How to Properly Dispose of Cooking Oil (Without Clogging the Kitchen Sink)

Turkey, chicken, okra—everything gets deep-fried during Georgia Thanksgivings.

But what do you do with gallons of leftover oil?

Well, whatever you do, don’t pour it down the kitchen sink—unless you want a massive clog in your sewer line (and a plumber’s bill to boot).

So, what should you do with it? You have 3 options:

Option 1: Trash it

Clearly, you can’t just pour scalding hot oil in the trash. But you can dispose of it safely.

Here’s how:

  1. Allow the oil to cool post cooking
  2. Pour it into a hard container (like a glass jar) and seal the lid tightly.
  3. Optional: If you’re not confident that the jar can be sealed tightly enough to prevent a leak, put the jar in the freezer until the oil is frozen.
  4. Throw a jar in the trash.

Option 2: Reuse it

Oil isn't free, and we both know you’re going to fry more food in the future. So why not reuse it?

Here’s how:

  1. Wait for the oil to cool (cover the pot to keep dust out).
  2. Use a skimmer to skim off and discard any floaters and large pieces of debris lurking in the pot.
  3. Pour the oil through a fine mesh strainer into a clean, dry pot. Caution: If you were frying flour-dredged foods, you may see flour-filled oil at the bottom of the pot. Stop pouring when you get to that stuff and trash it separately.
  4. Use a funnel to pour the oil back into a container (the original oil container works perfectly).
  5. Seal the container tightly and store it in a cool, dry place.

Option 3: Recycle it

You can recycle cooking oil so it can be turned into biodiesel fuel.

Here’s how:

  1. Allow the oil to cool. (Are you noticing a pattern here?)
  2. Put oil into a leakproof container.
  3. Go to to find a recycling center in your area.
  4. Drop off the oil at the center.

If you do get a kitchen clog, we’re here for you

Hopefully, the above advice will keep your plumbing clog-free this Thanksgiving. But if you have any plumbing issues, Mr. Plumber has got your back, Atlanta!

Mr. Plumber has been serving the plumbing needs of homeowners in the greater Atlanta metro area since 1966.

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