Fats, Oils, and Grease

Cling to your pipes and build up to create a clog

(FOGS)Fats, Oils, Grease, and Solids

Do not belong in your drains.

If you put Fats, Oils, Greases, and other solids (FOGS) down the drain, they will harden and cling to the walls in your household pipes or city sewer lines. Once hardened, this reduces water flow and could cause a sewage backup into your home or neighborhood. FOG comes from meats, butter, food scraps, sauces and gravy, dairy products, and cooking oil.

Why can't I put my fats, oils, greases, and other solids down the drain?

FOGS will harden in household pipes or city sewer lines. Household pipes and city sewer lines are not designed to handle these materials and can cause backups. A common misconception is running hot, soapy water through the pipes. This only moves the FOGS slightly before they start to solidify and will still cause problems in your pipes.

What should I do with my Fats, Oils, Greases and Solids?

Defend Your Drains!

  • Never pour oils or grease down the drain or garbage disposal.
  • Compost what you can, then scrape food, oils, grease, and sauces – yes, even gravy – into the trash.
  • Recycle your used cooking oil! To find a drop-off location near you, check out the drop-off locator map or check your city's services webpage. The recycled oil may be used to create biodiesel or electricity.
Will hot water flush FOG out of my drains?

Short answer: No.

No amount of hot water can unclog a grease blockage in your pipes. If you try to pour fats, oils, and grease down the drain with hot water, you are actually making the problem worse. The hot water simply allows the grease to move a little farther down your pipes and creates a clog in a more difficult to access (and more expensive) place to repair.

You should always wipe greasy pots and pans with a paper towel before washing them in the sink. Then use COLD water when washing pots and pans. The tiny amounts of grease left on the pan after wiping with a paper towel will solidify before going down your pipes, making it less likely to stick inside your pipes.

Remember, the best defense is a fat, oil, and grease free diet for your pipes!

What Should I Do With My Fats, Oils, and Grease?

Defend Your Drains!

By practicing these three simple actions, you can prevent grease clogs and help protect our water quality.


When FOGS go down the drain, it hardens and causes pipes to clog. This can lead to a Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO), where raw sewage backs up into your home, lawn, neighborhood, and streets. Not only does this nasty mess cause health issues, it can also runoff into a nearby creek or stream, affecting our drinking water.

2. Compost food scraps or place them in the trash.

Compost as much of the food scraps as you can (information on composting available on www.timetorecycle.com), then scrape the remaining food, oils, grease, sauces, gravy, and other items into the trash.

Avoid using the garbage disposal. The garbage disposal is not a "garbage disposer." This only increases the chance of clogging due to the mix of food scraps sticking to the grease on the inside of your pipes.

3. Recycle Used Cooking Oil.

Recycled oil may be used to create biodiesel or electricity. Find a drop off location at www.timetorecycle.com.

If you don't see a location nearby, contact your municipality to see if they offer any recycled cooking oil programs. If not, make sure to put your used oil in the trash! An old coffee can or some other container with a lid works great to pour the grease into, then seal the container and place it in the trash.

Used Cooking Oil Recycling Drop-off Locator

Find us on Social Media

Like on Facebook        Follow on Twitter