How to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Pouring oil from a pan to a container for proper disposal.

After a long day of work and hours spent slaving away over dinner, you want the cleanup process to be as fast and simple as possible. You think nothing of chucking the food scraps in the garbage disposal and pouring the grease down the sink. After all, isn’t that what your sewer system is built for? 

There are some dos and don’ts you should follow when it comes to your household waste, particularly fats, grease, and oils (FOGs). Learn how to dispose of cooking oil properly!

Can You Pour Oil Down the Drain?

If you’re wondering how to dispose of cooking oil safely, keep this one tip in mind above all else: never pour oil down the sink or in the toilet!

Fats, oil, and grease stick to the inside of your pipes until they coagulate—and once these substances harden, they’re here to stay! Repeatedly pouring oil down the drain will cause not only your sewer line to clog but also the municipal sewer system. In fact, 47% of reported blockages are caused by grease that is improperly disposed of in homes, restaurants, and industrial sources. 

Once the oil cools and hardens within the pipes, it’s almost impossible to remove without professional intervention. There’s not enough baking soda, dish soap, vinegar, or hot water in the world that can help! You will need to schedule a hydro-jetting service, as highly pressurized water is the only way to safely break down hard oil. In extreme cases, the clogged pipe may need to be replaced completely. 

How to Dispose of Cooking Oil Safely

Now you know that you can’t pour oil down the drain, so what’s the best way to properly dispose of it? It’s common practice to throw out used cooking oil with the rest of your household trash. However, make sure you take the proper steps. 

  1. Let hot oil cool down completely. 
  2. Pour it into a non-recyclable container. Use a paper towel to wipe down the pan or pot to make sure you got all of the oil.
  3. Seal the container tightly.
  4. Throw it in the garbage. 

Wax- or plastic-lined containers, like milk cartons, work best because the inner lining doesn’t allow the oil to leak. You can also use styrofoam and takeout containers. 

If you’re not comfortable disposing of it in liquid form, you can pop the container in the freezer. It takes about one day for cooking oil to completely freeze. 

Alternatively, you can purchase a cooking oil solidifier. This is a powder that can solidify fats, oil, and grease in as quickly as one hour. Best of all, you don’t have to worry that it will melt and leak in the trash. 

Purchase a Grease Disposal System

Those who are constantly cooking and practically live in the kitchen can benefit from a grease disposal system. What is a grease disposal system, and how does it dispose of cooking oil safely?

A grease disposal system is a plastic airtight container that collects used fats, oil, and grease in a foil-lined bag. Each bag can hold up to 1,000 mL of liquid. When the bag is full, simply zip it closed and throw it in the garbage. Most containers are dishwasher safe and can handle hot oil. 

Reuse Cooking Oil When Possible

Probably the best thing you can do with cooking oil is reuse it! For example, if you’re a fan of deep-frying food at home, don’t dump the oil out after each use. Oil that is cooled and stored properly can be reused a few times before it should be replaced. 

Trouble With Your Drains? Turn to Same Day Plumbing

Many homeowners are unaware they can’t pour oil down the drain until they have a massive clog that homemade drain cleaning methods simply can’t fix. If your drains are giving you trouble, don’t hesitate to call Same Day Plumbing. We offer the leading drain cleaning services in Toronto by using state-of-the-art hydro jets to deep clean your drains. 
In fact, you can count on us for all your plumbing emergencies in Toronto. Just call or book an appointment online, and we’ll help restore your plumbing system to brand new!