City of Abilene

Holiday Grease is a Pain to Your Drain

When we think of the holidays, one thing that comes to mind is the celebratory meal with family and friends. We plan this meal out weeks ahead of time and spend days filled with cooking and baking in preparation. The holiday season is also the biggest time of year for plumbers to be called for backups and clogs.

Why? Because so many people use their sinks to dispose of unwanted food and fats, oils and grease produced from cooking. Just as we are concerned about how the holiday binge of greasy, fatty foods stick inside our arteries, the same happens to the linings inside the pipes that make up our home’s and City’s sewer system. All of that waste made up of fats, oils and grease, disposed into the sewer system at the same time, wreaks havoc on the plumbing system and results in backups and messy, smelly overflows in homes, businesses and streets. Visit to learn more.

To prevent buildups - which cost several hundreds of dollars to fix – do not put dairy products, fats, oil, grease or greasy foods down the garbage disposal or drain. Instead:

Cool it, Can it, Trash it.  After cooking, let fats, oils and grease cool. Pour or scrape them into a disposable container, such as an empty jar, can or heavy plastic container. And then throw it in the trash.

Wipe off greasy pans and dishes with a paper towel before rinsing, soaking or putting in the dishwasher. 

Use a strainer over the sink drain to catch food particles when rinsing dishes. Then throw that excess food into the trash.  

Don’t throw large quantities of food down the disposal. Even if they are food that a disposal should be able to dispose of without issue, when there is too much of it, clogs and backups can occur.

Foods that should never go down the garbage disposal include:

  • Grease, fat, and oil
  • Bones
  • Chicken skin
  • Raw meat
  • Meat with gristle
  • Pasta or rice
  • Stringy or fibrous foods (corn husks, celery, onion peels, garlic ends, asparagus)
  • Carrot peels
  • Potato skins
  • Coffee grinds
  • Large amounts of flour
  • Eggshells