Cooking Oil Disposal:
What to Do with Used Cooking Oil

Welcome to cooking oil disposal 101! The first tip: Don't throw cooking oil down the sink. It can clog pipes and lead to a lot of plumbing problems.

If you bake with oil, you're less likely to have used cooking oil to get rid of, and baking is certainly healthier than frying. You're also making a healthier choice by cooking with olive oil instead of other types of oil. Olive oil is extremely high in vitamins and nutrients, including essential fatty acids that prevent heart disease, certain types of cancer, and many other illnesses.

Here are some methods of proper cooking oil disposal:

  • Pour your used cooking oil into a used soda, soup or coffee can. Wait until the oil hardens and then throw the whole thing in the trash.
  • Mix birdseed into the oil, let it harden in a container, and then carefully tap the hardened "bird cake" out and hang it from a tree to let birds enjoy!
  • Turn your used cooking oil into soap. (Keep reading for our recipe.)
  • Do some research and find used cooking oil disposal centers near you. Many restaurants donate to biodiesel manufacturers, so you might be able to donate your cooking oil as well.
  • Make candles. (Keep reading for our recipe.)

How to make soap from used cooking oil:

olive oil soap,olive soapOlive Oil Soap

1. Compile your ingredients: 1 liter cooking oil, 1 cup caustic soda, 1.5 cups warm water, 1.5 cup clothes softener, a measuring cup, wooden spoon, large mixing bowl, small containers to pour the liquid soap into until it hardens.

2. Filter out food bits from the oil using a strainer.

3. Mix the caustic soda into the water. Wear a mask, glasses and gloves to protect yourself from fumes. It is best to perform this step outside.

4. Pour the oil into the caustic soda mixture.

5. Stir for several minutes until the mixture becomes consistent. Add the softener.

6. Pour into containers and let harden (sometimes this takes up to two weeks).

7. Enjoy your soap!

How to make candles from used cooking oil:

1. Prepare your ingredients: .5 cups of cooking oil, 4 inches of cotton string, several inches of wire or paper clip to support the wick, metal container for your candle.

2. Roll the wire around a chopstick to create a small, tight coil that stands about one inch high. Shape the remainder of the wire into a long, curled tail so the coil will stand on its own.

3. Pour the oil into the container. You want to make sure to leave about 1 inch of space from the top of the containerÂ…don't let your oil overflow!

4. Weave the string carefully through the wire coil, leaving about 1 inch of string hanging out the top.

5. Place the wire coil and string into the middle of the cooking oil.

6. Allow it to harden for a couple of days.

7. Enjoy your candle!

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