For months one side of the kitchen sink has been blocked or sluggish, while the other (on the side of the dishwasher) flows freely. After several applications, I am giving up on Draino. It does not help, not even a little.

But simply pouring boiling water unclogs the drain on the stuck side. This works for about a month.

Is it prudent to unclog the kitchen sink by pouring boiling water?

Even though I am careful about disposing of extra fat (butter, solid oils) before rinsing the plates and then putting them in the dishwasher, I fear that some of the fat solidifies and clogs the drain.

This all started right after a house party in which I let ever-so-helpful guests rinse plates and put them in the dishwasher, but maybe it was going to happen regardless.

Editorializing: Even though I use minimal fat during and after cooking, maybe that's an lesson to use even less fat. Perhaps what's happening in the kitchen sink is the same sort of thing that happens in one's arteries.

The motivation for my fear of this being unwise is that I may simply be pushing the fat (if the issue is just fat) further down the drain, and that this will only become a more serious issue down the road. Do you have an experience with this to comment one way or the other?

  • "Is it prudent to unclog the kitchen sink by pouring boiling water?" **It depends on where you pour the boiling water88. I am here all week folks. But seriously it may be that you have dropped something in the sink and it lodged in the pipe and over time it catches other stuff creating a clog. Have you taken the plumbing apart under the sink to investigate?
    – Alaska Man
    Feb 3, 2019 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


I'm going to assume you are 100000% correct. But this is an assumption. The only way you are going to know that this is the issue is to hire a plumber, or clear the issue yourself.

This said, your concern of "pushing it further" is real, but realize that millions of people use or eat fatty substances in their home cooking and never have these issues. this leads one to suspect your drain was already nearly clogged for any number of reasons, or someone poured a nice plate of ham (bacon etc) grease in there.

Either way - speculation aside...

Just get a bucket, remove the elbow and look inside and see..... You can just replace the trap at this point. Make sure there are no rough edges for food, hair, etc to catch on. Chances are a toothpick or something is in there and this is building up around it.

Generally, small amounts at any given time will make its way safely to your sewer and you'd never be the wiser. Large amounts, or some other clog may have exacerbated this issue.

Decide if its bad enough to have your main line snaked for extra prevention, but chances are you do not need to do this.

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