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How to Properly Dispose of Cooking Oil? (In 4 Easy Steps)

Have you been flushing cooking oil down the drain? Forshame! In this post, we will discuss how to dispose of cooking oil safely and responsibly.

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You’ve just finished eating your fried chicken that you made from scratch. Delicious! However, there is a problem. What do you do with all the frying oil that’s leftover? You can’t just flush it down the toilet.

This post will discuss the different ways to dispose of cooking oil and provide tips on how to do it safely and without causing environmental damage. So read on to learn all you need to know about safely disposing of your cooking oil.

Person frying food with cooking oil.
Person frying food with cooking oil.

The best way to dispose of cooking oil is to allow the oil or grease to solidify and cool. When the grease has cooled, scrape it into a disposable container. When the container is full, seal it in a plastic bag to prevent leakage and discard it.

What is cooking oil?

Cooking oil is a type of fat heated to high temperatures to achieve its culinary effects. It is used for frying, baking, and other cooking methods. There are many different cooking oils available on the market today, each with its own unique attributes and properties.

Some of the most common types include olive oil, canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower seed oil, sesame tahini oil, etc., all of which have various health benefits depending on their use (e.g., canola oil has lower levels of saturated fats).

Cooking oils should be stored in a cool place away from direct light to retain their flavor and nutritional value.

How to properly dispose of cooking oil?

Below are four steps for disposing of cooking oil.

  1. Remove the oil from the heat and set it aside to cool down

    The oil will be quite hot once you finish cooking, hot enough to produce third-degree burns! As a result, don’t toss it out just yet. Allow at least an hour for it to cool. Never touch the oil to see how hot it is because you may get burned.

  2. Dispose of cooking oil in a container

    Pour the oil into a plastic container once it has cooled down. Tupperware or other composite plastic containers aren’t something I recommend. Keep them for food storage! Use a milk carton or a water bottle instead.

    Try not to use a soup can or anything similar; it might be difficult to seal and can end up spilling. If at all possible, use a single-use plastic container.

  3. Put the container in the trash after sealing it.

    Check to see if your oil container is properly sealed. Oil may leak if this is not done. This can make trash collection harder because pests and animals may be attracted to it. It also has an offensive odor.

  4. Put it in the garbage.

    Drop the container right into the trash. Then, you won’t have to cope with the ramifications of any leaks in your kitchen if they occur. It’s simply safer to take the trash out right away.

If you are looking for some nifty little containers to store your used oil and grease, check out these great options I found!

What to avoid when disposing of cooking oil

When discarding frying oil, there are four things to avoid.

1. Don’t use a thin plastic bag

Don’t use a plastic bag to store the oil. Oil may spill out of plastic bags due to their flimsiness. Instead, use a more robust plastic container such as a milk carton or a plastic water bottle instead of a plastic bag. Even worse, if you make the mistake putting the hot oil in an action plastic bag, the lard might belt the bag and fall all over your kitchen!

2. Don’t pour it down the drain or toilet.

A clogged water pipe is the last thing you want! Oil will eventually solidify and limit water flow through your water system. It might be expensive to have this examined and drained out. Therefore, pouring oil down the drain is not a good idea.

3. Don’t pour it in the open air.

Oil is harmful to plants and animals, can contaminate food supplies, and deteriorates over time. It might contaminate our sewer systems, drinking water, oceans, etc. Seal your spent cooking oil in a plastic container for the environment’s sake. Instead of pouring it outside, dump it in the trash.

4. Don’t fill your compost bin with it

Vegetable oil and other plant-based oils are excellent additions to your compost pile. You could toss your cooking oil in the trash if you used it to cook veggies—or anything else except meat or poultry.

However, frying meat or chicken in cooking oil may attract skunks, raccoons, rodents, and other animals you don’t want in your home.

5. Try not to use paper towels

It is not very common to clean the cooking oil used in your kitchen with a paper towel. But now, paper towels are no longer recyclable once they’ve been contaminated with food grease because of the contamination level and their materials.

Can you reuse cooking oil?

Oil may be easily reused by freezing or refrigerating it. If you fry frequently, you may save money and help the environment by reusing your frying oil as much as possible.

If you want to reuse your cooking oil, pick a high-quality oil with a high smoking point and drain it between uses with cheesecloth. Keep used cooking oil in a sealed container in a cold, dry location.

It will last up to three months in the freezer. After about a day, take the cooking oil out of the freezer to find it frozen! Ensure the container is properly sealed to prevent cooking odors from absorbing into the oil. Also, check whether the oil isn’t rancid when you take it out of the fridge.

In most circumstances, you can reuse oil up to three times. Just keep an eye on it, so it doesn’t go bad. Don’t use your oil if it smells rotten. It’s important to remember that the smoke point of oil drops with each use. So, after a couple of uses, change the oil.

If you are a visual learner, check out this video from Clean My Space, as they discuss the best way to dispose of your kitchen fat, oil, and grease.

A video called How to safely dispose of cooking grease from the Clean My Space YouTube channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about range hood blowers.

Can you flush vegetable oil grease down the toilet?

No! Grease should never be flushed. It will cool and solidify as it progresses through the pipes. Grease will build up in your pipes, causing them to clog. Pour your grease into a milk carton, seal it, and discard it in the garbage instead of flushing it down the toilet.

What’s the most responsible way to dispose of cooking oil?

Many recycling sites and landfills accept grease or cooking oil, and some will even pay you. These businesses understand how to recycle cooking oil in a way that is safe for the environment. Click here to see who in your region collects spent cooking oil.

How can I get rid of vegetable oil that has gone bad?

Check to see whether your oil has gone bad. Then put it in a milk carton or a plastic container. Put the container in the kitchen garbage after sealing it. That’s all there is to it.

Can you pour used cooking oil on the ground?

Because oil does not degrade, it will eventually end up in sewers, rivers, and seas. Cooking oil is toxic to wildlife and can stifle plant growth. Cooking oil should be stored in a milk carton, sealed, and discarded in the trash.

Can cooking oil be disposed of in the garden?

Oil can be composted. However, do not simply pour it into your garden. Oil is not biodegradable, and it will stifle the growth of plants.

Is it true that vegetable oil can cause plant death?

Vegetable oil is a benign insecticide that works well in modest amounts. To deter pests from devouring your plants, spray them on the leaves. It should not, however, be poured on the ground. The oil prevents oxygen and nutrients from reaching the body. As a result, it will have to put in more effort for the plant to live. Although a large amount of oil would be required to kill the plant completely, there are other options for disposing of your cooking oil.

Conclusion

If there’s one thing you remember, don’t throw frying oil down the drain! In the long run, this can lead to a slew of issues.

In this post, we discussed what cooking oil is, why disposing of it properly is important, and how to safely and responsibly get rid of it. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • The best way to dispose of cooking oil is to allow the oil or grease to solidify and cool. Then, scrape it into a disposable container when the grease has cooled.
  • Don’t use a plastic bag to store the oil.
  • Cooking oil is a type of fat heated to high temperatures.
  • One can follow some steps for effective cooking oil disposal at home or in a commercial establishment.
  • Never flush your oil down the toilet! It will pile up around the pipes’ edges, preventing water flow.
  • Paper towels are no longer recyclable once contaminated with food grease.
  • Poring hot oil can cause severe clogs over time.

So, do you feel confident that you can safely dispose of cooking fats and oil? Let us know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, check out my full blog for more tips and tricks for your kitchen. Thanks for reading, and stay safe.

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Author avatar - Roger Harris
Written By Roger Harris
Hey there! My name is Roger, and I've been selling range hoods for over six years. I now run this blog all about range hoods and kitchen ventilation! If you're looking for a new range hood for your kitchen, this is the place for you.

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