Safely dispose of Fats, Oils, and Grease

As much as we try to be healthy cooks and eaters, a lot of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) are used at Holiday time. Leftover fats, oils, and grease are not to be poured down the drain, through the dishwasher or garbage disposal, or toilet. Once FOG cools, it will solidify and begin blocking the drain. It slowly begins to coat the inside of pipes which will restrict water flow and cause a back-up resulting in inconvenience and potential costs to the homeowner which always seems to happen at the most inopportune time.

The safe way to dispose of FOG is to put it in your garbage or compost. There are a few things you can and should do before disposing of it. Number one is to remove excess FOG from dishes and pans before washing in either the sink or dishwasher. You can do this by using paper towels or even coffee filters. Throw the used paper towels or coffee filters away in your regular garbage.

If you have cooked something that needs to have the FOG drained from it (bacon, ground beef, etc), collect the grease in a container. An aluminum foil lined bowl works great for this. Once the grease is cool you can squeeze the foil closed and dispose of the package in your regular garbage.

Are you planning to deep fry a turkey for the Holidays? If so, remember to dispose of the cooled used oil after cooking. It is not safe to leave the oil in the fryer as it attracts pests and may turn rancid.

There are chemicals on the market that claim to dissolve grease. In most instances those chemicals only move the problem further down the line. Many of those chemicals are also not allowed by city ordinances.

With a little effort on all of our parts we can avoid expensive plumbing mistakes by safely disposing of fats, oils, and grease.

Marcia Steed

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Home Economics Education. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and traveling.

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