Although cooking oil is an essential part of everyone’s kitchen, it can be a little hard to dispose of. And while draining it down the sink may seem like the most viable thing to do, that is definitely not the proper way to dispose used cooking oil.
The Importance of Disposing Used Cooking Oil Properly
The wrong kind of waste, whether liquid or solid can bring about a number of problems for the home including congested pipes, diminished plumbing flow, odors or a sewer backup. Instead consider the following options when looking to dispose cooking oil properly.
Disposing the oil
Before disposing the cooking oil, always let it cool down first. You can let it cool down in the utensil that it was used in or transfer it to another utensil. In either case, the duration that the oil is allowed to cool can vary from a couple of hours to overnight.
If there is only a little bit of oil leftover, it can be wiped clean with a paper towel and then disposed. A small amount of oil leftover on dirty dishes can also be wiped or scraped off before washing to prevent it from eventually making its way into the sink drain. In fact, scraping dishes prior to washing can dramatically reduce the amount of cooking grease, oil or fat flowing down the drain.
Or in instances where there is more oil leftover from cooking, it is recommended to place it in a container before disposing. To do this, it is best to use a clean, non-breakable container such as a plastic jar or coffee can so that it will not pose the potential for breaking. Choose a container that comes with a solid resealable lid. Pour oil into container and throw it away into the trash.
Another option is to mix the oil with an absorbent material such as sawdust, sand or even kitty litter and then throw it away.
Reusing the oil
However, used cooking oil especially if there is a lot of it, can be reused safely as well. This is especially applicable in situations where a large amount of cooking oil may have been used for deep frying. Oil can be reused a couple of times as long as it is filtered properly and does not turn rancid. Having said that, it is important to remember that every time the oil is reused, it deteriorates a little and its smoke point also decreases.
Once the oil has cooled completely, strain it while pouring it into the container. The practice of straining helps ensure that small particles of food do not get into the oil, causing mold to grow. Possible rancidity can be detected by giving the oil a sniff before using it again. If oil gives a disagreeable smell, do not use it again.
Or you can also freeze the cooking oil for future use. Freezing allows you to either reuse it at a later time, of if you still wish to dispose it, throwing away frozen cooking oil is much easier than oil which has not solidified.
Donating the oil
Another option to dispose of cooking oil properly is to donate it to the city. While a fairly new option, many cities now offer designated drop off sites where used cooking oil can be handed over to be made into biodiesel.
You can always check to see if the local department of public works offers this or any other free cooking oil recycling program to get rid of used cooking oil. If available, then store the oil in a resealable container and drop it off at the recycling center.
You can choose any of the above options to dispose of cooking oil properly but never pour it down the drain as it will ultimately cool and harden in the pipes. The clogs can then easily cause the sinks and toilet of a home to cease draining properly and eventually lead to sewer backups in the toilet, floors and shower.
Should you find that there are any issues with your home’s plumbing system due to blocked pipes or unwanted debris, you can always get in touch with our sewer backup services at Tidal Wave Response located in Atlanta, Georgia. Our sewage restoration experts can correct any sewage emergencies and provide a complete range of related services.