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What not to put down the sink

Disposing of cooking oil in the sink can cause blocked pipes and nasty smells. Discover what you can and can’t pour down the sink here & keep your home fresh.


By Cleanipedia Team

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Key Steps:

  1. Scrape food waste into the bin instead of the sink.
  2. Use a sink strainer to prevent pipe blockages.
  3. Use Domestos Sink & Pipe Unblocker to remove any nasty smells in your pipes.

Have you ever poured something down the drain without a second thought? We’re all guilty of throwing away more food than we should – but if you’re using the kitchen sink for disposal purposes, you could be doing more damage to the sewage system than you realise.

When cooking oil or grease is in liquid form, it might appear harmless – so what’s the problem with disposing of cooking oil in the sink? It’s important to remember that when liquid fat cools, it solidifies. This means that congealed gunk can get stuck down pipes and waterways, resulting in blockages and damage you certainly don’t want. Products such as Domestos Sink & Pipe Unblocker can help to get rid of these blockages, but they shouldn’t be used as a long-term solution. (Remember, wear gloves and ensure the area is well ventilated when using bleach or other cleaning products).

If your sink is clogged, this video on how to unblock a drain in few easy steps might help:

Some recycling centres accept used cooking oil, so check with the one nearest to you – they could take it off your hands, and you’ll be able to help the environment at the same time.

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Can I put this down the drain?

If you often wonder: “Can you pour oil down the sink?” or have ever questioned what not to put down the sink, then follow the checklist of dos and don’ts below! 

Don’t… Put food waste down the sink.

Do… Scrape your plates. 

We shouldn’t let excessive amounts of food go down the sink ­– not only will this contribute to blocked pipes, but it’ll also result in nasty smells filling your home too. Who wants that? Instead, scrape any leftover food into the rubbish bin before you do the washing up or load the dishwasher.

Don’t… Pour old medication down the sink.

DoUse a sink strainer.

If you’re in the habit of absentmindedly putting things down the drain, then invest in a sink strainer! This will prevent chunks of food from slipping down, but it’ll also serve as a reminder that certain waste is best disposed of in the bin – not to mention prevent you from wondering can you dump grease down the drain after you see it collected in the strainer. Remember that it’s not only food or oil that shouldn’t be thrown down the sink – prescription medications or anything involving potentially harmful chemicals should also be kept out and disposed of safely.

Don’tPour cooking grease or oil down the sink.

DoCollect grease or cooling oil in a sealable container.

We all use a bit too much oil now and again but how do you dispose of it when you know the answer to “can cooking oil go down the drain” is a big “no”? Quite simply, leave the oil to cool before transferring it into a sealed container and then into the household rubbish. You could even put it in a plastic bag and straight into your outdoor bin if you’d prefer. Alternatively, you can make use of excess oil by re-using it for cooking purposes – remember you can only do this once or twice and if the oil smells bad then you should dispose of it right away.

So now the next time you use a bit too much oil when frying bacon, you won’t have to ask: “Can you pour oil down the sink?” – You’ll know the answer is to use the rubbish bin instead.

Safety Warning

Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

Originally published