Holiday Cooking Fats Can Clog Sewers

Fats, oils, and grease dos and don'ts
November 23, 2022

Fats from holiday cooking could lead to home sewer backups

Never pour fats, oils or grease down a drain

When holiday cooking kicks into high gear, fats, oils and grease can pile up. Proper disposal of these kitchen wastes is critical to prevent home sewer backups. When greasy scraps wash into the plumbing system through your sink or garbage disposal, they can stick to the pipes. Using your garbage disposal or a grease-cutting detergent does not keep fats, oils and grease out of the plumbing system.

Garbage disposals shred solid material into smaller pieces but allow fats, oils and grease to flow down the drain. Grease-dissolving detergents can pass fats, oils and grease through your household plumbing, but the grease may still cause problems in the sewer lines as they leave your home. In addition, the grease and food debris build up over time, making the pipe's interior smaller and smaller, which can cause a messy sewer backup into your home.

Can the grease!

  • Never pour fats, oils and grease down a sink, drain, or toilet. Pour used grease into an empty, heat-safe container, such as a soup can, and store it in the freezer. Toss the can into the garbage after the grease becomes solid.
  • Scrape your food waste into the trash. Wipe all pots, pans, dishes, and cooking utensils with a paper towel to soak up grease before washing them. 
  • Catch the scraps in your sink with a basket or strainer instead of using the garbage disposal, and throw them away in the trash can. 
  • Do not pour deep-fryer oil on the ground or in a storm drain, as it can flow to a waterway or clog the storm pipe.
  • Recycle your deep-fryer oil by taking it to Louisville Metro’s grease drop-off locations. 

To find a full-service recycling center near you, go to

If you experience a sewer backup, call MSD Customer Relations at 502.540.6000.

For more information about disposing of fats, oil, and grease go to