Cooking oil and grease are two of the best ways to add flavor to a meal, but they can wreak havoc on your plumbing. After whipping up a meal, many home cooks — and unlucky kitchen helpers — mistakenly decide to simplify cleaning by tossing all the leftover grease down the drain, often unaware of the long-term repercussions. The result is damaged piping, inoperable garbage disposals, and a large mess at hand. Avoid having to schedule emergency plumbing repairs by following these simple tips and tricks to dispose of, reuse, and repurpose grease safely. Contact us today to schedule plumbing services.
Don’t Pour Grease Out. Throw It!
The simplest way to dispose of grease is to let it cool and solidify. Once hardened, scrape the grease into a container or plastic bag to prevent any leakage and, when full, throw the container straight into the trash bin. With the majority of the grease gone, wipe down the cookware and dishes to remove any leftover grease before rinsing them or putting them in the dishwasher.
However, even small amounts of grease could, over time, damage kitchen fixtures and appliances. Using a paper or linen towel to wipe down grease from dirty pots, pans, and dishes can save homeowners the need to schedule dishwasher repairs.
Reuse Cooking Oils When Possible
As long as the grease has not burned or turned rancid, some cooking oils can be repurposed for deep frying, sautéing, and even baking. Before attempting to do so, allow the grease to cool down or heat stored grease until it is semi-warm but not solid. Then, strain the liquid through a cheesecloth, paper towel, or coffee filter to remove any leftover food particles. If it’s not being used immediately, store the oil in an air-tight container inside the fridge or another dark and cool place. Always taste and smell the oil before using it to make sure it is not rancid. Reusing oil for cooking is a great way to keep grease away from the drain and prevent sink drain clogging.
Clever Ways To Repurpose Grease
Asides from cooking, grease can be reused in a myriad of ways. Here are some useful tips for reusing leftover grease. Already tossed it down the drain? Contact us today to schedule plumbing repairs.
- Add to the compost bin: Grease in small quantities can be a nutritious treat for your plants. However, be mindful of how much grease you use. In large amounts, grease can cause issues with soil airflow and moisture. Also, make sure to store the compost bin securely, as the smell from grease (especially in large quantities) may attract pests and rodents.
- Make homemade oil lamps: Some hardened grease from neutral oils can be used in place of wax to make lamps and even candles. All you need is a mason jar, candle wicking, and some leftover cooking fat to enjoy the warm glow of a homemade candle. Add your favorite essential oils for a scented version.
- Season your cast iron: Leftover grease can come in a pinch when it’s time to season your cast iron cookware. Just make sure to remove any excess moisture from the cast iron pan or pot first — by heating it and wiping it down — before applying the leftover cooking oil. Once lightly coated with grease, put the cast iron cookware in the oven at the highest setting until glossy.