Can you put grease down the garbage disposal?

The garbage disposal handles everything else, so why not grease? Grease may seem innocuous, a liquid in its hot state, but it turns into a clingy solid once it cools down, which can lead to significant problems. 

Due to the Isothermal Transformation of Grease, we cannot put grease down the garbage disposal. Grease changes structure without a temperature change. Grease is a liquid when it is hot. But once it cools down it becomes thick and sticky. It solidifies, causing a raft of issues that your garbage disposal cannot handle. 

Invisible Damage

One major problem with sending grease down the garbage disposal is the invisible damage it can cause. Because it solidifies and sticks onto pipes, you might not even realize there’s an issue until it is too late– like an iceberg, the smallest part of the problem is what you see, while the real trouble lurks beneath the surface.

What are the misconceptions about grease disposal?

Running hot water

One common misconception is, running hot water while disposing of grease. Because they think it can help grease pass through the system smoothly. Other people think that hot water will liquidity the grease and prevent it from solidifying and causing blockages in the drain system. 

Dish Washing Soap

Another misconception is that dishwashing soap can help to break the grease so it easily pours down the garbage disposal drain. But dishwashing soap can emulsify grease and fat temporarily. It does not completely dissolve grease. The grease will slowly separate from the soap and can still cause blockages in pipes.

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Through Everything in Disposal

There is also a misconception that garbage disposals are designed to crush anything you throw at them. While garbage disposals are indeed powerful tools. But they are not designed to process grease. The blades can be coated with grease which reduces their effectiveness. Hence, potentially leading to motor burnout.

What should I do if I accidentally pour grease down the garbage disposal?

If you accidentally pour grease down the garbage disposal. Don’t be panic. Take control of the situation and prevent any further potential damage.

Firstly, stop using the disposal.  Use solution available in the form of dish soap and hot water. Not high boiling, just warm water. Pour a little amount of dish soap into the drain and then hot water.

This should help break up the grease caught in the disposal and pipes. After waiting, you can turn on the water and run the garbage disposal. This should help to further break up any remaining grease and flush it down the disposal system. 

What are some alternatives to pouring grease?

Some alternative methods can be adopted to pour grease into your garbage disposal. These methods are as follows;

Cool down the Grease

One of the easiest methods is to cool down and solidify the grease or oil. Until it is in a solid state, use a spatula or spoon to scrape it into a disposable container. Such as an old coffee can or non-recyclable takeout container. Then seal the container and dispose of it in your regular garbage disposal. 

Straining for Grease Reusing

If you are dealing with a larger volume of grease, consider reusing it. Grease from bacon, for instance, can add depth and flavor to other meals. To keep grease for future use, strain out any solid bits, and then store it in a clean, empty jar in the refrigerator. Not only does this method keep your drains clear, but it’s also a wonderful way to reduce food waste and enhance your culinary creations.  

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Using absorbent material

Another method is the use of absorbent materials like cat litter or coffee grounds. Pour grease over the absorbent material in a trash bag. Wait for it to soak up before using it in disposal. This method is used for oil-based liquids that do not solidify on their own.  

Is there a specific type of grease that is safe for garbage disposal?

You may be wondering, “Is there any type of grease that won’t disrupt my garbage disposal’s performance?” The simple and direct answer? Not. It can’t be stressed enough how harmful grease of any type, irrespective of its viscosity or thickness, is to your garbage disposal and plumbing system. 

Faulty Assumptions

Some might assume that thinner, more watery greases might be okay to drain. Unfortunately, that isn’t true. Even the thin ones harden and congeal over time, sticking to the surfaces of your pipes and garbage disposal unit. They gradually accumulate and cause stubborn, often severe, blockages. With time these clogs impair your appliance’s functionality and become a significant plumbing problem, often requiring professional intervention.

Can I use any household products to break down grease in the garbage disposal?

While it is true that certain products can help to an extent. Unfortunately, there is no magic potion that can entirely break down grease in the garbage disposal. 

These household products are:

  • Vinegar and hot water can help with the cleanup in some cases. 
  • The acidity of vinegar works against the grease, loosening its grip on the disposal blades.
  • Simply, pour half a cup of vinegar down the disposal, then follow up with some hot water.
  • Baking soda is another household item that can be used.
  • Combined with vinegar, it foams up — a reaction that might be able to tackle minor blockages. 
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Just remember, this is a stop-gap solution and won’t necessarily resolve serious build-ups. 


In conclusion, the answer to the question, “Can you put grease down the garbage disposal?” is absolutely, “NO”. Resulting clogs can damage your disposal system.

Take care of your home appliances. Being conscious of their limitations is an important part of maintaining happy and efficient home appliances. Garbage disposal is one of them.

In a nutshell, keep grease far away from your garbage disposal. Be waste-wise and spend a little time on proper disposal methods today to save potential headaches, expensive repairs, and environmental damage down the road.

What should I do with the grease from cooking if I can’t put it down the disposal?

After cooking, let the grease cool and then pour it into a container, like a coffee can, and seal it. Then throw it in the trash. Never pour grease down the sink because it can clog the pipes. It’s important to keep the pipes clear so the water can flow smoothly.

Is it safe to use commercial drain cleaners to remove grease from my garbage disposal?

It’s not safe to use commercial drain cleaners to remove grease from the garbage disposal. These chemicals can be harmful and may damage the pipes. Instead, use a mixture of hot water and vinegar or baking soda to clean the disposal. You can also use a brush to scrub away the grease.

Can grease damage the motor or mechanical parts of my garbage disposal?

Yes, grease can damage the motor and mechanical parts of your garbage disposal. When grease solidifies, it can clog the blades and cause the motor to work harder, leading to damage. It’s important to avoid putting grease down the disposal and to dispose of it in the trash instead.

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