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Cleaning up the grease after cooking...


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I keep seeing these public service commercials on television that warn people not to pour grease down the sink. That is obvious to me. Then they further specify that you need to wipe the pan out with paper towels. Is that really necessary?

What I typically do is pour off all the grease and fats I can (typically from the bacom I get from the butcher) into a vegtable can for the garbage can outside. I then take a liberal dose of dishwashing soap and a little bit of water and scrub it good, ensuring I get some soapy bubbles and rinse. Is this adequate to prevent plugging up my dishwasher and sink drain lines? This will prevent grease build up in my waste water lines won't it?

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I always figure that whatever grease goes down the drain, no matter how small an amount, can eventually meet up with its buddies somewhere further along and cause problems. Maybe not in my plumbing, but somewhere. Soap only breaks it up temporarily. So I prefer to wipe out as much as possible before washing; we just about always have twice- or thrice-used paper towels lying around, such as were used to wrap salad stuffs. (Where I live, we cannot have undersink food disposal units, and I have limited outlets for compost.)

Of course, I AM a child of the 60s. :wink:

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There are several systems that you can get that use grease-eating bacteria to keep your drain lines clear. I used to work for one of them-- Environmental Biotech, Inc. We sold mostly to commercial kitchens but all the employees used them in their home kitchens, as well.

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(Where I live, we cannot have undersink food disposal units[...].)

I thought I read in The New York Times sometime last year that New York City had lifted its longstanding ban on garbage disposals. I've this vague recollection that it had something to do with that huge new sewage treatment plant in Harlem.

Or was this just a limited demonstration project in a specific part of the city? (I also seem to recall that the stated reason for the ban had something to do with clogging the water and sewer lines.)

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

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Genereally I just dump pan grease down the sink... Hardly ever more than like half a cup from a pan at a time, but I have never had a problem, and I usually run some hot water after to wash it all down.

When I need to clean out my deep fryer I wait until the middle of the night and walk out to the storm drain to dump it...

He don't mix meat and dairy,

He don't eat humble pie,

So sing a miserere

And hang the bastard high!

- Richard Wilbur and John LaTouche from Candide

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There are several systems that you can get that use grease-eating bacteria to keep your drain lines clear. I used to work for one of them-- Environmental Biotech, Inc. We sold mostly to commercial kitchens but all the employees used them in their home kitchens, as well.

That’s what I do. I know in most places that is a larger pipe, 4” or better.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I usually get lots of styrofoam container from restaurant and put all the used oil from the kitchen in them. Also, I wipe the pan with paper tower to absorb any oil before washing them. It is probably not wise to throw a large amount of oil down the sink.

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FWIW - a plumber once told me that the hot water only lasts a few feet down the pipe and that once the water with grease/fat gets cool as it plunges further down the pipe, it has a tendency to cling to the pipes and attract like globules.

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If you really must pour grease down your drain, wait until it's cold and then chop it up into pieces and flush it with cold water. That ensures it stays solid the entire trip to the treatment plant.

Best advice I've heard so far.

If you dumb grease in the garberator for example and try to rinse it with hot water, you'll just end up spreading it around the inside of the garberator. Same thing with the regular pipes. Solid grease is the way to go.

Regarding clogging the pipes ... drain pipes from your sink are usually 1.5" to 2" O.D. Once they hit the stack you're looking at 3" or bigger if you're in an apartment. That's a lot of area to clog. Not saying it'll never happen, but you're pouring a hell of a lot of grease down there if it does.

A.

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I keep seeing these public service commercials on television that warn people not to pour grease down the sink. 

Are those peculiar to the West? I have never seen such a commercial. I guess that's why my grease goes right down the sink, no problem. It's all just a state of mind.

Seriously, I rarely have more than 1/4 cup of grease at a time, but I've NEVER had a clogged kitchen sink drain. I used to think about it but experience has taught me that it's a waste of mental effort.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I'm more worried about clogging my arteries than the drain pipe. A plumber's visit costs about $150, a bypass surgery costs about $150,000.

My $0.02

The difference between theory and practice is much smaller in theory than it is in practice.

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I keep seeing these public service commercials on television that warn people not to pour grease down the sink. 

Are those peculiar to the West? I have never seen such a commercial. I guess that's why my grease goes right down the sink, no problem. It's all just a state of mind.

Seriously, I rarely have more than 1/4 cup of grease at a time, but I've NEVER had a clogged kitchen sink drain. I used to think about it but experience has taught me that it's a waste of mental effort.

When I lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Texas, I never gave such matters any thought and never saw and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on the subject. While living in various apartments, I frequently had to sign a waiver that I would not flush dirty diapers or a certain feminie hygene product down the toilet (apparently that was a common occurence at the apartments I lived in).

Regarding dumping used oil and grease down the toilet, that sounds like a better idea but, with these darn low flow toilets these days, I would be concerned with drag in the trapways. Most houses don't have power assisted flush toilets so, those things clog way to easily already.

I had a coworker with a rent house that underwent expensive restoration due to this specific problem. The renters plugged up the drain lines in the kitchen with grease and oil. The expense involved was no where near the ~$150 mentioned. I'm not sure if some city building codes or ordinances were involved but, they essentially had to replace the entire run of drain line from the kitchen sink to the larger main waste water drain for the house.

Why I keep seeing these PSAs on Cox Cable out of Tucson is mystery. Perhaps the Tucson sewer system is having problems dealing with the quantities of stuff coming into the facility. When I am in Tucson, I do see a number of fat/grease/oil reclamation trucks running around. For all I know, it could be part of the reclaimed water program in addition to general sewer facility issues.

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Pour the grease in an empty coffee can.Let it solidify put a lid on it and toss it in the garbage can. Never had a problem, even though I do live in Georgia. I learned the hard way after having to dismantle the pipes under my kitchen sink to remove a 6 inch blob of solid grease. I wonder who put it there :rolleyes:

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Soap only breaks it [grease] up temporarily.

I don't understand the chemistry involved, but that strikes me as unlikely. Can someone explain the process that goes on if that is true? TIA.

THW

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." John Maynard Keynes

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Why I keep seeing these PSAs on Cox Cable out of Tucson is mystery.  Perhaps the Tucson sewer system is having problems dealing with the quantities of stuff coming into the facility.  When I am in Tucson, I do see a number of fat/grease/oil reclamation trucks running around.  For all I know, it could be part of the reclaimed water program in addition to general sewer facility issues.

That's interesting. I've never seen a grease reclamation truck either, outside of that Simpsons episode. I'm getting intrigued by Tucson!

Actually the only grease I produce is the runoff when I pan-sear some steaks or veal chops. I don't do bacon, I don't fry things, I saute with olive or peanut oil. That's why I don't worry about putting a few spoonfuls down the sink. Am I wrong?

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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(Where I live, we cannot have undersink food disposal units[...].)

I thought I read in The New York Times sometime last year that New York City had lifted its longstanding ban on garbage disposals. I've this vague recollection that it had something to do with that huge new sewage treatment plant in Harlem.

Or was this just a limited demonstration project in a specific part of the city? (I also seem to recall that the stated reason for the ban had something to do with clogging the water and sewer lines.)

The concern was for households on combined sewer lines, those that carry both sewage and storm runoff, and the effect on nitrogen levels in the surrounding bodies of water. But by golly, you're right! the ban was rescinded some years ago! Not specifically because of Riverbank, though, but because the 21-month pilot study indicated a minimal impact. Whoo hoo! I could get me one of them garbage grinder thingees when I redo my kitchen! (I should live so long) :laugh:

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection has helpful suggestions for disposing of grease.

And I could be wrong about the temporary nature of the effect of soap on grease. I was thinking about how, if I soak a greasy pot with soapy water and let it sit longer than overnight :blush:, eventually a slick of another sort forms on the surface. (No, not mold. I don't leave dirty pots in the sink THAT long. :raz: Well, um, not usually . . . )

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That NYC DEP page inspired me to try to find something similar for Jersey, but as far as I can tell, Jersey doesn't care what you dump down your sink drain. This may explain a lot about Jersey folk.

The NJ DEP does, however, care a great deal about what goes down our storm drains.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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I never put excess grease down the drain or through the garbage disposal.

A little, such as the residual in a skillet is not a problem but I treat it with Dawn as that really does separate the grease into discrete particles so it won't clump.

All our trash and garbage goes to a sorting place where they remove the recycleable items and they don't appreciate cartons of liquid grease.

I buy a box of kitty litter and pour the grease into that, which absorbs it and forms a solid which won't spill. I then seal it in a plastic bag and put a yellow sticker on it and mark it "Grease-No Recycle".

The pick up guys appreciate it.

I tip well so I get really good service. They push the dumpster back up the drive and into its little "garage" for me. Usually they leave them out at the side of the road.

It pays to be generous.

They have thanked me many times for not putting grease out in gallon jugs, which, in the heat of the sun, sometimes pop, leaving an awful mess in a dumpster.

One day some spilled out of the dumpster as it was being raised up for dumping into the truck. It is raised up past the front of the truck and a bunch of oil someone on the next road had put out in a 5 gallon can spilled down over the windshield.

You can imagine, with the dust blowing, just how messy the windshield was.

I gave them some Dawn and let them hook up the hose to the hot water in the garage so they could clean it.

They were really P.O.d at the person who did it.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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