Some people don’t know the kind of damage the oil or grease can do when poured down a sink. The last thing you should pour down your sink is cooking oil.
It creates serious problems in the plumbing system and environment. It coats the pipes, thereby causing clogs. When cooking oil hardens within the sewer lines, it can result in backing up of sewer waste into your home.
Resolving such problems can be quite expensive. If a neighborhood shares the same water and sewerage lines, blockages from oil and grease can cause major sewer backups into the waterways and streets. Such a scenario would create major environmental and public-health risks.
Ineffective Methods of Clearing Oil & Grease
If someone pours oil or grease down the drainage, you may at first think of trying to dissolve it by using a detergent, drain cleaner, hot water, or garbage disposal.
However, these methods are ineffective. Drain cleaners that comprise of chemicals are actually discouraged for regular use.
Also, pouring hot water down the drains will melt the oil only for it to cool down and solidify further down the drain, leading to serious clogs deep down the drain.
Detergents that are believed to remove grease and fat also lead to clogs deep down the drain. Garbage disposals may not remove oils and grease from the plumbing.
While drain cleaners may assist in breaking up clogs that result from oil, they are corrosive. They can actually damage the pipes if used frequently. Such damage would demand costly repairs.
The Best Remedy
The best remedy is using natural and noncorrosive methods to clear oil clogs. For instance, you can use baking soda and white vinegar to remove oil clogs.
In this case, take some baking soda (half a cup) and pour it down the drainage. Next, pour white vinegar (half a cup) down the same drainage. The mixture will cause fizzing within the drainage.
Once you’ve poured the two products, cover the drainage to maintain the fizzing effect. Allow for the fizzing to go on for 10 minutes. Then flush the drainage with boiling water (one kettle).
Vinegar and baking soda can dissolve fatty acids to form glycerin and soap, thereby preventing clogs. However, to avoid injury and burns on your eyes or face, don’t use this method when a commercial drainage opener is used or where there’s standing water.
How to Dispose Cooking Oil
You should never dispose cooking oil down the drainage. The best method for disposing oil is putting it in sealable containers. Once the oil cools and solidifies, tighten the container lid and dispose the container in a trash bin.
Alternatively, store the cooking oil in re-sealable containers and drop it off in a local recycling center. Recycled oil is used in making alternative fuel for a diesel engine.
It’s also used as a major ingredient in making some pet food, livestock feed, and cosmetics. Before washing oily dishes and cookware, wipe them with absorbent paper towels to remove the cooking oil.
Products That Shouldn’t Be Poured Down the Drainage
Some water and sewerage agencies advice on the liquids and products that shouldn’t be disposed down the drainage. For instance, avoid pouring these products down the drainage:
- Untreated bio-hazardous waste
- Chemical waste
- Radioactive waste
- Viscous substances
- Corrosive products
- Oil and grease
- Liquids that are hotter than 150 °F
- More than ten gallons of a liquid