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Can You Put Grease Down The Garbage Disposal? (Find Out Now!)
The garbage disposal is a helpful appliance that can make so many household chores less strenuous. However, it’s not a catch-all for all types of household trash. In fact, there are certain products that should never be thrown down the garbage disposal.
You can safely pour small amounts of grease down the garbage disposal. However, you should try to avoid it whenever possible. Grease can make it more difficult for your garbage disposal to grind up food particles and lead to blockages further along the sewer line.
In this post, we’ll tell you all about why pouring grease down the garbage isn’t the best plan, as well as some alternatives for getting rid of grease, fat, and other types of oil.
Table of Contents
- Can Grease Damage the Garbage Disposal?
- What to Do if You Spill Grease Down the Garbage Disposal
- How Do You Dispose of Grease?
- Keeping the Garbage Disposal Clean
- Related Questions
- Summing it Up
Can Grease Damage the Garbage Disposal?
There is a common misconception that garbage disposals remove all traces of grease, whether it’s poured directly down the drain or is just part of what you’re disposing of (such as hunks of greasy fat and tallow on a piece of meat).
However, this is not true.
Garbage disposals, even the best garbage disposals, do not remove grease, and what’s worse, grease can actually damage the garbage disposal.
Not only can grease slowly gather and impede the ability of the garbage disposal to chop up your food, but it can also clog the drain.
You’ll know that grease is clogging the disposal if the water drains slowly from your sink or if there is a strange gurgling sound when you use your garbage disposal. Odd smells are also indicative of grease that is backed up in the garbage disposal.
What to Do if You Spill Grease Down the Garbage Disposal
If you accidentally happened to spill some grease down the garbage disposal, don’t panic. A small amount of grease or one little spill isn’t likely to clog the drain.
However, you can safeguard yourself by boiling some water and then pouring it down the drain. This will turn the grease from a solid state back into a liquid, helping it move further down through the pipes.
If that doesn’t work, you can always add some vinegar and baking soda to the boiling water. The bubbling action will help break down the fat. As a bonus, it will make your drain smell fresh and clean too!
Ammonia is another product you can use to clear grease away.
How Do You Dispose of Grease?
You still have grease to get rid of. In fact, the EPA estimates that a single person produces up to 14.7 lbs of grease in a single year. However, pouring it down the garbage disposal isn’t the best option.
Fortunately, there are a few techniques (besides the garbage disposal!) that you can use to get rid of grease.
One is to simply allow the grease to solidify after you’ve finished cooking. Once it’s more or less solid (and cool), you can toss it into the garbage can.
If you don’t want to wait for it to cool and harden, you can pour it into a coffee can. Simply toss the coffee can into the trash when it’s full.
There are some circumstances that call for using lots of grease all at once, such as when you cook with a deep fryer. If that’s the case, definitely don’t get rid of it by pouring it down the garbage disposal! Instead, collect it in a separate container and bring it to a collection facility.
There are tallow companies that will pick up the used oil here and recycle it so that it is not being wasted.
Composting the grease is another option but be careful doing this. You will need to compost it in a pile that is nice and hot, as it can attract rodents and insects otherwise.
Keeping the Garbage Disposal Clean
Before disposing of your dinner, be sure to scrape all greasy foods off your plate. These foods should be scraped into the trash can, not the garbage disposal.
Use a strainer in the sink drains so greasy food doesn’t fall into the drain. Before washing any dishes that were used to prepare greasy foods, wipe them down with paper towels to soak up the remaining residue.
Your goal should be to get as much of the grease and oil into the trash instead of the drain.
Use plenty of water when running your garbage disposal. Stick to cold water for most applications. Avoid hard or fibrous foods in the disposal and regularly clean the inside of the appliance.
How do you unclog a garbage disposal with grease?
If you accidentally clogged your garbage disposal with grease, start by boiling a large pot of water. Pour it down the drain until it clears. You can then add some vinegar, which will help dislodge any grease that’s stuck inside.
Can you pour grease down the toilet?
Avoid putting grease in the toilet. This is just as bad as dumping it down the kitchen sink or into the garbage disposal. The grease can clog pipes and cause additional problems as it moves through the system.
Can you pour grease down the drain with hot water?
While hot water can help clear a clog once it’s formed, it’s not a good idea to deliberately pour grease down the drain with hot water, either. It can move the grease further down the sewer line. Eventually, that water will cool, and the grease will solidify.
Can you pour grease down the drain with soap?
Don’t pour grease down the drain with soap on purpose, but if a clog has formed, you might be able to use soap and hot water to get rid of it. The surfactant molecules in soap allow for the oil and water to be emulsified, helping to push out a clog and remove grease from your pipes.
However, it’s not a good method of disposing of grease by any means and should only be used as a method of fixing a mistake.
Summing it Up
When you take care of your garbage disposal, it will take care of you! Don’t pour grease down the garbage disposal. You’re just asking for trouble.
Instead, follow the tips above. There are plenty of alternatives that will keep things running smoothly!
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