3 Ways to Discard Used Cooking Oil

You probably know that cooking oil doesn’t belong in the drain. Even the little amounts of oil that ends up in the sink after washing an oily dish can lead to problems. Eventually, built-up oil can clog the pipes, leading to possibly unsafe conditions and a costly fix. Composting oil isn’t the best idea either, because it can throw off the moisture and attract pests.

But what do you do with it? Luckily, there are several options out there:

1. Reuse It. As long as the oil isn’t rancid, you can certainly reuse it a few times. After the oil cools, use a fat skimmer to discard any food bits floating in it. Strain it through a fine-meshed sieve or a coffee filter into a lidded container, cover, and store in a cool, dry place. Reuse as long as the oil doesn’t smell rancid or looks foamy.
2. Recycle It. Many municipalities offer free cooking oil recycling programs.
3. Toss It. Some things just can’t be recycled. If all else fails, the absolute best way to get rid of oil is to let it cool, pour it in a sealable container, and throw it in the trash.

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172 comments

DaleLovesOttawa O.
DaleLovesOttawa O.8 months ago

Agreed, Edith B, a good idea. Some good tips in the article.

Edith B.
Edith B.8 months ago

I reuse cooking oil once, if it has not been used for fish, after cooling and straining. After that use, I put it in a sealed container and toss it. We have no centers for recycling oil here. I wish we did.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

thanks for sharing :)

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Croweabout a year ago

I didn't know there were cooking oil recycling programs!! I will look into that. Thanks!

Bea W.
Bea Wilson1 years ago

It is research time for making soap from vegetable oil. I sure hope it's easy to do.

Warren Webber
Warren Webber1 years ago

Live long & prosper!

Alexandra Bruno
Alexandra Bruno1 years ago

thanks!

Cynthia B.
cynthia b.1 years ago

I put what little I use in a sealed container and put in my wet trash

William & Katri D.
NOMESSPLEASE D.1 years ago

Thank You

Irene M.
Irene M.1 years ago

I live in Spain, and traditionally many people recycles cooking oil by making soap out of it. The recipe is very simple - used cooking oil, caustic soda, and water (you can also add essential oils). The soap made this way is good and safe both for personal as for domestic hygiene. In other words, you can wash your hands, face, dog, clothes, floors, whatever.
I have often made soap this way, and the only con is the danger of caustic soda prior mixing with the water and oil. You need to wear protection on hands and face, keep children and pets away, and make the mixing outside whenever possible.
Very recently - actually, last week - I heard about a new device that makes all the process automatically. Basically, it's like a bread machine which makes soap instead: you put the three ingredients, close the lid, and the machine makes the soap without the hazard of touching the soda. It's still being worked on, but if it finally gets to the market, and it's affordable, I'll get one for sure.