Grease traps are a wonderful invention that commercial kitchens use to keep their systems running, appliances sanitary, procedures up to code, and fats, oils, and grease out of the water system. There is so much cooking oil needed to make things crispy, cooked fully, tasting good, and not sticking to anything – sounds like a win-win situation, right? It is! For restaurants and other kitchens, at least.
But what about the average joe? What about the residential side? We have deep fryers and Dutch ovens and plenty of used cooking oils and grease that, when we’re cleaning up, has always been a pain in the rear. You can’t pour it down the sink because it clogs up the drain, you can’t pour it outside because it’s bad for the environment, kills your lawncare efforts, and can drain into your water supply, and in large amounts, pouring it into the garbage or in a sack just isn’t possible without a mess and lots of regret.
So what do you do with your leftover cooking oil? There are 3 recommended, responsible ways to dispose of it.
Oil is not a one-and-done food! In the deep fryer, when cooled and strained after each use, oil can be used 8-10 times! Each time, you’ll notice your oil level decreasing but, depending on the size of the fryer you’re using and food you’re frying, you don’t have to replenish it! Let it go down and then, at the end when it’s at a manageable amount, you can reuse it for other cooking methods, like pan-frying, marinating, and seasoning.
Between uses, make sure you store your oil in an air-tight container and in a cool, dark place. The pantry will usually work just fine, but if you’re worried, you can always store it in the refrigerator if you have space! When brought down to a certain temperature, some oils can coagulate and change consistencies, but as soon as it is heated, it will change back. Not to worry!
Cooking oil doesn’t always have to stay in the kitchen, either! If you have used cooking oil that you’ve strained any food particles out of but don’t want to reuse for cooking endeavors, then that oil is perfectly fine to use as:
- Pet Food Addition
- NOTE: Adding a small amount to your pet’s food every now and then can improve taste and provide extra fats for skin and coat health. Be sure not to give them too much or they might get an upset stomach or gain weight!
- A Paint Stripper
- Hinge, Lock, or Wheel Lubricant
- Rust Prevention
- Leather Protection
If you’re a serial DIYer or project-finder, then your used cooking oil and grease might come in handy!
If you just want it out of your hair, then residential cooking oil and grease can be recycled! Perhaps not in the same way you recycle cans and bottles, but most recycling centers will take your containers of used cooking oil off your hands. Empty milk jugs, secure glass bottles with a screw-on lids, and empty takeout containers with pop-on lids are all acceptable receptacles to bring to your nearest recycling center.
A bonus of Louisville’s oil recycling is that they have partnered with the private firm, Oil Tech, to reuse the oil as biodiesel!
You can find Louisville and Jefferson County’s guidelines on residential cooking oil disposal and resources to their locations here.
If you own a restaurant, café, or grocery store in or near Louisville, and are searching for grease trap cleaning services, look no further than Moon Grease Trap Cleaning. We have over 20 years of experience serving Louisville’s food industry with our top-of-the-line PROVac machine, and are proud to offer a cleaning service where dragging big hoses or heavy equipment through your restaurant isn’t required! Ready to get started? Visit our website and to fill out a contact form and get your free estimate, or give us a call at 502-776-2199. We look forward to working with you!