A recent video I produced for a local water and sewer system taught me a lot about grease. The subject was proper grease disposal in restaurants to educate newly-hired employees. But it contains lessons for all of us.
While you’re cooking, grease is in liquid form. But if you pour grease down a sink, it’s eventually going to cool and harden, forming a clog somewhere down the line. This might surprise you if you had a mother like mine. She told me that you could pour grease down a sink as long as you ran hot water at the same time. Turns out, that’s false.
You may be thinking that compared to a restaurant, you produce a lot less grease. That’s true. But you still have your own sewer line to consider. So here’s a few tips for proper grease disposal.
Don’t put fats, oils or grease (FOG) down the drain. Use a scraper or disposable towels to remove FOG and food residue from cookware or plates before washing or putting them in a dishwasher. Dispose of towels in the trash can.
Always use sink basket strainers and empty them into the trash can. This is for my teenage daughter, who assumes she can just force food particles of any size down the sink drain with just enough water pressure.
If you’ve got a lot of grease, put it into a container until it hardens and then throw it away or put it in a recycling container. Some sewer departments have grease recycling containers for customers to take and return once filled. That grease is reused for a variety of purposes.
Don’t put liquid foods like gravy or batter containing fat, oil or grease down the drain. Who knew? Every southerner worth their salt puts a lot of fat and oil (and salt) in their gravy. Scrape it off the plate and put it in the trash can.
If these practices seem like too much trouble, remember you’re responsible for your sewer line until it meets the sewer main at the street. A clogged sewer lateral could result in sewage in your yard and a pricey visit from a plumber. That thought alone is enough to make me rethink my mother’s grease advice.