Tips for Managing Used Oil

February 2, 2022

Oils of all sorts can really pile up around the house, especially if you’re storing old and/or used quantities to later properly dispose of. A lot of folks like to change their own car or lawnmower’s motor oil, while others prefer to keep cooking oils out of both their drains and our landfills.

Recycling these oils is absolutely a net positive for both your own home and for our society, but it’s important to know how to handle used oil at home.

Read on for some more quick tips on how you can safely and effectively store, manage and dispose of used oils of all sorts.

Handling used motor oils

Used motor oil is a material that’s potentially extremely destructive. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), just one oil change’s worth can contaminate a million gallons of fresh water. The importance of properly disposing of it cannot be overstated, and used oil management standards must be followed at all times to protect the environment.

Used oil is extremely sticky as well, which makes its handling all the more difficult—the slightest spill can create an even larger mess. Make sure that you’re carefully placing any used motor oils into a sound container and delivering it promptly to an oil recycling facility, where it can be turned back into a usable product.

Handling cooking oils

Some of the tastiest foods involve large quantities of oil that need to be disposed of at the end of the project. For example, fried chicken, bacon and stir fries are all notorious for the amount of cooking oil that they need. The important thing to remember is that these oils should never go down the drain; they can gum up your plumbing and cause massive damage.

Most people who cook at a residential scale are content to just let their oil cool down and then dispose of it with their household trash, which is a perfectly viable solution. Others like to compost it, which is even better.

Once you get to cooking on a commercial scale, then used oil management standards get a bit trickier. Restaurant owners can’t simply dump huge amounts of oils into their trash; they need to be stored separately (typically in drums) and regularly collected by a qualified recycling company.

Uses for recycled oils

Recycled oils can be a boon to the environment because they reduce the need for more oils to be produced on an industrial scale. Used oil management standards must, of course, be followed to make sure they stay usable and uncontaminated, but recycled motor oil, for example, can be used in a variety of settings, most prominently as a lubricant. Used cooking oil can also be converted into a usable state, mostly as a fuel called biodiesel which can be used to power cars and trucks.

If you have additional questions about handling used oil at home or want to know more about how you can properly recycle your car’s old lubricants after you’ve changed them, give our folks at Safeway Used Oil and Grease a call. We’re the area’s leading oil and grease recyclers for a reason, so let us earn your business.

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Safeway Used Oil and Grease