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Why You Shouldn’t Use Hot Water on a Greasy Pan

A person cleans a greasy pan.
larisa Stefanjuk/Shutterstock.com

Cleaning out a greasy pan probably isn’t at the top of anyone’s favorite chore list. But, whether you’ve cooked burgers, bacon, or pork chops, it’s not uncommon for a greasy vessel to follow a tasty meal. You might think that rinsing out that pan with hot water would remove the grease immediately and get the pan as clean as possible.

But, the combination of hot water and grease could actually wreak havoc on your drain.

It’s best to dump as much oil and grease as possible into the trash or a container before putting your pan in the sink. But, you’re probably not going to be able to get all of the greasy residue off before the pan hits the water.

If that’s the case, use cold water to wash it out.

The combination of dish soap and hot water creates emulsification when it interacts with grease. The grease will “melt” while it’s warm and slide down your drain. Unfortunately, when it cools later, it can clog up your pipes and slow things down.

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Keep your pans clean and your drains cleaner by washing grease away with cold water.

Using cold water keeps the grease solid. You’ll be left with larger “chunks” of fat instead of melted fat that will solidify in the pipes later. When small pieces of solidified grease go down the drain, gravity and water do their jobs. They send those pieces through the pipes with ease, flushing everything away without leaving a coating behind.

Dealing with clogged pipes—especially greasy ones—can end up being a messy and expensive nightmare. So, whenever you prepare a greasy meal and it’s your turn to do the dishes, make sure you’re using cold water on your pans.

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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