It has happened to all of us. You have just finished cooking, you look down and see a pan full of hot oil cooking that needs to be discarded. And you ask yourself, “Can I put oil down the drain?” “How bad can it be?” “Where am I supposed to put it?” “Will it melt in the bin?”.
Can you pour oil down the drain?
The first thing to know is the difference between hot and cold oil. These states should be handled differently. When discarding oil, it should always be cooled to prevent injury and damage. Pouring hot oil down the drain is very dangerous as it may mix with water and cause bursts of hot oil and water. If a burn occurs, immediately perform first aid and depending on the severity of the injury, seek medical attention.
Hot oil and fats will also likely solidify when in the drains, causing blockages and damage to the pipes. Disposing of the hot oil directly into the bin will result in melting the plastic. Cold oil, even though less dangerous, can still cause blockages and pipe damage due to its hydrophobic state ( the property of repelling water). The oil will coat your pipes, trapping particles of food and hair.
Pouring small increments of oil into a drain will cause an accumulation of oil; this may lead to expensive blockages. Oil, whether hot or cold, should under no circumstances be discarded down the drain. This will cause damage and blockages over time and may present a physical hazard.
How do I dispose of oil?
Only dispose of oil once it has cooled; never attempt to dispose of hot oil. If you need to discard a small amount of used oil, it is best to soak it up with a disposable paper towel and place it in the bin.
The safest method for disposing of larger amounts of oil is to use a disposable container for the oil, such as a plastic bottle, or to create a sturdy container out of foil. Wait until the oil is cool and funnel it into the container. Then dispose of the container in the bin.
How do I clear an oil-blocked sink?
The most effective DIY method of clearing a drain blocked with oils and fats is to pour a cup of baking soda into the drain and wait for a few minutes. Then, follow it with a cup of vinegar. Let this sit for a couple of hours so it can melt the blockage. After this, pour boiling water directly into the drain to clear it all out. Many people prefer this method since it is eco-friendly and won’t damage plastic pipes. The reaction of the baking soda and vinegar will cause the grime to loosen and the hot water will cause the unwanted grease to be pushed down the drain.
Time to call in the professionals?
If this method does not work, call an emergency plumber to clear your drain.
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