How to Dispose of Old Olive Oil?
How do I dispose of old olive oil? I want to recycle the plastic container it came in and need to empty the container.
Olive oil, along with other cooking oils, cannot be poured down the drain. Oil and water do not mix and disposing down the sink can lead to obstruction in your pipes. However, expired olive oil can be used in creative ways or safely disposed.
Around the House
Creative uses in and around the house include:
- Lubricate joints and hinges as well outdoor objects such as garden shears
- Seal wooden decks or furniture and metal handrails
- Painting a thin coat on lawn ornaments and signs to decrease signs of weathering
- Polish furniture or wood floors with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice and vinegar
- Shine objects made of stainless steel
- A fuel source for a lantern or oil lamp
Olive oil is safe to burn, emits little smoke and soot into the air allowing you to up-cycle an otherwise unusable product. You can even purchase olive oil lamps made of clay.
Health and Beauty
Olive oil has many health and beauty applications: a few drops can reduce earache pain and remove wax; massage directly into skin or add to bath water to smooth skin and reduce wrinkles; combine with sea salt for a natural exfoliate; mix with lemon to increase circulation and refresh skin; apply a copious layer to legs before you shave; and moisten a cotton ball to safely remove eye make-up. In addition, it can be used as a hair tonic or to remove lice.
Olive oil is not harmful to the environment and, if you just want to get rid of it, you can pour onto a compost heap. In addition, some cities offer programs for recycling and reusing cooking oils; check with your local waste management provider to obtain information.
Cleaning the Empty Container
Before placing the used container in the recycle bin, if you find that you still have a significant amount residue oil left, add something absorbent, like rice, to soak up the last drops in the bottle. You can add dish soap and/or vinegar on top of the rice, shake and pour out the rice. Once there is little to no oil, you can rinse with water or just place the emptied bottle in the recycle bin.