It’s that time of year when we’re planning festive parties and big dinners, frying whole turkeys, making batches of eggnog, baking cookies, and, generally, cooking up a storm. With all that cooking and eating, there’s a lot of cleaning up to do, and we want you to watch out for an invited guest…
That’s right, the Grease Grinch.
You know the Grease Grinch has arrived when your sink starts to back up at a most inopportune time. (And really, is there ever a convenient time?) So to avoid a visit from that slick spoilsport, be sure to keep FOG—fats, oils and grease—out of your drains, garbage disposal if you have one and, ultimately, the sewer system.
How do fats, oils and grease (FOG) affect my drains?
Whether it’s poured or is washed down the drain, FOG starts to build up on pipe walls, increasingly restricting the flow of wastewater through your home’s plumbing. Over time, FOG can block your pipes, causing overflows into your home or onto your neighborhood streets, down area storm drains, and into local waterways. As if that’s not bad enough, it poses a serious risk to public health. Yuck. Who wants to deal with a sewer backup, especially during the holidays?
How can you stay more merry and less grinchy?
- Keep your drain fat free.
- Can the Grease – Pour used cooking grease into an empty, heat-safe container (like a soup can) and freeze it. Once it’s solidified, toss the can into the garbage. If you’re frying a turkey, you can “can it,” or strain the frying oil and reuse it by storing it in the original container.
- Scrape Your Plate – Wipe all pots, pans, dishes, and cooking utensils with a paper towel before you wash them to absorb the grease.
- Catch the Scraps – Don’t use your garbage disposal unless you really need to. Catch food scraps in your sink with a basket or strainer and toss them into your trash or compost bin.
Frying a turkey? Here’s what to do with the leftover oil.
- Store the oil in the original container to use again. Strain out any particles and freeze it. Oil can be kept for up to six months and reused for up to six hours of fry time.
- Or, freeze it and then throw the hardened oil away on trash day.
- Or, recycle it at your community’s transfer or recycling center.
- Or, mix it with unscented kitty litter, sawdust or sand to solidify the oil. Then dispose of it in the trash. Be sure to avoid scented or disinfectant types of kitty litter as they can react with the oil and cause a fire.
Who don’t you want to see for the holidays? That’s right. The Grease Grinch… And the plumber.
FOG builds up. Your pipes could be getting closer and closer to being blocked every time cooking fat, oil or grease goes down the drain. Make the decision every day to keep your drain fat free, protecting your home and your community!