‘Scrape, Pour, Wipe’ to Keep Your Pipes Grease-Free

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Nothing can spoil a jolly family get-together quicker than a sink that won’t drain or a toilet that won’t flush. It seems these things always happen around the holidays.

And there’s a reason why: With all the extra baking and cooking this time of year, there may be more fats, oils, and grease going down your drains. When the grease hardens, it sticks to the inside of the pipes. Over time the pipes clog, causing a nasty (and costly) sewage backup in your home – not to mention ruining your holiday festivities.

The Truth About Grease

Grease is more than just cooking oil or melted butter. It’s also in dairy products like milk and ice cream. That goo you pour out of canned goods when you open them? Full of grease. Peanut butter, fried foods, salad dressing, lard, and shortening for baking – even cake frosting – all have grease.

If it contains fats of any kind, those fats will harden and clog your pipes. (And washing it down the garbage disposal with hot water and soap won’t help, either.)

Rule of Thumb: Scrape, Pour, Wipe

The right way to dispose of grease is in the trash.

Scrape solids right into a trash can. Pour liquids into a container and put it in the trash, too. Wipe any remaining grease from pots and pans and place into the trash with a paper towel.

Even the smallest amounts of grease should never be “rinsed off” with water. Always follow the “scrape, pour, wipe” guidelines to avoid a drain disaster.

SAWS performs routine maintenance on sewer lines citywide to keep things flowing. By following these tips, you too can help prevent expensive (and disgusting) sewage spills. Your neighbors and holiday guests will thank you.

To learn more, visit saws.org/holidaygrease.

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