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Think before you pour

The Think Before You Pour campaign is operated by An Taisce's Clean Coasts programme in partnership with Uisce Éireann. Follow these tips and prevent blocked pipes and drains.

When fats, oils and greases (FOGs) are hot and in liquid form, they pour easily down the kitchen sink. However, when they cool they form solid masses which can cause serious pipe blockages and sewer flooding, resulting in property damage and harm to the environment.

You may also experience foul odours from your drain and find that your sink or dishwasher no longer drains quickly.

Preventing Blocked Pipes & Drains

Prevent blocked pipes and drains

It only takes an extra couple of seconds to safely dispose of fats, oils and greases by putting them in the bin. Follow these tips to protect your pipes.

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Use a sink strainer

Use sink strainers in plugholes to stop food particles going down the drain then safely empty the contents into the bin.

Scrape food waste

Always scrape any vegetable peelings, rice, pasta, food debris and grease from plates, pans and utensils into the bin.

Use heat resistant containers

Pour/scrape fat and sauces from roasting pans and plates into a heat resistant container such as a GunkPot, egg carton or yogurt pot. When cool, put it in the bin.

Wipe away any leftover grease

Before washing the dishes, use a kitchen towel to wipe any grease left in pots and pans and put it in the bin.

Wipe pans/pots before putting them in the dishwasher

Before putting your oily pots and pans into the dishwasher, wipe off any leftover grease with a kitchen towel and put it in the bin.

Wrap up used coffee grounds

Never pour coffee grounds down the drain as they clump together to form blockages. Always put them in your food bin or compost heap as an added source of nitrogen.

For large quantities of oils

Contact your local county council for information on how to dispose of oils and where your local recycling centre is.

Keep cooled oil in a jar for reuse

Pour cooled oil into glass jars if you want to keep it for reuse. Plastic peanut butter jars are also excellent oil containers.

Freeze used oil for easy disposal

You can freeze oil in a plastic container. It's easier to dispose of cooking oil in a solid mass or you can reuse it after it has thawed.

Keep your U-bend free

Pouring hot water down the sink does not dissolve fat and grease. The water eventually cools as it flows through the pipe and the grease becomes solid again.

Washing up liquid won't help

Even though washing up liquid helps grease run down your sink, it can solidify on the pipe walls downstream, building up and eventually causing blockages.

The Think Before You Pour campaign

For more information, visit the Clean Coasts' website by clicking the link below.