How can I dispose of fats, oil and grease?

Kitchen faucet with flowing water. Rapid Drainage, London drainage services.

It might seem logical to dispose of hot oil in the same manner that you dispose of leftover hot beverages, soup, sauces, and other liquids. Sadly, doing so might give you some trouble.

A risk to your home

Oils and fat can cause significant issues for the plumbing in your home. When oils and fats solidify over time, they accumulate in your pipes and eventually cause blockages in private or public sewers. You may have heard about the enormous fatbergs that are accumulating in public sewers due to the combination of flushed non-biodegradable substances such as wet wipes and congealed fat. If you are not careful, you might have to deal with your own fatberg and it can be costly to make it go away. Indeed, the average call-out for a plumber sits around £40-£60 per hour. So if you want to avoid wasting such a hefty sum, be careful when disposing of oil.

It is strongly recommended that you do not pour oil down your sink (or anywhere else — no oil in toilets!). Deposits of fat have the potential to contribute to blockages, which can then lead to sewage backups and flooding, both of which can cause significant damage to your drainage system. In addition, constantly exposing plastic piping to scolding-hot frying oil can cause harm to the pipe’s interior and erode away the plastic. Even in the long run, exposure to even relatively low levels can be harmful.

How can I dispose of fats, oil and grease?

There is a widespread myth saying that you can easily remove oils and grease from your pipes by treating them with hot water and soap. However, this is not necessarily the case and might even make things worse. The soap in your pipes may actually harden when put in contact with the grease, causing it to cling to other particles and exacerbating the issue.

To avoid oil buildup and damage, start by removing as much oil as possible from your plates, pots and pans before adding anything to your dishwasher or washing up pile. Do not attempt to throw it away when it is extremely hot because it could cause your trash bag or bin to melt.

Oil and fat used in cooking should be discarded in designated food waste or in regular rubbish. You can also try to save old glass jars or ceramic containers to collect wasted oil, allow it to cool and simply dispose of it in the general bin once full.

If you want to know what you can do with your food waste, the easiest thing to do is look it up online. Some councils let users throw away small amounts of fat in your food waste container.

What can I do if my drain is blocked by oils and fat?

If you notice that clogging has formed in your drains, we advise you to start by trying to clear it yourself using a plunger. It is a cheap, quick and simple way to save your drain.

If the obstruction persists, we would advise you to get in contact with a drainage professional. They will be equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to efficiently remove obstructions without any damage to your drainage system.

Hopefully, this article has answered all the questions you might have had about oil, fats and grease disposal. If you have any questions or need help with your drainage system, visit our website or give us a call at 020 3488 6280.