What to Do with Leftover Cooking Grease and Oil

Oct04 By Drain Service Plumbing Sewer Service
Woman pouring cooking oil into pot in a modern kitchen, WA

Are you wondering how to reuse or properly dispose of used cooking grease and oil? Whatever you do, don’t pour it down the drain! It may be liquid when it’s hot, but cooking grease congeals into a gummy, gooey mess as it cools. Just imagine what that does to your pipes! Even if you run hot water while pouring oil down the drain, it ends up somewhere in the plumbing system. A disturbing amount of grease makes it to water treatment plants, increasing maintenance costs and raising safety concerns.

No, it’s far better for your pipes (and waste management workers) if you keep fat of any kind out of the sink. Here are the proper ways to reuse, repurpose, recycle, or toss leftover cooking grease and oil.

Reuse Cooking Grease

Before you throw away a perfectly good skillet-full of bacon grease, consider reusing it. Unless you can put it to use right away, it’s a good idea to strain the oil through a paper towel, cheesecloth, coffee filter, or specially made strainer. Let the fat cool to room temperature, and then store it in the fridge for later use. Here are some ideas:

  • Fry eggs or brown veggies in the grease.
  • Add flavor to tomato sauces.
  • Mix it into quick-bread recipes.
  • Make salad dressing.
  • Drizzle a little in your soup.
  • Add flavor and moisture to leftovers.

Repurpose Used Cooking Grease

Even if you don’t want to reuse cooking grease in the kitchen, there are other ways to utilize it:

  • Add a little to your pet’s food.
  • Mix it with birdseed and put it outside for your feathered friends.
  • Add it to your compost heap (but only if the oil is vegetable-based, and only in small amounts).

Recycle Used Grease

Some recycling centers collect used cooking oil. This keeps energy-rich grease out of the landfill and turns it into biodiesel fuel. To recycle your oil:

  • Strain it to remove food particles.
  • Store it in a sealable container. Unless you’re told otherwise, it’s okay to mix oil and grease types.
  • Deliver it to your local collection site.

Toss Leftover Grease in the Trash

If your oil is too gunky to be saved, or you suspect you cooked it beyond its smoke point, it’s best to throw it away. To avoid pouring hot grease directly into your garbage can, follow these steps:

  • Let the grease cool slightly in the pan.
  • Scrape the grease into an old jar, can, or bottle.
  • Seal the container or place it in a zip-top bag, and toss it in the trash.

Do you wish you had known what to do with leftover cooking grease and oil before you poured that last batch of bacon grease down the sink? Don’t worry—Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating can get your pipes flowing again. Give us a call today at (206) 350-0079 or contact us online to schedule drain cleaning in Seattle, WA.

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