How to Properly Dispose of Grease and Oils From Food Preparation

Updated on March 4, 2017

Washing Oil and Grease Down the Drain Is a Green No-No

Most of us don't think about the impact that grease has on our water supply. If we are green enough to use biodegradable, green dishwashing detergents, we probably think that we're so far aheead of the game that we can just rinse the soapy grease away along with the negative environmental impact.

The truth is far more grim - grimy, if you will.

Oil and Water Do Not Mix - Not Even with Soap

When you pour oil and grease down the drain, it sticks to pipes, and can cause sewer clogs. Worst case scenario, raw sewage could back up into your home. Douncing greasy dishes in soapy water doesn't eradicate the problem - dishwashing liquid only breaks the grease down into smaller particles; it doesn't "dissolve" it.

So, if you want to properly dispose of oils and grease, you have to first get it away from the water supply. NO MORE RINSING IT DOWN THE DRAIN :-)

Common Sources of Oil and Grease

  • Meat trimmings (fried, baked meats)
  • Cooking Oil
  • Salad Dressing
  • Mayonnaise
  • Melted Butter
  • Bacon Drippings

Proper Disposal of Grease and Oil

In order to properly dispose of grease, grime, and oil, you have to separate from the water supply and then dispose of it with the regular, soild household waste. Here are some ways to drastically reduce the amount of grease and oil that goes down the drain. Your indoor plumbing and the local water supply will be cleaner because of it!

  1. Solidify thin, liquidy fats with absorbent material. It is most tempting to just pour light oils down the drain; after all, you can't just pour them in the garbage! However, you can use coffee grounds or kitty litter (or even some leftover powder laundry detergent) to absorb the liquid and then dispose of the solid waste. If you want to go super green, you can even make your own kitty litter from recycled paper!
  2. Filter out heavy grease and fatty solids. When boiling meat or any time fats and water mix, it's easy to just pour it all down the drain. However, you can simply cover the drain with one or two layers of paper towel (or a large coffee filter) and use them as a filter to catch softer, more solid fats and grime when they are already heavily mixed with water. Then discard the "filter paper" in the trash.
  3. Wipe out greasy pots and pans. It's messy, and it can be annoying, but it's safer and healthier than rinsing the grease and grime down the drain. If you do it soon enough after cooking, it also cuts down on the elbow grease needed to get pots and pans clean. THAT'S worth the effort!
  4. Fill a safe container and discard the container. An empty coffee can, or better, an empty plastc food container (they are usually not recyclable) with a tight fitting lid can be used to hold the grease or oil, and you can simply throw that out with the trash. Easy peasy. Just make sure that the grease or oil has cooled first - you don't want to dispose of hot grease for a number of safety reasons.

Questions & Answers

    Your Two Cents

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Green? 

        9 months ago

        What's green about putting it in a landfill? I get not wanting to damage sewers but disguising it as green is misleading. Mind you, I don't necessarily care about throwing that kind of stuff in landfills, lots of landfills are harvesting methane now and if the nuclear holocaust ever happens, well, I'll know where to go to find lots of raw plastics and aluminum...

      • profile image

        jamescristy 

        6 years ago

        Go to www.thegreasedisposal.com I ordered 1 case of these containers and gave them out to friends and family this is an awesome product now I need to order more.

      • RuthCoffee profile image

        Ruth Coffee 

        10 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

        Good tips! I wipe pans out etc. My mother used to fry more foods when we were small and I recall she kept a container available to dispose of the oils and grease.

      • SewWithSarah profile image

        SewWithSarah 

        10 years ago

        EXCELLENT lens! Thank you for sharing!!

      • profile image

        anonymous 

        10 years ago

        Ok, I've officially learned something new today. Thanks.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)