Can You Pour Olive Oil Down The Drain? – Unveiling the Million-dollar Question

Are you having a hard time trying to find a way to get rid of olive oil? Can you pour olive oil down the drain? Let’s see whether this is a fitting method and how bad things can turn out if it isn’t.

We also provide you with some alternative solutions that help you protect your house’s drain pipe system and save your money.

Don’t stop scrolling down until you finish reading this post to get some great tricks.

Can You Pour Olive Oil Down The Drain?

You should never directly pour olive oil down your drain. By doing so, you can leave a big and disgusting mess that clog your drain pipes.

You probably may have read that disposing of olive oils or other used cooking oil through the sink can negatively affect your drain pipes. However, some people still ignore this fact, thinking of it as a myth or made up stories of those with nothing to do but wanting to make life harder.

Let us explain this detrimental effect and why this is a serious issue. When you pour olive oil down the drain, the oil will cover the surface inside the pipes with a substance layer. Other things like food, papers, or any waste washed into the drain, later on, cannot get past it. In the long run, they will form an impenetrable mass letting nothing get through.

As a consequence, dumping olive oil straight into your drain can damage all the pipes in your house or apartment and even the whole sewage system and wastewater treatment plants of your living area.

When the winter comes or if you live in a cold place all year round, the situation can be worse than that. According to scientists, olive oils freeze at 42 degrees, approximately equal to the refrigerator temperature. As the oil goes into your drain, it comes through your sewer system, hardens and freezes over time, and finally glues itself to the pipes. The longer you leave it there, the more difficult it will be for you to clean those blockages. You definitely will ruin your drain pipes if you keep disposing of oil in this way.

What Happens To The Drain After Pouring The Oil Down?

After pouring the olive oil down the drain, it is likely that out of habit; you will clean the sink with water and a bit of dishwashing liquid. You hope everything will smoothly flow down the pipes without leaving any clog. Unfortunately, this does not work with olive oil.

The oil stays in liquid form when it’s hot or the atmosphere is warm. Yet, over time olive oils can cool down and change into a solid state; after that, it can get thicken and pile up, especially when containing fats from meats or any ingredients of your prior meals.

As we’re saying, after flowing down the drain with whatever is left of your dishes, the oil and other waste under the drain will blend together and form a disgusting mess. They all float around in your pipes, and then after a while, they harden themselves and turn into sticky, solid substances.

From time to time, the mass of disposed oil and other things in your drain will keep gaining in size, blocking the pipes, preventing water from flowing, and causing clog problems. The more you pour olive oil down the drain, the harder the clogs are to remove. 

What You Need To Do If Accidentally Pour The Olive Oil Down Your Drain?

The best solution is to use nontoxic and natural tools to remove the oil or oil clogs. For example, try this homemade cleaning solution of white vinegar and baking soda. Follow the steps below:

  • Pour into the drain half a cup of baking soda. 
  • Mix the baking soda with the white vinegar. The mixture will create a bubble and foam reaction.
  • Cover your drain and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  • Heat some water and get it all in the drain.

When baking soda and vinegar work together, they can melt the fatty acids. As a result, they help remove the oil and clogs. Keep this in mind, do not try this method if the commercial drain opener is in use, or else you may end up getting burned.

It would be best to remember that plumbers can help you clear your pipes when they are accessible. If the oil travels further than the reachable point, you may have to fix your whole drainpipe system. 

How To Dispose Of Olive Oil?

Reuse The Oil

One of the wonderful things about olive oil is that you can reuse it. Not only can this solution help you save your money, but it also helps you take care of the excess oil effectively.

Olive oil decomposes at a slower speed compared to other oils, making it a perfect choice for storing and reusing. However, you should note that your used olive oil will retain some smells and tastes from the food you’ve cooked before. The best option for you is reusing it for one kind of ingredient only.

Recycle The Oil

This is another amazing choice for you. As you know, restaurants consume lots of olive oil. Correspondingly, many companies and businesses collect the used oil and filter and convert it to biodiesel fuel.

When you are done with your meal and begin wondering what to do with all the oil it leaves behind, you can recycle it by contacting recycling businesses in your area or reach out to the local restaurants to ask if they can help you deliver the oil to those recycling companies.

Compost The Oil

Olive oil is an organic ingredient that contains the nutrition that your garden requires to develop. In case you no longer have any need for the oil after cooking, composting it so that it can bring more life to your plants is a great idea.

Olive oil is a high-quality fertilizer for your plants. It will protect the soil moisture and provide the plants with essential nutrients. As a result, it will boost your plant growth.

However, you should add small amounts and thoroughly mix everything up. If not, the oil may slow down or stop the organic processes.

Throw It Away

If you don’t want to wait till the oil gets hardened, you can pour it into a container and toss it to the dumpster. It would help if you used something sealable so that the content cannot leak out into the environment.

Note: You should not directly pour the hot oil into the plastic containers as the high temperature will destroy their original shape. 

You can also leave those containers in the fridge so the oil can turn into solid form. After that, it’s easier for you to clean things up. But whatever you do, remember not to toss the oil directly into the dumpster without anything wrapped around it as the odor might draw certain pests to your home.

Final Thoughts

We hope you can get some useful information and valuable advice to deal with the used olive oil. Besides the question, “Can you pour olive oil down the drain?”. If you have any questions about olive oil disposal or want to share your experience, leave your comments in the section below.

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