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Cooking Oil And Blocked Drains

Many homeowners have no idea about how to dispose of oil and fat in the kitchen
When they have finished cooking and there is a substantial amount of cooking oil in the pan, many people will simply pour it down the sink.

In earlier days it was typically fat or lard that was used in cooking and after the meal was cooked, the lard or fat in the pan was strained out of a hot pan into a bowl where it solidified and stored in the fridge to be used again.
Cooking oil has now gained the popularity as it is touted to be healthier, but it is difficult to separate the oil from cooked food to reuse.

blocked sink

Grease and Fat Build-Up

The biggest cause of blocked kitchen sinks is from oil and grease being tipped into the sink.
As you know – oil and water do not mix and when fat cools down it hardens.
The accumulation of grease and fat being washed down the sink will start to solidify and cling to the walls of the pipes, restricting the flow of water. This can eventually result in a complete blockage, requiring professional intervention. Read more about clearing kitchen sinks.

Importance of Proper Disposal

Pouring fat and oil down the drain can have disastrous consequences and this includes if you have a garbage disposal, unit or Insinkerator.

Follow these simple and responsible methods to get rid of used cooking oil:

  1. Disposing of cooking oil in a container with a lid and throwing it in the trash is the preferred
    method. Allow the oil to cool down and transfer the cooled cooking oil to a disposable container with a secure lid. You can use an empty jar, a plastic milk bottle or yogurt container. Do not pour hot oil in to a plastic container as it will melt or distort the container and possibly leak everywhere.
    If it is fat or butter that will solidify, you can leave the pan to cool down and then scrape the solidified fat and food waste into the rubbish bin.
  2. Using kitty litter, if you have a cat and you are doing regular kitty litter changes, you can add cooled oil to the litter and then dispose of it as usual in the bin. The kitty litter absorbs the oil and will stop an oily mess in your bin
  3. If you live close to a restaurant, consider reaching out to them about adding your used oil to their collection bin. Restaurants often have systems for proper oil disposal, and they may be willing to accept your oil, especially if you have a significant amount.
  4. For vegetable oils such as peanut, coconut, olive, or sunflower oil (100 percent vegetable oils), you have another eco-friendly option. You can add small amounts of these oils to your compost pile. However, it can only be SMALL quantities, as excessive oil in compost can pose a fire hazard. Earthworms can consume vegetable oil. Remember, never include animal fat in your compost, as it is not suitable for this purpose.

By following these responsible methods for disposing of used cooking oil, you can contribute to a cleaner environment and prevent potential plumbing issues. Choose the option that best suits your situation, and always prioritise environmental consciousness in your daily cooking practices.

Food Scraps

In the kitchen, food scraps and waste can be a major contributor to blocked drains. Small food particles, coffee grounds, and other debris can accumulate in the pipes, forming clogs over time. To prevent this, it’s important to use a sink strainer or compost bin to catch food waste before it goes down the drain. Properly disposing of food scraps can save you from the hassle of dealing with a blocked drain later on.

In today’s world, where environmental awareness and sustainability are at the forefront of our minds, it’s crucial to consider the how you dispose of all waste in the kitchen.
The consequences of pouring anything down a sink can be a disaster,ranging from blocked drains and plumbing problems to environmental damage and health hazards.
We have also had to clear drains that residents had poured melted soy candle wax down the drain. Of course the wax hardens and soon as it hits the cold water in the pipes.

Blocked drains like this are an expense that can easily be avoided.

blocked sink

Reusing Oil and Fat

Reusing cooking oil and fat use to be the done thing.
Lard was used for roasts and cooking and it was reused and stored in the fridge.
There has been a resurgence of people using duck fat for their roast potatoes.
You can safely reuse and store the duck fat in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Strain the fat and reuse it as your secret weapon to make amazing roast veggies and roast potatoes.

However, it’s important to note that oils and fat needs to be monitored.
Good quality cooking oil is usually ok to use for up to 10 times.
It will then start to break down and become rancid over time. The oil should be stored in the fridge. Do not leave it sitting in a deep fryer for extended periods of time.

  • Once you’ve finished frying, turn off the heat and allow the fat or oil to cool down
  • Use a strainer lined with a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any food particles from the oil.
  • Store the cooled and filtered cooking fat or oil in a clearly labeled food-safe container, or even the original bottle if you can easily decant it. You can keep the used cooking oil in the refrigerator for up to one month and fat/lard up to 6 months
  • Use the oil for similar foods eg if you deep fry chicken, don’t use the same oil to make doughnuts.

By following these simple steps, you can avoid unnecessary waste and have a readily available supply of cooking oil for your next frying session.

Avoiding grease buildup

Grease buildup is a common culprit for sewer line clogs, particularly in the kitchen.
When you wash greasy dishes, pans, or utensils, it is important to take precautions to prevent grease from entering your drains. One way to do this is by scraping off excess grease and disposing of it in the trash before washing the dishes.
Additionally, you can wipe greasy surfaces with a paper towel and dispose of it properly. It’s also beneficial to run hot water down the drain after each use to help flush away any residual grease. By practicing these habits, you can prevent grease buildup and maintain a clean sewer line.

Keeping Your Drains Clear DIY

These methods are not only effective but also safe for the environment. Here are a few examples:

  1. Baking Soda and Vinegar: This classic combination is a powerful duo when it comes to clearing drains. Start by pouring a pot of boiling water down the drain to loosen any debris. Then, sprinkle a cup of baking soda into the drain followed by a cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug or cloth to contain the reaction, and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Finally, flush the drain with hot water to wash away the loosened clog.
  2. Boiling Water: Sometimes, a simple pot of boiling water can do wonders for unclogging drains. This method works best for grease or soap scum build-up. Carefully pour the boiling water down the drain in stages, allowing it to work its way through the blockage. Be cautious when handling boiling water to avoid any accidents.
  3. Manual Cleaning: For minor clogs, using a plunger can be highly effective. It allows you to physically dislodge the obstruction and restore the flow of water. If you find yourself having to use a plunger a lot – There will be a reason and it may be a good idea to call in a plumber to find out why the clogs are happening.
    Hydro jetting maybe needed to clean out the pipes as part of your plumbing maintenance
drain cleaning

Local Plumbing Experts

Plumbing problems can quickly turn into a nightmare, with clogged drains to burst pipes, it’s essential to take proactive measures to protect your drains by watching what your pour down the sink!
With Jet Plus Plumbing’s experienced team of emergency plumbers available 24/7, you can tackle any plumbing or blocked drain issue quickly.
Don’t let a blocked drain ruin your day – Contact us today to get your drains clear again.

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