How to Dispose of Used Cooking Oil

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You may use canola, olive, avocado, coconut, corn, or one of many other types of oil for cooking. What do you do with the leftover oil? Pouring it down the drain can clog the pipes, even if you dilute it with soap and water. Dumping it outside could end up causing fires. Simply Dumpsters has advice for you on cooking oil reuse and the best disposal methods for your home and the environment.

Leftover Oil

What situations leave you with used oil for disposal? Well, certain foods, such as bacon, produce excessive fat when cooked. Chicken thighs will yield more leftover fat than breasts. Fatty meats leave behind grease after cooking. Anytime you fry something in oil, like french fries or fried chicken, you have leftover oil. As we mentioned, throwing that oil down the kitchen sink will lead to plumbing problems that can extend into the sewer system.

Can the Oil Be Reused?

Generally, oil can be used two or three times before you need to throw it out. Strain the used oil through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to remove any solids. The oil will last for a month or two in a sealed container in the refrigerator. If the oil looks cloudy, has a strange odor, or has a top layer of foam, do not use it! Never put hot oil into a plastic container for storage. Use a glass jar, aluminum coffee can, or another heat-resistant container.

Reuse the oil to cook similar foods. Flavors are held in the oil from whatever you cooked in it. Using oil that is left from cooking fried chicken would not be a good choice for frying donuts, but it would work perfectly well for potatoes.

Ways to Dispose of Cooking Oil

Throwing hot oil directly into the garbage will melt any garbage bag you are using. This makes a huge mess and can attract pests if not completely cleaned up. You can soak up liquid oil with paper towels and throw them away, but this is a huge waste of paper towels.

Cooking oil becomes solid after it has been used. That’s why pouring it down the drain is a bad idea. Allow the oil you are going to throw to cool and solidify. You can accelerate this process by putting it in the freezer or mixing flour into the liquid oil. Once solid, you can dispose of the oil with your regular trash.

There are also products available to help you get rid of old grease. They are generally made of recyclable materials that trap and absorb from 4 oz to 3 cups of oil. Search on Amazon or at your local hardware or chain store.

Cooking oil can be recycled. Visit Earth911 to find a facility that recycles cooking oil near your zip code. Cooking oil can be refined into a clean burning biofuel for diesel engines.

Avoid adding used cooking oil to compost piles. Animal fat will attract bugs and too much vegetable-based oil may block the airflow necessary to the composting process.

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to cook food without frying — and that eliminates the problem completely! Try an air fryer for the fried taste without the oil. Just remember, if you do fry or use oil in other ways in your cooking, try to reuse it before discarding it properly.

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