This Hack Will Help You Safely Dispose of Cooking Oil Immediately After Each Use

published May 24, 2022
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Someone pouring vegetable oil into cast iron skillet
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Whether you just fried up bacon and eggs or made a stir-fry, pouring the resulting pan grease down the drain is a major no-no. Over time, all that oily buildup can solidify and easily result in pesky (and potentially expensive) clogs. For that reason, my husband and I usually pour the grease into a bowl lined with foil, wait for it to harden, then throw it away afterward. 

Our system has protected our drain, but it’s not my ideal long-term solution. My tolerance for visible clutter is pretty low, so I can’t say I love staring at a bowl of hardening bacon fat every time I go into my kitchen. I always end up tucking the little bowl in the corner behind the toaster so I can’t see it (and, afterward, mentally reminding myself to find a better system).  

Thanks to Washy_Wash_Cleantok, one of our favorite cleaning accounts on Instagram, the problem is now solved. Recently, the United Kingdom-based cleaning blogger offered up a perfect solution for kitchen grease — and the best part is, you can dispose of it right away, without any risk to your drain. 

Instead of pouring the grease into your sink or waiting for it to solidify, simply add baking soda to the greasy pan. The soda will form a thick paste, which you can roll up in a piece of parchment paper and immediately toss in the trash! From here on out, I’m definitely keeping these supplies on hand near my stovetop so I can dispose of excess oil and wash my pans right afterward. 

If you’d rather not waste paper, you’re not totally out of luck: You can, of course, keep it on the counter in a bowl or jar and toss it later. Or, you can save the grease for cooking a later meal. We love turning bacon grease into tasty vinaigrette.

Can’t use it right away? You can always strain it and freeze it for later. Either method you choose, your kitchen sink drain will thank you.