Can you pour ground beef grease down the drain?

How do I dispose of cooking oil correctly?

Dumping cooking oil down the sink is easy-peasy.

But it can cause serious issues.

There are a number of options to safely dispose of used cooking oil.

But no matter what, you first need to let the oil cool down.

When it is cool and safe to handle, pour or transfer the oil into a sealable container.

If it’s the kind of oil which solidifies, you can put it in the fridge or freezer until it hardens.

After that, scoop the solid oil out and throw it in the bin.

If not, collect all your oil in a container and take it to your local recycling centre.

Double check the rules at your nearest centre, but many now take cooking oil waste free of charge.

It’s also worth running some kitchen roll around your frying pan after you’ve drained it to make sure you’ve collected all the oil.

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Build-ups of oil can cause fatbergsCredit: Getty – Contributor

 

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Why Do So Many People Mention Using Coffee Grounds in a Drain or Sink?

A quick Google search will lead homeowners to some very conflicting results on this particular matter. There seems to be a group of people that swear by coffee grounds as a remedy for foul-smelling sinks and dirty disposer, and those who will caution never to put coffee grounds in the drain line, with or without a waste disposer. There are also people who suggest using citrus rinds as a fresh smelling drain solution, but more on that later!

Bill Howe Plumbing certainly falls into the camp that advises never to put coffee grounds down the kitchen sink.

What if homeowners ensure they never put food waste and grease down the sink? Scraping plates into the waste bin and making sure nothing gets thrown down the drain is great practice. However, even the cleanest plates after dinner can leave residue that, when rinsed, will allow fats, oils and grease into the drain. Over time, this can build up on the sides of the drain lines.

What Should You Do if You Pour Grease Down the Drain?

Is it ever okay to pour grease or cooking oil down your sink drain? Is there ever any safe way to do it? What can you do to fix subsequent problems that may arise? Let’s break down the following myths of potential “solutions” that can actually cause further damage to your drainage pipes and system.

Myth #1: Boiling Water Will Ease Grease Down the Drain

Some people will try to pour large amounts of boiling water down the drain immediately after dumping oil and grease into their sink. Because boiling water can liquefy the grease stuck in your pipes, they think that it’ll successfully unclog your drain. Unfortunately, that’s not a permanent solution as it can carry the grease further down the pipe. Then, the grease and fats will congeal once more but in a much more inaccessible area.

Myth #2: Running the Hot Water Tap With Dish Soap Flushes Grease

People often think that letting the hot water tap run with a bit of dish soap will help liquefy and flush any solidified grease. While hot water and dish soap can help dislodge the grease and oil from your pipes, dish soaps only break down fats temporarily. Using vinegar and baking soda is another popular choice to try and flush any clogs, but these too will only push the buildup further into the drainage system.

Myth #3: It’s Safe to Pour Liquid Cooking Oil Down the Drain

Fats and solidified grease pose the largest risk to your drainpipes and sewer system. Therefore, many people believe that since cooking oil is liquid, it’ll go down the drain just as easily as water. However, cooking oils that remain liquid at room temperature can still cause problems and risk damaging and clogging your pipes. Olive and canola oils will still coat your pipes and result in blockages even if you flush them with water.

Myth #4: Garbage Disposals Can Take Care of Grease

Garbage disposals are powerful tools for breaking down food, but they’re not designed to dispose of solidified grease or fats or buildup from liquid cooking oils. Excessive use of your garbage disposal can also contribute to further blockages, and eventually, your garbage disposal blades will become less effective from repeated coatings of grease.

Ultimately, you should never pour grease, cooking oil or any kind of fat down your drain — but there are ways to fix the problem if you’ve already poured FOG down the drain. The best solution for accidental grease spillage in your sink or buildup in your pipes is to contact a trusted plumbing expert. You can watch for warning signs such as slow drainage, an unpleasant smell or a gurgling sound coming from the drain to know when you’ll need to contact a plumber for help. Zimmerman can provide you with reliable and permanent solutions by eradicating any clog and preventing it from reforming.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Kitchen Sink Clogs

Preventative maintenance is the best form of maintenance. Besides grease, there are plenty of other culprits of drain clogs, such as soap scum and coffee grounds. To prevent frustrating kitchen sink clogs, avoid pouring grease down the sink and dispose of used coffee grounds and other debris in the trash. 

To prevent other food and other debris from slipping down the kitchen drain and potentially causing a clog, install a drain gate. A screen or drain gate will also prevent soap scum from slipping down the pipes as well and accumulating. Either option can be picked up at a nearby plumbing store.

How Do Homeowners Eliminate Drain Odors?

The best way to eliminate foul kitchen drain odors is keeping food waste out of the drain. Odors occur from grease and food buildup in the line that sits and causes the smell. If homeowners do have a disposer, treat it gently by only using it for small particles left on plates. A disposer’s best job is to push those last particles down the line. Use a degreasing soap once a month and always use water when running the disposer.

If there is a large amount of buildup and homeowners are experiencing bad smells and constant clogs, it is recommended that they invest in a kitchen drain hydro-jetting service. Using high powered water through a jetting machine, plumbers can eliminate the buildup and restore the inside of the drains diameter to clear the line. Many restaurants perform this as ongoing maintenance, but homeowners can experience the same buildup and clogs through daily use.

Drain Maintenance

Homeowners often wonder if there is maintenance for kitchen drain lines. While plumbers will snake a line as a preventative measure (unless there is already a clog), it is not effective at preventing one. Most plumbers’ advice is to save the money on unnecessary snaking or jetting.

The best drain maintenance is not putting waste, grease, oils, and other items into the drain or disposer. Homeowners should, however, schedule an annual plumbing check up for their home. During this, plumbers will check how drains are running and can investigate any potential issues and recommend further snaking services for current clogs.

If homeowners are currently experiencing clogged or slow drains, call the experts at Bill Howe. Since 1980, Bill Howe Plumbing has been the leading drain expert in San Diego and has experience with all drains, small and large. Call 1-800 BILL HOWE (245-5469) for free drain quotes or to schedule service today.

How Do You Dispose of Grease?

Can you pour grease down the drain? It’s better to use other disposal methods. Here are a few pointers on how to dispose of grease properly.

1. Let It Dry Completely

To protect yourself from accidental burns and allow the grease to solidify, you’ll want to let it cool off and dry out in the air. Allowing the grease to solidify will make it easier to scape it off of pans and collect it during cleanup.

2. Scrape the Grease Into a Separate Container

Once the grease has dried and is safe to handle, you can scoop or wipe it out with a plastic spatula or a cloth rag. If you regularly keep a disposable container to collect your leftover grease, you can scrape all of the dried grease and fat into it until you’re ready to empty it into the trash. When you’re ready to throw away the container, make sure you place it in a plastic bag to prevent any spillages or leaks from the container in the trash.

3. Throw It in the Garbage

Another possible method you can try is pouring the liquid grease from the pan into an aluminum foil-covered bowl and refrigerating it for several hours. Once the grease has solidified in the refrigerator, you can take out the foil from the bowl or jar, wrap the grease and throw it away securely. Remember not to compost your grease when you dispose of it as the smell can attract animals, and never dump your grease outside as it can still find its way into the sewer system as runoff.

4. Wipe Down All of the Pans

If you can avoid it, don’t run water over greasy pans or dishes. After you’ve disposed of the majority of the dried grease, always use a paper towel or plastic scraper to wipe down all of the pots, pans and dishes that came into contact with the oil before washing them in the sink.

Coffee grounds

Once you’ve brewed a fresh coffee for yourself and/or your guests, it can be tempting to rinse out the pot and pour it down the sink. However, coffee grounds are actually a real nuisance to our drains and pipes, and instead they should be put in the bin when done with.

Should coffee grounds go down the drain? NO

Medications

If you’ve got expired medication in your home, or medication you don’t need anymore (whether open or unopened), it can be tempting to flush it down the toilet. In fact, this was once the recommended procedure!

However, there are now other recommended methods that can help prevent medication ending up in our water systems. One such method is a medicine take-back programme with your local chemist / doctors. Alternatively, seal the medicine in a plastic bag and pop it in the bin.

Should medicine go down the drain? NO

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