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Why you should never pour grease down the drain

9th Mar '23 • By

Have you ever wondered why your drains keep getting blocked? If so, you might be surprised to learn that some of the things you're doing in your kitchen could be contributing to the problem.

One of the most common causes of clogged pipes is pouring fats, grease, or cooking oils down the drain.

Below, we explore the dangers of pouring grease down the drain and some of the most effective solutions to prevent plumbing problems down the track!


  • Why is pouring grease down the drain bad?
  • The cost of pouring grease down the drain
  • What should you do instead?


Why is pouring grease down the drain bad?

When you pour grease down the drain, it might seem like a quick and easy solution to dispose of it. However, the grease can quickly solidify and form a coat on the walls of your pipes and the drain. Over time, this build-up (known as a fatberg) can accumulate and prevent a smooth flow of water through the pipes and down the drain. This can cause water to flow back into your home or kitchen, creating a mess and even blocking the sewer lines.

In addition to these immediate problems, pouring grease down the drain can cause more long-term damage to your septic tanks and sewer systems. If the problem becomes severe, you may need to hire a licensed plumber to unblock and clean your plumbing system, which can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

The Cost of Pouring Grease Down the Drain

It's important to understand the cost of pouring grease down the drain. Hiring a licensed plumber to unblock and clean your plumbing system is not cheap, and you'll have to pay hundreds of dollars for the task. The average plumbing services cost is about $70 per hour and can cost up to $150 when the plumber charges a flat rate.

If you pour grease down the drain regularly and the problem becomes severe, you can expect to pay about $80 and above to unblock a simple kitchen drain. A plumber may charge you approximately $400 to unblock a more complex blocked drain. Replacing a section of your plumbing system can cost you more than $1,000. Avoiding pouring grease on a drain is cheaper than paying a plumber to unblock the same drain or replace a section of your plumbing system.

If you have a blocked drain, get in touch with local plumbers to assist you with the issue.

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What should you do instead?

Now that you know the dangers and cost of pouring grease down the drain, what should you do instead? Fortunately, there are alternative ways to dispose of grease after cooking that are more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.

Recycle the Grease

After cooking your foods, the grease left can be recycled. If the grease is hot, let it cool down to room temperature and then put it in a container. Recycled grease can be used in various ways, including:

  • Recycle it for other home uses. Some people use such grease in their pet’s food to add an extra flavour.
  • Take the recycled grease to a recycling centre near you. It’s used for making other by-products such as soaps and diesel fuels.
  • If you run a restaurant and have a large amount of grease you dispose of daily, you can recycle it to make biofuels. You can hire professionals who set up a system to convert the recycled grease to fossil fuel.



After cooking, you can re-use the grease to cook other foods. Let it cool down to room temperature and then store it in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for later use.

Dispose in a Container

If you don’t find recycling grease necessary, you can transfer it into a disposable can. Then throw it into a bin, which is just as easy as pouring it down a drain but far less of a risk.

Avoid Using Excess Grease

Using too much grease or oil while cooking can lead to an increase in the fat content of your food. This can be particularly harmful if you're cooking meat or fried foods. When fat is heated to high temperatures, it can break down into harmful substances that may increase the risk of certain diseases.

To avoid using excess grease, try using non-stick cookware, such as ceramic or Teflon-coated pans. You can also use alternative cooking methods, such as grilling or broiling, which don't require any added fat. If you do need to use grease, try using a small amount of olive oil or another healthy cooking oil.


Cook at Lower Temperatures

Cooking at high temperatures can cause food to brown and create a crispy texture, but it can also cause the formation of harmful substances like acrylamide and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These substances are formed when certain foods are cooked at high temperatures and can increase the risk of cancer.

To reduce the formation of harmful substances, try cooking at lower temperatures for longer periods of time. This will help your food cook more evenly and prevent it from burning. You can also try steaming or boiling your food, which can help to preserve its natural flavours and nutrients.

Choose Healthier Ingredients

Choosing healthier ingredients can help to make your meals healthier overall without producing excessive grease or adding oil. This includes using lean cuts of meat, such as chicken or turkey, and incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. When choosing grains, opt for whole grains like brown rice or quinoa instead of refined grains like white bread or pasta.

It's also important to pay attention to the nutritional content of the foods you're using. Check food labels to see the amounts of sugar, sodium, and saturated fat in your ingredients. Try to choose ingredients with lower levels of these substances.

If you need assistance with your kitchen sink or drains, get quotes from local plumbers today.

Get free quotes in minutes.

Get quotes from our qualified and licensed tradies Australia-wide.

Further Reading

All the costs quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are to be used as an AUD cost guide and may vary locally, and are subject to market changes.

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