‘Can it, cool it, toss it:’ How to get rid of Thanksgiving grease

Thanksgiving means good food with friends and family, and for some, a lot of time in the kitchen. And no one will want to clean up the mess afterward.

But when you do finally get around to cleaning up, make sure you dispose of your cooking grease properly — unless you want the plumber coming over.

The grease we’re talking about is all the juices that settle in the bottom of the dish you used to cook your turkey or ham. When you clean up the kitchen, don’t just wash that grease down the drain.

“That’s the last place you want it to go,” said Lyn Riggins, a spokeswoman for WSSC Water. “If you’re dumping grease down your kitchen sink, at some point, that grease is going to harden in the pipes and it’s going to form a dam.”

Riggins said grease buildup in pipes can easily lead to sewage backing up “into your basement, and that is not something you want to deal with.”

Once you get to washing dishes, hot, soapy water will easily clean your pots and pans. But it won’t work for your pipes the way you might think.

“[Soap] might push it along in the pipe,” said Riggins. “But at some point it is going to harden. And if you do it over and over, at some point the grease will build up like a hard ball in the pipe.”

This advice applies not just on Thanksgiving, but every other day you’re in the kitchen cooking bacon, tacos or anything else that leaves a pan full of grease.

“You want to take grease and you want to can it, cool it and toss it,” said Riggins. “Keep a soup can or a green bean can handy and pour your grease in there. Stick it in the fridge or freezer, let it harden up, and then toss it in the trash.”

The advice applies to anyone — but if you’re a WSSC Water customer, Riggins said you can go online and they’ll send you two free lids for your cans.

As Riggins put it, “you don’t want to set a place at the Thanksgiving dinner table for the plumber.”

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2019 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up