Homestead Hack: Don’t Flush Cooking Fat Down The Drain!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

You should never flush cooking grease and fat down your kitchen sink. It’s an expensive clog waiting to happen. The question is… how do you dispose of it? Don’t worry, it’s easy – check out this Homestead Hack.

Flushing grease and fat down your kitchen sink drain is a recipe for disaster. But how do you dispose of the fat from a roast or grease from the pan? Check out this homestead hack. #TexasHomesteader

Garbage Disposal Woes

We’ve all probably done it – rinsing out a baking dish of grease or fat and letting it all run down the drain. A quick flip of the garbage-disposal switch and the greasy problem is gone. Right?

I’ve written before about how I’ve discovered how the problem Is NOT Gone when we flush things through our kitchen sink pipes.

I’m not casting stones here. I spent plenty of my younger years flushing things down the sink, from plate scrapings to burnt-on food. And yes, the fat too. I figured if I used hot water it would simply flush that fat away safely. 

But I’ve learned a lot since then. I now know you should never flush grease or fat down the sink.

Clogged Pipe Disaster

I’ve learned that fat & grease flushed through your sink’s water pipes is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen.

This fat solidifies over time and can easily clog your pipes. That will necessitate hiring a plumber to come rectify the problem you’ve inadvertently created for yourself.

Since moving out here in the boonies and having all our plumbing going through a septic system, it’s even more important to me to treat our water pipes gently. There’s even more financial hardship on the line when you own a septic system!

Save The Pipes!

These days instead of rinsing leftover food off our plates into the sink, I scrape dishes to remove the small bits & pieces of food. Most of the time I scrape plates right into my compost bucket. Only then do I load those plates into our dishwasher.  

Back when I was a young mom I used to peel potatoes and carrots right into the sink. Then I’d push the peels through the garbage disposal and flip the switch. But no more!

Now vegetable peelings are added to my compost instead of being shoved down the sink drain and chopped with a garbage disposal.

Instead of adding bulk to our septic system making an expensive cleaning be necessary sooner than it should, those peels are actually helping my garden. They’re transformed into that black-gold compost of every gardener’s dreams.

Properly Disposing Of Fat & Grease

So I’ve dealt with plate scrapings and vegetable peels. But what about that fat? What about the grease? How do I dispose of that??

Well there are some who keep fats to use instead of purchased fats such as oils, butter or lard. But I prefer to use Bacon Grease for those purposes. So for random fats and grease byproducts of cooking, I opt dispose of it properly.

But our tiny wastebasket only gets emptied every couple of weeks. Isn’t that a stinky opportunity for unpleasant aromas in the kitchen? Well, no. Not the way I do it.

You see, I save a plastic peanut butter jar and label it for just this purpose. When I scrape out my skillet after frying food or cut the fat away from a roast, I simply place it in this properly-labeled fat jar.

Flushing grease and fat down your kitchen sink drain is a recipe for disaster. But how do you dispose of the fat from a roast or grease from the pan? Check out this homestead hack. #TexasHomesteader

I keep that plastic jar in the refrigerator to keep things cold, solid and virtually stink free.

Then when our trash is ready to be emptied I toss this sealed jar into the trash. Hooray! Pipe-clogging fats are kept safely away from our water pipes & septic system.


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10 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: Don’t Flush Cooking Fat Down The Drain!

  1. Ken

    I realize this is an old blog entry, but I will update my earlier post. My kitchen grease/fats/whatever I just use old plastic lidded coffee cans. Now, a word of warning if you happen to deep fry a turkey outside or have a fish fry like we did last Sunday. When I was disposing of the oil quite a bit got on the ground. Well my little Scottie, Archie, went to licking on it and was heaving for a good 15 or more hours. YMMV.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Ken, I laughed (so sorry!) but… Wow. So sorry that happened to your dog, so sorry it happened to you, too – having to nurse him back to health. Hope all is well now with little Archie. ~TxH~

  2. Nancy

    I haven’t poured grease down the drain in many, many years. My mom always told me not to, but I (in my younger, know everything way) did it anyway. And,of course, I ended up needing a plumber. He took the drain pipes apart and I saw all that congealed grease (need I say eww?). I never did it after that. I would pour it into a vegetable can and when it hardened take it to the trash. Now I just let it cool (but not harden) in the pan then pour it into a small square thing and make suet for the birds.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I used to do as you and pour into an empty veggie can & leave in the fridge to harden before throwing away. But that was when I was a kid living in the city with twice weekly trash pickup. Since our trash doesn’t get taken out but about every 2 weeks (and because sometimes my grease is more liquid such as oils & frying grease) I use this method with a lidded plastic jar. I’ve never made suet before though. Hummmm… Maybe I should give that a try with the harder grease? Thanks for the tip. ~TxH~

  3. Marcia willert

    I’m on a septic tank and rarely use my garbage disposer. What I do with fat & meat trimmings or anything else that I don’t want in the trash is I put it in a grocery bag tie it in a knot and stick it in the freezer till trash time. Similar to what your doing but I freeze it & put it out frozen so there is no stinky odor.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      When the septic company installed our system, he cautioned for us to use our garbage disposal only sparingly as a method for chopping up small bits of food that end up in the drain. He said it’s best to keep as much food as possible out of the septic system, and we should scrape our plates before rinsing them off. We’ve tried very hard to be mindful of that. Most small bits that do end up in our sink are caught in the sink strainer & shaken out into our compost bucket. So precious little food scraps actually go through the pipes. Our septic inspection guy always comments on the excellent condition of our septic system when he inspects it. ~TxH~

  4. Ken

    I put it all in the compost. Every New Year’s I fry a turkey for the family. Some of the leftover oil is used throughout the year to lube the T-valves on my RV waste tanks, the rest goes on the compost. Only downsides I’ve read are regarding vermin, but the mice are going to be there anyway and snakes eat the mice and I sometimes shoot the snakes. This happens rarely though. Snakes give me the woolies!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ll have RancherMan toss the wetter greasy stuff containing meat/gristle remnants type waste at ‘the ditch’ away from the cattle. There various little critters are welcome to it and the watery greasy stuff just soaks in. It’s not done often but it’s needed sometimes. Most of the time this Homestead Hack is how I deal with grease & fat. ~TxH~

  5. JC

    Thank you! We will be soon moving to a home with a septic tank! I do try to thrown the grease/fat away, but not good enough for septic!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Sometimes it just takes a small amount of rethinking things JC. This is an easy way around it for sure, septic tank or not. ~TxH~


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