy business. I
learned the hard way, take care of your drain, or it will cost you for a plumber, or you are going to get dirty.

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Old 06-14-2021, 03:48 AM   #6
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I have had my own kitchens for about 50 years. I have never had to hire a professional to unclog my kitchen sink. I think that the main causes of kitchen sinks slowing or clogging are grease and inorganic material, like plastic, (that won't decompose in the drain) that gets stuck in the grease.

When my drain starts to slow down, I give it a go with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar. Pour a couple of tablespoons of baking soda down the drain. Then pour a bit, 100 ml or so of vinegar, down the drain and watch it fizz up. When you can't hear it fizzing anymore, pour some more vinegar and wait again until you can't hear any fizzing. One more bit of vinegar and that's probably enough for the first round. If there is no fizzing or only very little fizzing, it's time to run the hot water. I find that I often have to repeat that to get the drain going well. It might even take three rounds of baking soda-vinegar-fizzing-vinegar, hot water before it drains well. If that doesn't work, I use Draino, but I almost never have to use Draino. There is another method that one can use as an amateur plumber. That's a plumber's snake.

I do try to avoid having grease go down the drain. But, I don't worry about the grease that gets loosened by dish washing liquid when I am washing the dishes.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:41 AM   #7
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Just wanted to add that most dishwashing liquid is detergent rather than soap, and it is designed to dissolve grease and wax. The sink has occasionally backed up and DH uses a tool called a snake to get rid of it. Maybe look into buying one of those and you won't need to call a professional.
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Old 06-14-2021, 07:59 AM   #8
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You also have to remember that once cleared you should really be vigilant to do a cleansing on a regular basis to prevent a build-up.

I too have had my own kitchens for over 50 years and the only time I ever had to get a plumber for a drain was due to the length of the pipe at a bad angle and the fact the house itself had a good 10 years to build up gunge before I moved in. The plumber couldn't believe how far along the pipe the clog was. He had to get an extra length of snake and use a motor to push it along.
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Old 06-14-2021, 09:33 AM   #9
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Kitchen sinks have thin plastic pipes for drains and care must be used to remove a clog.
The best way is to remove the "trap" under the sink and clean it out. Usually no tools required.
It is the "U" shaped part that can be removed and cleaned. That is what its designed for and what a plumber would do first.

However calling a plumber for this small inconvenience is expensive.
What I do is bring in the garden hose. (I have a short piece with no end on it) remove any screens from the drain opening and push the hose as far down as it will go.
Then wrap it with a towel so water cannot escape and have someone turn the spigot on full blast.
This will push any normal clog down and out, away from the sink. I leave the hose on for a minute or so to really wash it out.
Costs nothing and only takes a little bit of time to do.
Here is the P-Trap.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:05 AM   #10
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You also have to remember that once cleared you should really be vigilant to do a cleansing on a regular basis to prevent a build-up.

I too have had my own kitchens for over 50 years and the only time I ever had to get a plumber for a drain was due to the length of the pipe at a bad angle and the fact the house itself had a good 10 years to build up gunge before I moved in. The plumber couldn't believe how far along the pipe the clog was. He had to get an extra length of snake and use a motor to push it along.
Hi. What is the regular cleansing to do ? Would you tell me the details?
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:06 AM   #11
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Kitchen sinks have thin plastic pipes for drains and care must be used to remove a clog.
The best way is to remove the "trap" under the sink and clean it out. Usually no tools required.
It is the "U" shaped part that can be removed and cleaned. That is what its designed for and what a plumber would do first.

However calling a plumber for this small inconvenience is expensive.
What I do is bring in the garden hose. (I have a short piece with no end on it) remove any screens from the drain opening and push the hose as far down as it will go.
Then wrap it with a towel so water cannot escape and have someone turn the spigot on full blast.
This will push any normal clog down and out, away from the sink. I leave the hose on for a minute or so to really wash it out.
Costs nothing and only takes a little bit of time to do.
Here is the P-Trap.

Hello. As far as I could observe, there is no U-shape tube in my kitchen, but there is L shape one.

but no no no, I didn't call the plumber just for helping this small convenience. I tried to take it away but couldn't find any major substances that caused the clog. I believe that the clog was deep or far away from my kitchen sink. (I am living in apartment)
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:29 AM   #12
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Hi. What is the regular cleansing to do ? Would you tell me the details?
Look at my previous reply. I gave detailed instructions for using baking soda and vinegar to get rid of a clog. The same method can be used for regular cleansing.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:32 AM   #13
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Hello. As far as I could observe, there is no U-shape tube in my kitchen, but there is L shape one.

but no no no, I didn't call the plumber just for helping this small convenience. I tried to take it away but couldn't find any major substances that caused the clog. I believe that the clog was deep or far away from my kitchen sink. (I am living in apartment)
Do you get sewer smells from your kitchen drain? One of the purposes of that U shaped bend, also called a drain trap or plumbing trap, is to keep sewer gasses from escaping through the drain opening in your home.
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Old 06-14-2021, 12:21 PM   #14
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If you live in an apartment, call maintenance. You shouldn't be paying for a plumber.

When I had a condo and a house, I used a bladder and the garden hose to sink attachment (both available at Home Depot or online at Amazon) that came with my water bed. If you have decent water pressure this will clear the entire drain, all the way to the street!

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Old 06-14-2021, 02:42 PM   #15
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Do you have a garbage disposer? The food garbage will clog it. As will grease.

I usually have to have mine rooted out every few years because of my ancient plumbing but it only runs me $75
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:03 AM   #16
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Look at my previous reply. I gave detailed instructions for using baking soda and vinegar to get rid of a clog. The same method can be used for regular cleansing.
Hi. I once tried a lot of baking soda and vinegar / hot water method, but it didn't work.

Ok, could adding baking soda and vinegar cause more clogs or just have no harm in the worst case scenario?

(Since now I still don't understand how the clog was caused , as I said I did not deny that I could be careless sometimes but I can remember I never throw any large solid waste into the sink, probably only a few grains of rice by accident)

The plumbers here never tell you the truth because they want you to get clogged again soon. I asked him and asked him but he obviously avoided answering
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Old 06-15-2021, 12:11 AM   #17
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The baking soda will fully dissolve with the vinegar and water. I don't see how it could make it worse.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:45 AM   #18
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The baking soda will fully dissolve with the vinegar and water. I don't see how it could make it worse.
I did really try baking soda with vinegar or water but it didn't unclog my sink,
probably it is for regular cleansing only, not for unclogging right?
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:44 AM   #19
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I did really try baking soda with vinegar or water but it didn't unclog my sink,
probably it is for regular cleansing only, not for unclogging right?
It usually works on smaller clogs and to help when the sink starts draining more slowly. I often don't think of doing it until the drain starts to slow down. It doesn't always work. But, since it's cheap, environmentally friendly, and doesn't dissolve the metal of my pipes, it's the first thing I try.
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:16 PM   #20
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It usually works on smaller clogs and to help when the sink starts draining more slowly. I often don't think of doing it until the drain starts to slow down. It doesn't always work. But, since it's cheap, environmentally friendly, and doesn't dissolve the metal of my pipes, it's the first thing I try.
why don't you just use a plunger when the clog isn't very serious? I believe that it will work better than baking soda for small clogs
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