Frying food adds a crunchy texture to dishes, especially with deep fried until golden brown. However, the cooking oil that is left behind after frying can be difficult to dispose of. Pouring hot oil down the drain is sure to destroy your pipes, and tossing the oil out your window or into your garden is bad for the environment.
Oil disposal is tricky, especially as the liquid waste can damage pipes and suffocate plants. The most common way to dispose of cooking oil is to contain and toss it, but there are other ways to properly dispose of used cooking oil. Here are the top 3 ways you can dispose of cooking oil without damaging your pipes, or affecting the environment.
3 Ways to Dispose of Cooking Oil
#1 Pour into a Container and Toss
This first method is the most common way of disposing of used cooking oil. To properly dispose of your frying oil, prepare an old, disposable container large enough to hold the amount of used oil you're tossing out. Slowly pour the cooled cooking oil into the container, and toss the container with the oil inside it along with the rest of your kitchen garbage.
Alternatively, you can check your local recycling center for their grease disposal system, and whether they are willing to accept used cooking oil as part of their recycling efforts. Household cooking oil can be recycled into fuel. Recycling centers will accept cooking oil for processing into biofuel, or will dispose of the oil for you through proper channels.
#2 Solidify Your Oil
Used cooking oil can be disposed of as solid waste instead of liquid with a solidifying powder. These powders are modern solutions to properly dispose of cooking oil without the fear of the liquid leaking out of containers or leaching into the environment.
These oil solidifying powders come in single-use sachets - just mix the powder into the warm, used cooking oil, and wait for it to solidify. You can then toss the gelatinous mass along with your solid waste and food scraps. However, we do not recommend tossing the solidified oil into your garbage disposal as it may block the drain.
#3 Soak with Paper Towels or Flour
Another popular method to remove oil is by soaking it in paper towels or flour. This method is best done for used oil from stir-frying and pan-frying, as the amount of oil is not as heavy as oil for deep frying. Use paper towels to absorb the oil from your pots and pans, and toss out the soaked paper towels along with other household waste.
Similarly, you can use flour to soak up the cooled oil by sprinkling a generous amount of flour all over the pan, and let the flour soak up the oils. Toss the flour with the rest of your kitchen scraps for disposal.
How to Reuse Cooking Oil
Not all used cooking oil are one-time hits. If your oil has no off-putting smell, and the color is still clear, then you may recycle cooking oil by filtering out sedimentary bits, and storing the cooled cooking oil in a container. Doing this will extend the useful life of your cooking oil, and reused oil can be stored in the fridge for up to 30 days.
To reuse oil, it is important to strain out all the sediment left behind from deep frying. Many oil canisters have their own mesh strainers, but using cotton balls and coffee filters will help refine the oil further than what the steel mesh can filter out. Pour cooking oil through a cotton strainer or coffee filter 2-3 times before storing the oil in the fridge for reusing.
How to Not to Dispose of Oil
- Never pour hot oil down the drain. Not only can your pipes get clogged, the hot oil can splatter when in contact with water, and damage your pipes as well.
- Never pour oil directly into the garbage can as the oil can attract pests and rodents, and may leak through the garbage bag.
- Do not pour any type of oil into your garden or soil as the oil will cause environmental degradation as it seeps through the soil.
- Do not dispose of soaked flour or paper towels in your compost pile as the oil will disrupt the ecosystem, and may end up killing your worms.
- Do not dispose of solidified oil in the toilet or sink. Doing so will clog your pipes, leading to extensive repairs.
Whether it is canola oil, sunflower oil, or vegetable oil, dispose of used cooking oil in a responsible manner that won't destroy the environment or cause health problems to yourself or to others. Clean up your home after cooking, and keep your space maintained and spotless with Luce Home cleaning services that will ease your cleaning tasks.
Want more tips and tricks for kitchen cleaning? Check out the other articles on our blog to learn to clean kitchen appliances and more!