How to Dispose of Cooking Oil and Food Without Clogging Your Sink Drain
If you love cooking, you probably know how tempting it is to pour the leftover oil or grease from your frying pan down the sink. It seems like a quick and easy way to get rid of the mess, right? Wrong. Pouring oil down the sink can create serious problems for your plumbing and the environment. In this blog post, we’ll explain why you should never do it, what problems it can cause, and how you should dispose of your cooking oil and food scraps properly.
Why is pouring oil down the sink bad?
Oil or grease from cooking oils usually is thick in consistency, and grease clogs can solidify into fatty deposits once cool. These will stick to pipes and drain ways. And the more cooking oil or oils such as bacon grease that is washed down the sink, the more fatty deposits can grow over time and cause a grease-clogged drain .
Not only that, but oil can also combine with other waste items like wet wipes, hair, and food scraps to form a hard blockage known as a “fatberg“. These monstrous masses of fat can clog up sewer systems and cause major damage to the infrastructure and the environment. For example, in 2017, a 250-metre long fatberg described as being “as heavy as 11 double-decker buses” clogged up a Victorian-era sewer in London for weeks . Fatbergs are also a problem in Australia, especially in winter when cold temperatures help fats and oils solidify .
What problems can pouring oil down the sink cause?
If you pour oil down the sink, you could end up with a range of problems, such as:
– Slow-draining or blocked sinks that can cause flooding, bad smells, and attract pests
– Damaged pipes that can leak, burst, or corrode due to the buildup of fat and acid
– Expensive plumbing repairs that can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars
– Environmental pollution that can harm wildlife, plants, and water quality due to the release of sewage and chemicals
– Health risks that can arise from exposure to bacteria, viruses, and parasites that thrive in clogged drains and sewers
How should you dispose of oil and food properly?
The best way to avoid these problems is to dispose of your cooking oil and food scraps properly. Here are some tips on how to do that:
– Let the oil cool down completely before handling it
– Pour the oil into a sealable container like an old jar or bottle
– Throw the container into the garbage bin or recycle it if your local council offers that option
– Use a paper towel or a spatula to wipe off any remaining oil or grease from your cookware
– Scrape off any food scraps from your plates and utensils into the bin or a compost bin
– Use a sink strainer to catch any small particles that might slip through
– Rinse your dishes with hot water and detergent to remove any traces of oil
What if oil is already clogging your sink drain?
If you have already poured oil down the sink and noticed signs of a clog, such as slow drainage, gurgling noises, or foul odours, don’t panic. There are some things you can try to clear the blockage before calling a plumber, such as:
– Boiling water: Fill up your sink with boiling water and let it drain slowly. The heat might help melt some of the fat and loosen the clog.
– Baking soda and vinegar: Sprinkle half a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by half a cup of white vinegar. Let it fizz for 15 minutes, then flush with hot water. The chemical reaction might help break down some of the grease and debris.
– Plunger: Place a plunger over the drain and pump it up and down several times. This might create enough suction to dislodge the clog.
– Drain snake: Insert a drain snake or a wire coat hanger into the drain and twist it around to catch any solid objects. Pull them out carefully and dispose of them in the bin.
If none of these methods work, or if you have recurring clogs, you should call a licensed and local plumber like www.getunblocked.com.au . They have the tools and expertise to clear any type of drain blockage safely and effectively.
Pouring oil down the sink is one of the worst things you can do for your plumbing and the environment. It can cause clogs, damage, pollution, and health hazards that can cost you time, money, and stress. To prevent these problems, you should always dispose of your cooking oil and food scraps properly in the bin or recycle them if possible. And if you need professional help with clearing your drains, contact www.getunblocked.com.au for fast and reliable service.