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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Keep fats, oils, and grease out of your kitchen pipes

Here are some handy tips to manage grease and prevent clogged pipes and sewer backups.

Remember, grease that is liquid when hot will turn solid – and clog pipes – as it cools.


  • Scrape food scraps into the trash or compost bin.
  • Use a strainer in the sink to catch food scraps and other material, and empty the strainer into the trash or compost bin.
  • Pour grease into steel cans, let it harden and throw in the trash.
  • Stop using your garbage disposal or minimize its use.
  • Wipe pots, pans and dishes with dry paper towels before rinsing or washing them, then throw paper towels in the garbage.
  • Rinse dishes and pans with cold water before putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Compost food scraps - See Portland's guidelines for what you can compost.


  • Don't pour grease down sink drains or toilets.
  • Don't use cloth towels or rags to scrape oil or grease off plates and utensils because grease will drain to the sewer when you wash the towels.
  • Don't run water over dishes, pans, fryers or griddles to wash oil and grease down the drain.

Find a PDF of these and other tips in the Environmental Services' brochure Keep your Pipes Fat Free.

Many things, if sent down the drain, can damage your home or sewer pipes and cause a backup. Even items advertised as "flushable" frequently don't break down in water and block sewer pipes. Learn more about what not to flush.