What to do with Leftover Grease and Oil

Thanksgiving meal with family

With the holidays quickly approaching, there’s bound to be some extra cooking going on in the kitchen. Whether you’re cooking a small meal for you and your family or hosting a large party, you will likely be faced with leftover grease and oil in your home.

When the time comes, it’s important to understand the best practices to follow to dispose of grease and oils. Many homeowners make the mistake of pouring grease and oil down the drain, but this leads to more trouble than it’s worth.

Read on to learn why pouring oil and grease down your sink is not a good idea and what to do instead.

The Dangers of Pouring Grease and Oil Down the Sink

Your first thought to get rid of grease and oil might be to pour it down the sink. It’s liquid, right? While hot grease and oil are, indeed, liquids, they turn solid once they cool down.

Grease and oil that solidifies are more prone to sticking to your pipes. This will eventually lead to blockages in your drain and other costly plumbing issues as it accumulates over time. Even if the grease or oil doesn’t stick to your pipes, you’re not out of the woods. In fact, if grease and oil make it to your sewers, you will be faced with a much larger problem.

This is because grease and oil break down after a while and forms fatty acids and glycerol. The fatty acids bind with calcium in the sewers, which forms soap-like compounds called fatbergs. When the sewer level rises, the fatberg attaches to the sewer ceilings. From there, the fatbergs grow in size and eventually clog the entire sewer pipe.

What to Do with Leftover Grease and Oil

Common greases and oils that make their way into the kitchen drain include:

  • Meat fats
  • Cooking oil
  • Shortening
  • Butter and margarine
  • Sauces
  • Dairy products

Luckily, there are better ways to dispose of grease and oil in your home this holiday season. We’re going to show you a few strategies you can use to get rid of grease and oil without causing a hassle.

Put Grease and Oil in a Container

One of the best things that homeowners can do as they prepare for their holiday cooking is to buy containers to store leftover grease and oil. Containers are the perfect place for grease and oil that has nowhere to go and help you avoid putting grease and oil down your drain.

Just be sure to wait until the grease has cooled down to avoid burning yourself and ruining the container. Additionally, it’s best to get a container that slowly decomposes, such as a milk carton.

Using Old Paper Towels

Another great option to consider is using used paper towels to soak up any remaining grease. Used paper towels are often dirty, making them harder to recycle.

But old paper towels can be a great way to get rid of grease and oil as they are excellent absorbents. Keep in mind that this method works best if you’re trying to get rid of shallow grease and oil, such as for something you’ve pan-fried.

Recycle It

If all else fails, you can recycle your grease and oil. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways for homeowners to recycle and avoid harming the environment and their drains.

For instance, you can reuse grease to prepare other tasty meals. In fact, popular dishes such as baked beans rely on bacon fat to give it its delicious flavor. If you’re someone who’s crafty, you can re-use grease and oil to make candles, balms, and even soaps. Lastly, consider donating your used grease and oil to biofuel.

The holidays are approaching. But while you’re preparing your meals for yourself and your family, be mindful of where you put your leftover grease and oil. If it ends up in the wrong place, such as your kitchen drain, this can lead to a much larger problem for your home. If your kitchen drains are already backed up, contact us today for help.

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