Fats, Oils, and Grease (aka FOG) isn't a well known environmental issue, but it is an issue in which everyone contributes. I encourage you to follow these simple steps to keep fats, oils, and grease out of the sewer system. Not only will this save your sanitation district money (tax payer $$) but also it will help you in keeping your own pipes clean. ($$)
By kim145 from Plano, TX
You're right, this is an environmental issue. Grease gets poured down the drain and enters the sewer system, where is solidifies and catches on protrusions. It then catches other debris in the sewers, and can even plug sewers up. Then it ends up in the water we end up drinking, along with medicines and anything else we pour into the system. Municipalities are having to pay a lot of money to clean this problem out of the pipes. Thank you for posting this.
To help explain this even further FOG includes all cooking oils (vegetable or otherwise), butter and margarine, dairy products (including milk) and even sauces made with any type of oil based products. Of course, bacon and other meat fats are a no brainer - LOL! ;-)
I don't know if it's citywide or statewide, but schools & busineeses here have not been allowed to put food or grease down their disposals for years. I never put grease down my drain, but after I learned why it's bad to put any food down the drain, I stopped using my garbage disposal all together. I pour my grease into an empty can or container & add used paper towels or paper to the container to absorb the oil before I throw it in the trash.
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I've changed how I get rid of meat grease when I drain hamburger or other fatty meats. We don't think about it, but all that grease does end up in streams, lakes, and the ocean when we pour it down the drain. Drain your grease into a safe container, (i.e. coffee can, etc.), then you can either add some shredded junk mail to it and toss in the trash.
If you're in the country like me, add some stale bread to it and let the birds in your yard have at it! They sure love the treat, and you're keeping all that grease from your drains and our natural resources.
By aloham58 from Onalaska, WA
If you have access to pinecones or corncobs, you can dip them in the grease, let it cool a bit then roll in birdseed. (02/20/2011)
I do the same I throw bread cubes in the grease for the birds. Up here in the Northeast, its so cold. The fat is good for the birds. (02/20/2011)
You can also mix it with oatmeal for the birdies! (02/21/2011)
I found that by using the WonderPour Kitchen Spout for straining and pouring the grease from hamburger and bacon is really good, no mess. I can pour it straight into a resealable container for disposal and continue cooking my spaghetti sauce, tacos. I love seeing all that grease gone and my family is not eating it. Less fat, less calories. (04/18/2011)
I learned from experience along time ago that pouring grease or even putting dish detergent and hot water in your skillet and pouring it down the drain would eventually clog your kitchen drain.
So what I do is save jars (any size will do) and I put a couple paper towels folded a couple of times or even a newspaper in my sink. Set my jar on top of that and and make sure you give yourself enough space to pour grease out of your skillet into this jar.
I use my lid being careful of the steam and using a pot holder for the lid, and pour the grease out into the jar the paper towels, or newspaper in the sink catch anything that might go over the sides of the glass. I wipe the glass off and let it cool some. Then, depending on when I will be using it again, I either save this jar or throw it out. But it really helps save on buying Draino and having to wait until it works. I can not remember the last time I had a problem with my drain!
By Darlene from Fairview, PA
Somebody should put that tip in the "Bride's Manual", if there is such a thing. (08/06/2008)
Not only kitchen drains but garbage disposals. Grease is a no no. (08/06/2008)
No grease down the drain. One time I lived on the bottom floor of a 3 story apartment. The lady on the 3rd floor always poured grease down the drain. One night I came home the sink was full of greasy water. The super and a plumber came over and told me they had unplugged the 3rd floor sink and now they had to fix mine. They got the clog out of the kitchen sink but it went into the bath tub. It kept going back and forth between the kitchen sink and the bath room tub. Finally at 10 pm I tossed them out. They came back the next day while I was at work and had to take all the cabinets out along with the sink to fix the problem. NO GREASE DOWN THE DRAIN. (08/06/2008)
Amen! Amen! I have to totally agree with you. Years ago, my husband and I sold our first home to a young married couple.
She made a habit of pouring grease down the drain, and then we heard they had serious problems with their septic system. They had to have all of their lines cleaned out. And of course since we were the former owners, we took the blame for her stupidity.
I've never poured grease down any drain, and have always used jars to dispose of it. (08/06/2008)
Coffee cans, metal or plastic, are great for this. (08/06/2008)
I found out a few years ago that most water treatment plants have a tank just for collecting grease that people put in their drains. When the tank is full, that becomes a major problem for cities.
In the winter months, I give the birds the grease to keep them warm. I use the ends of bread, storing them up in the freezer during the warmer months, covering them with cold grease and then sprinkling bird seed on them. The birds love the treat. (08/06/2008)
I confess, I ALWAYS poured grease down the drain. I even put the George Foreman grill at the edge of the sink and let the grease flow right into the sink and down the drain. Then my husband told me it would mess up our septic system (I had never had septic and a well before). Sometimes I don't have any empty jars around so I just let the grease cool in the pan and, when it gets solid, I take paper towel or newspaper and wipe it out and toss it in the trash. No grease down the drain and no burning myself trying to pour hot grease into a jar. I do like the bird seed idea, though. Maybe I'll try that! (08/08/2008)
I've always put my grease in an empty tin can, then used a cat food lid to cover it. When the can is full... toss the can and wash the lid for the next can. Plus you don't have to worry about the glass shattering if your grease is too hot.
If you want to go green, I would recommend that you put it in an empty milk carton. The carton is biodegradable. (08/09/2008)
By Ron Nasty
I have been pouring grease down the sink since I could cook. I just leave the hot water running for several minutes to make sure it all goes down. Never had a prob my whole life. Good luck. (08/22/2008)
My mother in law wanted to pour grease down the drain and we got in an argument because this was at my home. I thought it was common sense to not do that! I'm glad there are silly blogs like this one. I'm the one who does the plumbing in my home and have found buildup of grease in the pipes, oh and don't put onion skins in the disposal either! (02/25/2009)
I had an argument about this very problem with a friend whose garbage disposal and drains were always messed up. I finally got out her manual for the garbage disposal and lo and behold! The manual said if you must dump grease in the drain always run cold water while you do it.
It said that the hot water will melt the grease and allow it to go only so far, until it met up with cold water in your drain system and then cause a clog! Running cold water as you pour the grease into the drain will make it harden up into smaller pieces and let it run through completely, who knew? I still don't dump grease down the drain regardless.