Have you ever heard the phrase, "Waste not, want not"? Whether you're a business owner or a homeowner, everyone is looking for ways to save money – and oftentimes, that means finding creative uses for common items. Did you know that waste cooking oil doesn't have to be thrown out once it's used? Instead of allowing it to rot your compost heap or clog kitchen garbage disposals when you dispose of it, try recycling waste cooking oil. Here are a few uses for it:
Soap. Once used vegetable oil is filtered and cleaned of solids, you can use it to make wonderful soap – a commodity we all have need of every day!
Emergency lamps. While flashlights work great during a power outage, lamps are better for prolonged outages. Use filtered waste cooking oil in your oil lamps during emergencies.
Ant poison. Many have found used cooking oil to be an effective way to dispose of pests like ants.
Animal feed. While it has traditionally been used in feed for farm animals, many people also pour waste cooking oil over their pets' food to add extra flavoring.
Dust suppression. If you're looking for a way to keep dust at bay – during construction or drilling projects, for example – give waste cooking oil a try.
Biofuels. Many restaurants are converting their waste cooking oils into biofuels, which in turn helps generate power and heat. According to The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), vegetable oil burns more cleanly than does fossil fuel. In addition, it does not have an adverse impact on the environment.
Diesel fuel. With proper conversion techniques, waste cooking oil can be transformed into a diesel fuel that's perfect for older vehicles and tractors.
Before using your waste cooking oil for any other purpose, be sure to do your research. In some cases, the oil should not have been heated over a certain heat. Don't forget you can also often reuse your oil to cook or fry your food, so long as it's not burnt.
Whatever you do, don't dispose of your waste cooking oil down the drain, as this can jam your garbage disposal and clog your pipes. This is especially important to remember during the holidays, when most people use the kitchen a lot and have a lot of waste cooking oil they need to dispose of. So put on your thinking cap and consider ways to save your waste cooking oil for other purposes – and save yourself some money.