A woman’s clever hack to help dispose of hot grease and fat without pouring it down the drain has completely blown up the internet after the post was shared over 275K times.
“I was today years old when I learned this,” she shared on Facebook, along with the hashtag #hacksweneedtoknow.
“Need to pour out hot grease? Fold a sheet of foil and form it to your sink drain. Pour in the hot grease and let it completely cool. Then simply pull it up and throw away,” the owner of Beyond the Hem Boutique, based in the US, explained, sharing two photos of the process.
Unsurprisingly, her simple hack quickly went viral receiving tens of thousands of comments from users impressed with the idea.
“Oh wow! I didn't know this either! Good to know,” one person commented.
“Oh. My. Goodness. I have always poured it in the yard!” another admitted.
And she wasn’t the only one, with plenty of others sharing how they’ve been getting round the grease disposal problem with many suggesting pouring the grease into a container, then letting it build up and throwing it away when it’s full.
“We pour ours in a tin coffee can and just keep it in the cabinet above the stove,” one person wrote.
“If it’s fresh I pour it in the strainer and back in the empty oil bottle and reuse it,” another suggested.
Knowing how to get rid of grease and excess cooking fat is a dilemma for every fry-up fan, and while many will be tempted to pour it straight down the plug hole or toss it in the bin, both solutions are laden with problems.
Pouring cooking oil and grease down a plug hole can be an issue as it will inevitably result in a clogged-up sink, as the fat and grease congeals in the pipe and picks up other food items, causing a blockage.
This will leave you with the undesirable prospect of unblocking your kitchen sink or having to fork out for someone else to fix it for you.
What’s more, the build-up of fat and grease in the sewer system can cause a major problem for the country and the environment as a whole.
Throwing the hot grease out with the rubbish is also not ideal as there’s a chance it could melt right through the bin bag.
According to Naomi Wright from Lanes for Drains and Unblocktober, pouring grease down the plughole is one of the leading causes of fatbergs and drain blockages, which can lead to properties and sewers becoming flooded and damaged.
The problem is that, when poured down the drain, grease quickly turns from a liquid to a solid, blocking the flow of water and combining with other items that are put down the sink that shouldn't be, such as crumbs of food, as well as ‘unflushables’ such as wet wipes and cotton buds.
Wright has some other suggestions of how to safely dispose of grease.
“The easiest way to prevent fat, oil and grease (FOG) blockages is to make sure that plates, pans and utensils are scraped clean of solid food waste prior to washing,” she suggests.
“Be disciplined about brushing even the smallest scraps into the bin, and make sure to wipe down the items with kitchen roll to mop up the oil and grease before running them under the tap.
“Food scrapers are particularly useful for getting rid of even the smallest particles of grease, while we also recommend using sink strainers to catch any larger items of food that can also contribute to the formation of fatbergs.”
Mark Quinn, CEO of eco-friendly cleaning brand OzKleen suggest keeping a ‘fat trap’ or container in the kitchen to collect waste fats, oils and grease.
“You can also mix cooking oil with absorbent material such as cat litter or coffee grounds, and then throw it away in the bin,” he adds.
It’s worth noting that though the tinfoil hack solves one problem, tinfoil isn’t necessarily the most environmentally-friendly product to use.
That’s because though aluminium foil is technically recyclable, it needs to be clean – i.e. free from food residue or grease – in order to actually be recycled.
Quinn suggests scraping fats, oils and grease that have cooled into a newspaper before binning them.
Alternatively, it might be worth using the tinfoil to catch your grease, but then scraping it off into the bin once it has hardened.
Then you can reuse the tinfoil for the next batch of throwaway grease. Simple.
Additional reporting by Marie Claire Dorking.