Grease is one of the silent killers of drains and pipes. We often don’t think twice about cleaning off a greasy pan in the sink. But what if you knew it could cause major problems? Grease is a major culprit when it comes to clogs. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to pouring grease down the drain. From making bird feeders to using it for cooking, leftover cooking grease can be safely reused so it isn’t just a nuisance.
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Continue reading to learn why you shouldn’t pour grease down the drain and what you can do with your leftover grease.
Why Grease is Bad for Your Drain
As you probably know, grease solidifies once it has cooled. Although it may be easy to pour while hot, eventually it will cool once inside the drain. Once it has cooled inside of your drain, it sticks to the sides of pipes and collects additional gunk.
This mass will continue to grow bigger and bigger until it creates a full-blown clog that backs up your sink. Solidified grease can also be detrimental to sewer pipes and septic tanks. To prevent the need for drain and sewer services, you should simply avoid pouring grease down the drain.
What to Do With Cooking Grease
There is so much more that you can do with used cooking grease than pour it down the sink. When cooking bacon and other high fat meats, you can save the fat in a mason jar and use it later. It will solidify in the jar and you can scoop it out and use it for future cooking. Need some ideas for what to cook with your leftover grease?
- Season cast iron pots and pans.
- As a base in tomato sauces and roux.
- For sauteing and shallow frying.
- Add to leftovers and other foods for flavor.
If you aren’t sure you want to cook with leftover grease, don’t worry – there are plenty of other things you can do with it. Here are four out of the box ways that you can use leftover cooking grease and oil:
- Make bird feeders: let the grease solidify in some type of mold, such as a muffin tin, and roll it in bird seed. You can purchase a suet cage or simply hang it using some kind of hook. This is especially useful in the winter when birds need the extra energy.
- Add it to your compost: vegetable based oils can be added to your compost heap. Earthworms especially love this treat. However, keep animal fat out of the compost and be sure not to add too much vegetable oil.
- Use as household lubricant: got squeaky hinges? Use solidified cooking grease to get them easy to move again.
- Give it to your pets: drizzle warm animal-based fat onto your dog or cats food. While it shouldn’t be added to their food every day, it’s great for a treat every once in a while.
If you don’t want to reuse your cooking grease, be sure to dispose of it properly. Let it solidify in a silicone mold (to make removal easy) and then pop it into a paper bag. Once you throw that paper bag into the trash you have successfully discarded your oil.
What You Should Do if You Already Poured Grease Down the Drain
So, what if you’ve already poured grease down the drain? Plumbers do not recommend using chemical drain cleaners. They often cause more harm than good, as they are corrosive to your pipes. Here’s what you should do instead:
- Gather baking soda and white vinegar
- Pour a third cup of baking soda into the drain
- Pour a third cup of vinegar into the drain and close it up
- Wait thirty minutes to an hour and flush with hot, but not boiling water
- This should remove most of the grease caked on to the sides of your piping
You can always repeat this process every few weeks to keep your drain clear of issues. If you do end up with a clog, it’s important that you call for plumbing repair right away. The plumber will have to use a drain snake to remove the clog. As this can be an expensive service, it’s best that you avoid putting grease down the drain in the first place.
What Else Not to Put Down Your Drain
Grease is not the only thing that you should avoid putting down the drain. If you are afraid that you have a clog in your pipes, call a plumber for a camera pipe inspection. This can give you an idea of the shape that your pipes are in. Here are some more items to keep out of the drain:
- Coffee grounds
- Produce stickers
- Paper towels
- Household fluids and cleaners
- Fibrous vegetables
- Pasta and rice
- Lemons and limes
Things like coffee grounds, rice and eggshells stick to the sides of the pipes. Lemons, limes and fibrous vegetables can actually ruin your garbage disposal. Although garbage disposals are wonderful tools to keep our pipes free from clogs, they are not foolproof. Be sure to always scrape your plates into the trash can before you rinse them in the sink.
Dependable Midlothian Plumbing Service
Looking for a plumber in Midlothian, TX? Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating is the service for you. Our team of professionals is ready to help you with all kinds of plumbing needs. From drain and sewer inspections to maintenance, we have the tools necessary to complete high quality service. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, the Dial One Johnson team can give you the confidence that your plumbing system will be handled with care and precision.
Ready to schedule an appointment with our team? Give us a call at (469) 518-2809 or visit our website: https://dial1plumbing.com