How to Dispose of Gravy [6 Best Ways]

Gravy is a delicious addition to many meals, but what do you do with the leftover gravy? Pouring it down the drain may seem like the easiest solution, but it can cause clogs and other issues in your plumbing system.

In this article, we will explore the best ways to dispose of gravy that are both safe for your home and environmentally friendly.

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Gravy and its Importance

Gravy is a sauce typically made from meat drippings, flour, and stock or water. It is a popular condiment often served with meat dishes such as roast beef, turkey, and chicken. Gravy is an important part of many meals as it adds flavor and moisture.

Aside from its taste, gravy also has some nutritional benefits. It is a good source of protein and can be a good source of vitamins, and minerals, depending on the ingredients used to make it. However, it is important to consume gravy in moderation as it can be high in fat and calories.

Difference between Gravy, Fats, and Oil

Gravy, fats, and oil all come from different sources. Gravy comprises flour, water, and a fat source such as butter or margarine. Fats are solid at room temperature, while oils are liquid.

Fat and oils can be used to make gravy, but the process is different. When making gravy with fat, you must first render the fat (melt it down) before adding the flour. This step isn’t necessary when using oil since it’s already in liquid form. 

Why You Shouldn’t Pour Gravy Down the Drain?

Pouring leftover gravy down the drain is a common mistake many people make, but it can lead to plumbing issues. Gravy is a thick liquid that can congeal and harden in your pipes, leading to blockages and backups.

Additionally, the fats and oils in gravy can stick to your pipes and cause buildup, leading to further clogs and damage to your plumbing system. 

Another issue with pouring gravy down the drain is that it can attract pests, such as rats and insects, which can cause further damage to your plumbing system.

Moreover, if you have a septic system, pouring gravy down the drain can negatively impact its functioning and may cause it to fail.

Pouring gravy down the drain can lead to environmental pollution, as it can end up in waterways and harm aquatic life.

Environmentally-Friendly Gravy Disposal Methods 

There are several environmentally-friendly methods for disposing of leftover gravy that you can use instead of pouring it down the drain. Here are some options:

1. Composting

If you have a compost pile, add leftover gravy. Gravy is high in nutrients and can help to enrich your compost.

However, only add small amounts at a time and mix them with other organic materials to avoid attracting pests.

Additionally, ensure that your compost pile is located in a well-ventilated area away from your home to avoid unpleasant odors.

2. Trash Disposal

Another safe and simple way to dispose of leftover gravy is to put it in the trash. To do this, pour the gravy into a container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a jar or plastic container, and dispose of it in the garbage.

This method is safe for your plumbing and won’t harm the environment. However, ensure the container is properly sealed to avoid spills or leaks.

3. Recycling

If your leftover gravy is in a glass jar, you can recycle it. Be sure to rinse the jar thoroughly before recycling it to avoid contamination.

However, if the gravy is mixed with other food waste or contaminants, it may not be recyclable and should be disposed of in the trash.

4. Feeding Wildlife

If you live in a rural area, you can dispose of leftover gravy by feeding it to wildlife. However, be sure to only feed it to safe animals, such as pigs or chickens.

Additionally, avoid feeding wildlife in areas where they may become a nuisance or cause property damage.

5. Reusing

If you have a small amount of leftover gravy, store it in the fridge and use it in another recipe. For example, leftover gravy can be used as a base for soups or stews.

However, ensure that the gravy is properly stored in an airtight container and used within a few days.

6. Donating

If you have a large amount of leftover gravy that you won’t be able to use, consider donating it to a local food bank or shelter.

Many organizations accept food donations and can distribute them to those in need.

Gravy Disposal Safety Tips

When disposing of leftover gravy, keeping safety in mind is important. Here are some tips to ensure safe gravy disposal:

  1. Let the gravy cool before disposing of it. Hot gravy can melt plastic containers or cause the glass to crack, creating a safety hazard.
  2. Refrain from disposing of gravy in the sink or toilet. This can lead to clogs and other plumbing issues.
  3. Avoid pouring gravy down storm drains. Storm drains are designed to collect rainwater and are not connected to the sewer system. Pouring gravy down storm drains can harm the environment.
  4. Always dispose of gravy in sealed containers. This will prevent spills and leaks that can attract pests and cause safety hazards.
  5. Consult your local waste management guidelines if you need help. Many cities and municipalities have specific guidelines for food waste disposal.

Benefits of Disposing of Gravy Safely

Disposing of gravy safely is beneficial for the environment, but it can also have health benefits and help reduce food waste. Here are some of the benefits of disposing of gravy safely:

  1. Environmental Benefits: When the gravy is not disposed of properly, it can hurt the environment. The gravy contains fat and oil, which can clog drains and cause sewer backups. This can lead to pollution and harm wildlife. By disposing of gravy safely, you can prevent these issues from occurring and help protect the environment.
  2. Health Benefits: Improperly disposing of gravy can also have health consequences. The gravy left out at room temperature for too long can grow harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. By disposing of gravy properly, you can help prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses and keep yourself and others healthy.
  3. Reducing Food Waste: Safely disposing of leftover gravy can also help reduce food waste. By using leftover gravy in other recipes, such as soups or stews, you can make the most out of your ingredients and reduce the amount of food that goes to waste.
  4. Cost Savings: Safely disposing of gravy can also save you money in the long run. Improperly disposing of gravy can damage plumbing systems and cause costly repairs. Properly disposing of gravy can avoid these expenses and save money in the long run.

By following the recommended methods for disposing of gravy, you can ensure you do your part to promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Is it Safe to Pour Gravy Down the Sink?

Pouring gravy down the sink is not recommended because it can cause problems with your plumbing. The fat and protein in gravy can clog your pipes and lead to costly repairs.

If you must dispose of gravy down the sink, be sure to run hot water for several minutes afterward to help break down the grease.

Tips for Reducing Leftover Gravy

While leftover gravy can be a great addition to soups, stews, and other dishes, it’s always a good idea to try to reduce the amount of leftover gravy as much as possible. Here are some tips to help you do just that:

  • Make the right amount of gravy: One of the easiest ways to reduce leftover gravy is to make the right amount in the first place. Use a recipe that gives you the correct amount for your meal, or make a small batch and adjust the recipe as needed.
  • Use a gravy boat: Serving your gravy in a gravy boat can help you control the amount you use. Instead of pouring it over your entire plate, you can use a small amount and add more as needed.
  • Repurpose leftover gravy: Instead of letting leftover gravy go to waste, try using it differently. As we mentioned, you can use it for soup stock or gravy base, as a marinade, or even feed it to your pets.
  • Store gravy properly: If you do have leftover gravy, make sure to store it properly. Store an airtight container or bag in the fridge or freezer. This will help keep it fresh and prevent it from spoiling.

By following these tips, you can reduce the leftover gravy you have and ensure that it doesn’t go to waste.

The Bottom Line

Properly disposing of leftover gravy is an important aspect of responsible food management. It not only benefits the environment by preventing pollution and waste but also promotes good health and reduces the risk of foodborne illnesses.

By using the 6 best ways to dispose of gravy, you can make the most of your ingredients, reduce waste, and save money in the long run. Remember to always follow proper food safety guidelines and use up leftovers whenever possible. With these simple steps, you can do your part to promote a sustainable and healthy lifestyle.


How do I get rid of leftover gravy?

You can save it for future use. Pour the gravy into a container and store it in the fridge for up to four days. When ready to use it again, reheat it on the stove.

Can I use gravy as fertilizer?

You can also use gravy as fertilizer for your plants. The nutrients in gravy will help your plants grow! 

How long can I keep leftover gravy?

If you have leftover gravy, you can save it for future use. Pour the gravy into a container and store it in the fridge for up to four days. When ready to use it again, reheat it on the stove.

Can you Put gravy down the Toilet?

No, it would help if you did not put gravy down the toilet. The fat in gravy can clog your pipes and lead to costly repairs.

Can Gravy be Saved for Reuse?

If you have leftover gravy, you can save it for future use. Pour the gravy into a container and store it in the fridge for up to four days. When ready to use it again, reheat it on the stove.

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