Can You Pour Grease or Cooking Oil Down the Drain?

Man pouring cooking oil into frying pan in the kitchen. MidCity Plumbers.

Most busy kitchens deal with meal preparations on a daily basis. When you are stir-frying, searing, or grilling food and using cooking oils, proper cooking cleanup is understandably the last thing in your mind. Thus, grease and oil stains are inevitable. Unfortunately, others would pour used oil and grease down the drain for instant “cleaning”. While this is a norm for some, this poses huge risks, especially to your plumbing. In this blog, we have rounded up everything you need to know about grease and cooking oil and why you should not pour them down the drain

What happens when you pour grease or oil down the drain

When getting rid of your used cooking oil, it is important to remember that oil and grease do not act like other liquids that you wash down the drain. When oils have time to cool and accumulate over time, they can solidify. The solidified form can easily mix with the fats and greases from other food particles that you have been cooking. 

Dirty oily pan with cold solid grease saturated fat  after frying.

Once cooled grease will solidify and build up in pipes causing clogs.

When you pour grease or oil down the drain, they will wash into your pipes and mix with other ingredients, floating around and accumulating into solid masses of fats that can cling to the walls of the pipes. This will narrow the pipes’ diameter and will result in clogging issues. Keep in mind that the longer your oil clogs build up, the harder they are to remove by professionals. 

What to do if you pour oil down the drain

The ideal remedy is usually by using natural and often noncorrosive methods to clear oil clogs. For example, you can use baking soda and white vinegar to remove oil clogs. Keep in mind that once you pour down grease or oil down the drain, don’t give them the chance to solidify and cling onto your pipes. 

As much as possible, eliminate the clogs by using salt and baking soda to dissolve the grease clog. Let the mixture sit for at least eight hours and then flush with water for easy cleaning. More will be discussed below

What is the environmentally safe way to dispose of grease/oil

Great news! There is an environmentally safe way to dispose of grease/oil that you can follow. To avoid plumbing issues, blocked pipes, and other sewage buildups that can lead to environmental damage, it is essential that you handle your cooking oil disposal in an effective and environmentally-friendly manner. 

Instead of pouring grease and used cooking oil down the drain after you finish cooking, let your used cooking oil cool and pour it into a resealable container such as a coffee can or a jar for safe recycling. There are local organizations or facilities that accept oil deposits or used oil for biofuel. If you can find one, save your used cooking oil and deliver it to them. Additionally, you can also try reusing your cooking oil while it is still good. 

Man placing recycled used cooking oil from a frying pan into a plastic bottle in their kitchen. MidCity Plumbers.

If you cannot find any facilities or means to recycle your used cooking oil, let it solidify and toss it into the trash. In small amounts, disposing of the oil in the garbage is more ideal than the drain. Always make sure to wipe out your pans after using them with a paper towel to soak up all the excess oil. Take note that even small amounts of grease can damage your pipes and the sewer system of your local community. So, be smart and handle your used cooking oil disposal responsibly. 

What are some tips for getting rid of cooking oil

It’s true that you can save your cooking oil to reuse later. If it’s gone bad there are some easy, safe ways to get rid of it. Here are some tips that you can follow in getting rid of your used cooking oil: 

  1. Pour into grease disposal containers 
  2. Chill until solidified for easy garbage disposal
  3. Pour small amounts of oil into the trash 
  4. Mix the oil with other absorbent materials such as cat litter or sawdust
  5. Buy a grease disposal system 

How can I unclog a sink clogged with grease

Keep in mind that the method you use to clear your clogged drains will vary depending on the complexity of the blockage. It is still highly advisable to hire a professional team of plumbing experts when dealing with clogged drains. But while you are waiting for them to arrive, we have also listed the following steps for easy and free unclogging of your sink.

Person with yellow gloves using baking soda to unclog sink drain. MidCity Plumbers.

Here is a brief list that will guide you through unclogging a sink clogged with grease: 

  1. Pour boiling water down the drain to soften the grease buildup. You can also combine a pound of soap detergent along with the water. 
  2. Try baking soda and vinegar when the clogs persist. Pour ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, then add ½ cup white vinegar you have at home. Don’t forget to let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes before adding boiling water. 
  3. If you suspect that the clogs are still there, you can also use salt and baking soda to dissolve these clogs. Pour ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by about six cups of boiling hot water.

If kitchen drain clogged issues are hard to resolve, it’s time to leave them to the experts. If you are looking for a professional team that offers quality plumbing and drain service cleaning, MidCity Plumbers is the way to go! Our efficient service includes plumbing and drainage services completely right from the inspection through the final stage. Our team of professional and certified experts has the necessary skills and expertise to unclog even stubborn drains. Just contact us today at 📞 (778) 772-8676 and our team will be right on the way in the least amount of time! 

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