Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>cooking oil down the drain?
12 posts / 0 new
Last post
cooking oil down the drain?

Does anyone know if it is safe for my plumbing if I let leftover vegetable cooking oil go down the drain in my kitchen sink? Does it clog or damage the pipes in an old house in any way?

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

It can solidify a little according to the plumber that was at my house just over a week ago. If your concerned about it or any other grease build up, pour a gallon of bleach, or a bottle of pine sol or 409 down the drain and flush with 5-10 gallons of hot water an hour later.

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Oil down the drain will create more buildup of junk on your pipe walls as it cools and solidifies.

And chemicals and oil down the drain aren't good for the muni water treatment plant.

What I usually do is collect it in a glass bottle and then cap it, or let it cool and it can go back into a plastic bottle. In our area, you can get rid of it in 3 ways. Bring it to hazardous waste - along with CFL bulbs, unused paint, unused chemicals, batteris, etc, OR a local restaurant that has a drum for spent oil - oil haulers in our area no longer charge for oil pickups because they're making money on converting it into biodiesel. OR small local biodiesel folks will allow you to drop off your oil. Check with your counties recycling or waste management for what's available in your area.

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Some years ago , I replaced a sink for my Mom . When I removed the drain pipes it was obvious that the previous owners had been pouring oil/grease down the drain for years . The pipes had a coating of crud inside that had reduced the inside diameter by nearly half . Long story short , don't do it .

Re: cooking oil down the drain?
YukYuk wrote:

Why bleach? what effect do you think it will have on grease or oil?

According to my plumber, bleach, 409 and pine-sol are all good degreasers.

I use bleach because I have a septic system and the other two aren't that great in the septic tank.

Re: cooking oil down the drain?
Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Look, I did my own experiments with grease and the pans it was left in last night as well as getting it through a straw. Bleach does indeed eat through hardened grease, FOLLOWED BY HOT WATER. This added water will dilute the grease enough to negate any harm it would possible cause. (and at my house with the afflictions my guys have, there's always someone in the bath room which would further dilute the bleach.) besides, the company that augers the lines for me is not the same company that pumps my tank. The septic pumping company says I won't need any pumping for another 12 years despite the high output of my family.

I have used this advice before to eat through the apple in the toilet and as I have said before, I know a land lord in Missouri who swears by this and has owned the property my cousin lives in for 30 years. He has not had to replace or have the tanks pumped.

If you have any better ideas offer them and leave me alone.

I knew I was making a mistake responding to a known trouble maker. Thanks for making me feel like abandoning this place.

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

I am connected to the city sewer system so I will probably not use chemicals. I'll just keep an old bottle and add the leftover cooking oil to it. It's oil that I've cooked with so I don't want to reuse it.

Thanks again.

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Bleach does remove grease....Trust me on that!:cool:

I work as a dealership technician and part time engine machine shop. We use bleach on fragile item that our regular solvent will destroy it.

I don't give a 2 chit what anybody quotes from Google search. Do the experiment yourself. :rolleyes:

By the way, bleach has been around for more than 30 years, way before stronger cleaning chemicals / detergents were ever invented.
Ask your parents, grandparents or elderly relatives on how they manage to remove grease on any house hold items!
One last thing, when I was a kid, I've seen my mother pour grease in the sink and flush them with bleach. We never had any problem with septic tank! :rolleyes:

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Another good way to clean out pipes is to put some baking soda down followed by vinegar. it'll fizz and fizz, then follow with very hot water to wash the yick away.

My father always told us not to pour any grease down the sink or the disposal (no matter what the directions said!), and showed us the grease trap when we moved out to the country, so we'd know he knew what he was talking about haha!
I save my old cooking oil if it's more than a couple paper towels will soak up, and use it to pour over my brush pile when it's time to burn it. I never have much oil, though... maybe i could get more from my brother-in-law, the french fry king... :p

Re: cooking oil down the drain?

Marjorie's right about the baking soda and vinegar. Pour about a 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain, then give it a 1/2 cup chaser of vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction breaks fatty acids down into soap and glycerin, which is fantastic because it gives your pipes that eighteenth-century-homemade-soap freshness while it washes the clog down the drain. That being said---let's just not pour grease down the drain kids. It's better for everyone.


Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.