Every kitchen, whether in a restaurant or in a house, will have to deal with used kitchen oil. What is the best way to dispose of kitchen oil? There are several options, but first, make sure that the cooking oil is cool before handling it to avoid burning yourself. It is good practice to never lift heavy pots full of hot oil, as accidents can happen and spilt hot oil can be dangerous and cause injuries.

If there is only a small amount of oil left in the pan, let it cool and then you can wipe it up with a paper towel.

1. Throwing the used kitchen oil in the trash.

If you intend on throwing the oil in the trash, find a non-breakable container with a sealable lid to put the oil in. Pouring the oil directly into your trash will cause a big mess and attract rodents, so placing the oil in a sealed container into the trash is always a good idea.

If you container does not have a lid, you can place the container into the freezer. This will enable you to scoop the oil directly into the trash can once the oil is hard. But beware if the oil becomes liquid at room temperature because then you have a mess!

You can use a plastic trash bag, preferable one with trash to absorb the oil. Pour the cooled oil into the bag, then tie it up and place in trash.

NEVER POUR OIL DOWN THE SINK! It will eventually block your plumbing pipes. Using water or soap will not prevent the oil from sticking to the pipes and plugging them up.

Cooking oil is not good for compost. It will reduce the air flow required for the compost pile to decompose, and attract rodents.

2. Reusing the Oil.

To store the oil for re-use, strain the cooled oil through a coffee filter on the top of a container. Do this by using a rubber band to secure the coffee filter over the top of the container and slowly pass the oil through the filter into the container. You can then store this clearer oil in an airtight container at room temperature. Food particle will encourage mold and can make the oil rancid.

It is best to re-use the oil for the same type of food, i.e., if you fried chicken, re-use the oil to fry more chicken. The oil may be flavored by the food that it last cooked.

Do not re-use the oil more than 2 times. Make sure that the oil is not cloudy, foamy, or bad smelling before you use it. Do not mix different types of cooking oil. Oil that is used more than 2 times may have a lower smoke point, so may burn more easily. It can also release free-radicals and trans-unsaturated fatty acids with are not good for your body.

3. Recycle the used kitchen oil.

There are different ways to recycle your used kitchen oil. You can find local drop off centers with bins by checking your local government’s website. You can check with trash companies. If you are a restaurant, you can contact Grease Lightning at 209.552.9091, and ask to be put on their pickup routes.

Before recycling, store the oil in a storage container with a sealable lid. A plastic jar is best as it will not shatter if dropped. Keep oil at room temperature and do not mix with other liquids.

Grease Lightning currently picks up recyclable kitchen oil from Modesto to and throughout San Franscisco.