Whether you love to cook or just do it every now and then, there comes a point where you likely have to dispose of some grease. It can be messy just to dump it in the trash, which leaves many people wondering if they can dump it down the toilet.
Dumping grease down the toilet is not a good idea. Not only is it bad for the environment, but you can also cause damage to your plumbing system, especially if it’s a regular occurrence. Reuse grease or dispose of it in the trash or, better yet, use a grease trapping system.
Let’s take a closer look at why you should never dump grease down the toilet and what you should do instead. We’ll also take a look at some other items that you shouldn’t be putting in the toilet.
Should You Dump Grease Down the Toilet?
You should never dump grease down the toilet. For starters, it’s a terrible idea for the environment. The grease could end up outdoors and seriously harm wildlife.
But it’s not just the environment that you need to worry about. The grease could also get stuck in the pipes and start to clog them up. Over time, if you flush a lot of grease, then you can expect to see regular waste get stuck and even come back up into the house.
It sticks to the inside of the pipes and eventually forms a seal that nothing can get past.
The only things made to be flushed down a toilet are human waste and toilet paper. For anything else, you need to find alternative disposal methods.
If you’ve already been flushing grease down the toilet, it might not be too late to save your plumbing. Stop immediately, and if you’re seeing signs of any problems (or just want to be sure), then a plumber can run a camera through the pipes and see if it’s starting to build and cause clogs.
The Best Ways to Dispose of Grease
Since you can’t flush grease down the toilet, you might be wondering if there are any safe ways to dispose of it. Let’s look at some options.
Before using any of these methods, you should make sure the cooking oil has cooled. Not only can warm oil cause issues with the garbage trucks, but it can also attract pests. The last thing you want is insects and rodents swarming to the warm oil!
If you cook regularly, consider storing the grease in a tupperware and using it later. This is an environmentally friendly option that’ll save your pipes.
If you’re going to use this method, strain the grease through a cloth to ensure you get rid of any leftover particles or crumbs.
You should store it in a cool, dark place. The fridge and freezer both work, but you’ll have to give frozen oil some time to defrost before you can use it again.
Dispose of It in the Trash
You can’t just throw a bunch of grease straight into the trash, but there is a safe technique you can use: Pour it into a non-recyclable container first, after letting it cool, and then put the container in the trash.
If it’s a very small amount of grease, it’s probably fine to throw it directly in the trash. Just make sure you aren’t throwing large amounts in there, and where possible, put it in a container first — even if it’s just a sealable sandwich bag.
Use a Grease Disposal System
If you cook with oil all the time, consider investing in a grease disposal system. It dispenses bags you can seal and throw safely into the trash, so you’re never tempted to deposit the grease in there directly. Even though it’s fine to pour a very small amount of grease into a trash bag, it’s still better to seal it where possible.
A relatively cheap version of this system is this Fat Trapper System (on Amazon).
Other Things You Should Never Flush Down the Toilet
It’s not just grease that you can’t flush down the toilet. There are other things that are often sent down but definitely shouldn’t be!
Many people think that wet wipes are in the same category as toilet paper when it comes to flushing them away. Wet wipes, however, don’t break down as toilet paper does, and they can cause huge clogs and damage to the system.
Much like wet wipes, sanitary products such as pads and tampons don’t break down in the plumbing system. In fact, they’re specifically built to stay together when wet. Make sure you wrap any sanitary products in toilet paper and place them in the trash rather than flushing them down the toilet.
Condoms aren’t designed to break apart with moisture and should never be flushed down the toilet. You can dispose of them the same way you would tampons and pads.
Kitty litter, from crystal to clumping, can also cause issues with the system. Some kitty litter advertises itself as flushable litter (on Amazon) and may be less likely to cause problems in a pinch, but even the safe types have been known to create clogs.
It’s best to scoop kitty litter into a bag and dispose of it safely in the trash.
Diapers are possibly the biggest issue of all because they’re so large that they’ll most definitely get stuck. Unlike the other things, which may build to cause a clog over time, you’ll notice the effects immediately if diapers get sent down the toilet.
Lastly, while it may seem fine to flush medicine since it usually dissolves, you should never do it. The chemicals can get into the water system and expose wildlife and even other people.
For the most part, the only safe things to flush down the toilet are human waste and toilet paper, as we mentioned above. If you’re ever in doubt, search for the best way to dispose of the item.
Grease is certainly one of those things that should never go down the toilet, both because of the environment and the damage it can cause to the plumbing.