Pouring used cooking oil down the drain after making fried chicken, stir-fry, or bacon and eggs may tend to be the quickest and easiest solution. Nevertheless, grease will clog kitchen pipes and local drainage systems, so this doesn’t seem right. We should avoid all of these cases. So, to assist you with proper disposal, we’ve outlined the measures you can take at home to safely, effectively, and environmentally dispose of used cooking oil. We’ve also included some inventive ideas for using used cooking oil in compost and developing other valuable products such as soap.
Remember that even the tiniest amount of grease poured down the drain regularly will add up to have a cumulative and potentially detrimental impact on your home and the environment.
Keep The Cooking Oil In A Safe Place
Since it is commonly appropriate to store used cooking oil and dispose of it with other household garbage, it is common in most households. There are, however, some measures and considerations to bear in mind.
- To begin, ensure that the used oil is cool enough to pour into a disposal jar.
- When it’s cold enough to treat, store it in airtight, disposable containers such as water bottles, take-out boxes, or empty milk cartons.
- Correctly and securely seal the containers.
- You can now put this in your food waste bin to be disposed of after it has been tightly sealed.
- If you’d rather deal with used cooking oil as a “solid” rather than a “liquid” waste, you can freeze it. Used cooking oil takes about a day to freeze fully.
- When mixing used cooking oil with other household waste, do not use plastic bags to store it. Used oil can leak out of plastic bags because they aren’t strong enough.
Also, here’s a fun detail about cooking oil:
Did you know that freezing cooking oil will keep it fresh for a long time? New, unused, or unopened cooking oil will last up to 2 years in the freezer and around one year in the pantry if sealed tightly.
Different Ways for Disposing Cooking Oil
There’s a couple of ways you can use to dispose of cooking oil.
Bring Used Oil To Restaurants For Proper Disposal
Do you have any restaurant-owning friends? Or maybe you live near a restaurant. The existence of a restaurant assists in the disposal of cooking oil because they would have sources for hazardous waste disposal, allowing you to rest assured that the waste is being disposed of properly.
Contact The Hazardous Waste Collection Provider
The companies that collect household hazardous waste (HHW) also collect other forms of debris, such as medical waste; this is a multi-beneficial choice. If they have a pick-up service at your home, you’ll be able to dispose of several forms of hazardous waste at once.
Invest in a Grease Disposal System
You can find a grease disposal device in the form of a kit and a plastic canister with foil-lined bags that can accommodate a maximum of 32 ounces included in this scheme (2 lbs). You can choose from various choices, such as Bed, Bath and Beyond’s The Fat Trapper Grease Disposal System.
Place a bag in the jar and fill it with used/cooled cooking oil. When the bag is loaded, seal it and dispose of it in the trash.
Add to the Compost Pile
It’s a surprise considering that it is oil, right? You’re cooking with vegetable oil extracted from foods like:
Since these are all-natural ingredients, adding them to your daily compost pile is perfectly healthy. The only exception is if you used animal fat or cooked with meat, attracting insects and small animals. Earthworms like to eat cooking oil, which is a fun reality. As a result, adding cooking oil to your compost pile benefits the oil and the creepy crawlers underneath it. However, there is one caveat: try to use as little cooking oil as possible. One explanation is that it can attract other animals besides worms. Another problem is that it can result in an accumulation of grease that obstructs air/water flow. The fancy word is “hydrophobic barriers” if you want to impress your friends and family.
Combine With Other Solid Wastes
You can “convert” used cooking oil into solid waste by blending it with other absorbent waste materials before its disposal. After that, you can store it as usual and dispose of it in your standard household waste disposal.
- Cat litter
This approach aids in the rapid absorption of liquid, creating a less messy scenario while also assisting city sanitation staff. You may reuse or recycle cooking oil to have a more significant effect on the climate. The following segment delves further into these possibilities.
How to Reuse Cooking Oil?
You don’t necessarily need to dispose of cooking oil. You can store it as well.
Store In Glass Jars
A glass jar is an oldie-but-goodie choice for storing used cooking oil before repurposing it for another dish, and this choice also has the advantage of allowing you to reuse old jars.
What you should do:
- After you’ve finished frying, leave the used cooking oil in the frying pan to cool down.
- When it has cooled enough, carefully move it to a glass jar.
- Tightly seal the jar.
- Be sure to store used cooking oil separately depending on the type of dish you prepared with it. For example, don’t mix used fried chicken cooking oil with stir-fried seafood cooking oil. Common sense tells us that these flavors aren’t going to get along.
- Afterward, you can securely store your glass container in your pantry or kitchen cabinets.
Try to store used cooking oil in glass jars to put off disposing of/recycle the grease safely. Of course, you won’t be able to do it an infinite amount of times. Fortunately, depending on the type of food you’re cooking (meat/veggies), the amount of food you’re cooking, and the cooking temperatures, you will usually get 2 to 6 (tops) reuse out of the cooking oil.
One popular kitchen hack for getting the most out of your used cooking oil and keeping it free of “impurities” is to pour it through a small strainer or a piece of coarse cloth, and this helps you strain any leftover batter or other foodstuff effectively.
If you’re using a filter, make sure to clean away any extra oil before washing it in the sink to prevent even tiny amounts of grease from going down the drain.
We might be instinctive to use paper towels to clean grease from filters, plates, pots, and pans, and then toss the used, greasy paper towels into the recycling bin because – well, paper towels are usually recyclable, right? — Wrong.
Grease-lined paper towels are usually not approved by recycling centers. It’s best to use more eco-friendly options, such as a washcloth made from an old t-shirt or a microfiber cleaning cloth, quickly rinse, wash, dry, and remove grease eliminating non-recyclable waste.
Be aware of the “expiration date” of cooking oil
The cardinal rule of reusing cooking oil is to recognize the telltale signs of rancid cooking oil. We should focus on several indicators, including the oil’s color, texture, and smell. Here are some general recommendations:
- Cooking oil from potato chips is usually “cleaner,” which can be reused up to eight times.
- Cooking oil from fried chicken can be stored and reused a maximum of three or four times. According to tests, used fried chicken cooking oil turned muddy and green after the fourth reuse.
- If you plan to reuse cooking oil, make sure to keep fish and other seafood cooking oil apart from chicken, pork, and beef cooking oil. It’s also important to mark jars to know what kind of food we can fry using the cooking oil.
Making Biodiesel From Soybean Oil
Is it possible to rev a diesel engine with soybean oil? It turns out that this is a viable option. Remember the fact that corn is still used for that reason today.
Disclaimer: you’ll need more cooking oil than you would for frying an egg, and you’ll probably need a lot of it. In reality, some industries, such as restaurants, have turned it into a sector, and they sell large quantities of cooking oil to businesses that turn it into Biodiesel.
There are numerous online tools for locating local companies that turn cooking oil into Biodiesel. If they only welcome large numbers, look for a nearby restaurant that follows the same policy. You may be able to donate your cooking oil.
Make Some Soap
Most people would probably never suggest using used cooking oil for this purpose. Soap is usually made from fat, and the use of cooking oil to make soap is practical because it is yet another way to reuse the oil and cook with it.
It’s also much superior to simply throwing the oil into the garbage can. That is the polar opposite of the three Rs and is unquestionably less eco-friendly.
Use The Cooking Oil As A Non-toxic Insecticide & Weed Killer
Insects and small animals enjoy cooking oil, but we can also use it to keep them away. The oil covers dangerous bugs’ bodies and blocks their breathing pores, effectively suffocating them. It’s also an environmentally friendly choice since vegetable oil is the main ingredient.
Here’s how to turn cooking oil into insecticide:
- In any container that can be closed with a lid, combine 1 cup of used vegetable oil and one tablespoon of soap.
- Cover and thoroughly shake.
Here’s what you’ll need to do when you’re about to use your own “homemade pesticide spray”:
- In a generic spray bottle, blend two teaspoons oil spray mix with 1 quart of water.
- Spray on the surface of plants infested with pests directly.
Weed-killing with vegetable oil is another choice and using it the same way as you would a pesticide.
If you choose to recycle used cooking oil rather than reuse it, the following section contains simple guidelines.
Tips for Cutting Back on Cooking Oil
One way to cross used cooking oil disposal off your home to-do list is to use less of it in the first place. Cooking without oil is not only better, but it also results in more tasty and imaginative dishes.
Here are several tips for reducing the amount of cooking oil you use in the kitchen:
- Try using an air fryer: An air fryer is a perfect alternative to conventional frying because it simulates frying, and it works by circulating hot air at a high pace, which browns or crisps the food inside.
- Opt for baking: Baking is a healthier alternative to frying, even though it is more time-consuming. Numerous dishes can be baked rather than fried, including potato croquettes, samosas, cakes, kebabs, and patties. These (and others) taste delicious, sweet, and tender when baked.
- Pre-cook or steam: Have you tried steamed fish before? Cooked chicken breasts, perhaps? It tastes divine when seasoned with garlic, pepper, salt, and plenty of butter! With some boiled potatoes and carrots, you’ve got yourself a fast and safe meal. Pre-cooking decreases the amount of oil needed for frying.
Use a frying pan with a shallow bottom. Using a shallow frying pan with a lid instead of a deep frying pan helps save oil. It also traps moisture, allowing food to cook faster and taste better.
According to Global News Wire, the global demand for used cooking oil is worth around $6 billion in 2019. Reusing, mixing, and recycling are all viable choices if you want to dispose of cooking oil. You may also use the used oil for compost, pesticides, or Biodiesel, in addition to the basics.
The critical takeaway is to dispose of cooking oil responsibly and sustainably, and this will help reduce the negative impact on your family, community, and city/town. As a result, you will continue to prepare delectable morsels.