Can You Reuse Cooking Oil?

A question we get asked a lot is, ‘Can you reuse cooking oil?’ and that got us thinking about how much you can reuse cooking oil before it becomes spoiled or a health issue.  So, how much can you reuse that cooking oil?

You can reuse cooking oil. However, the type of cooking oil will determine how long you can use the oil. It is important that you don’t overuse your cooking oil as it can cause serious health conditions and increase the risk of trans fatty acids in your food. 

Read on to find out how long you can reuse cooking oil and the best practices with BioUKFuels. 

Can Businesses Reuse Cooking Oil?

Yes, businesses can reuse cooking oil, but they need to make sure that precautions are in place to preserve the used oil. The cooking oil can be used two to three times before it needs replacing. If the oil is a dark colour, smells rancid and is foaming on the surface it’s generally time for you to dispose of and replace the oil. 

If you need to dispose of your cooking oil and have a lot stored, why not get in contact with us for a free removal with a licensed waste carrier? Alternatively, check out our post on ‘How To Dispose of Used Cooking Oil’ for further information.  

It is important to store your oil correctly so that you can preserve it for longer. If you want more information on how to store your oil correctly, why not check out our post on ‘What Is The Proper Way To Store Oil’ for more information and advice? 

Can You Reuse Cooking Oil At Home? 

Yes, you can reuse cooking oil at home. The same practices should be followed domestically as you would in a professional kitchen. When reusing your oil, make sure you have strained the oil as much as you can and that it is stored in a dark, cool place away from sunlight. This will help to preserve your oil for longer. 

How Long Can You Reuse Cooking Oil For?

Three out of four households in the UK purchase some type of cooking oil, making it the most common cooking ingredient. You can reuse cooking oil but only a finite number of times. What you have been frying will determine how long the oil should be reused due to the food developing trans fatty acids. The type of oil you are frying with will depend on how long you can reuse it for: 

Oil Type Can It Be Reused?
Vegetable OilYes, Up to 8 times. 
Sunflower Oil Yes, Up to 6 times. 
Olive Oil Yes, Up to 5 times. 
Rapeseed Oil Yes, Up to 5 times. 
Peanut & Sesame Oil Yes, Up to 5 times. 

If you are reusing your cooking oil, you need to be aware of the signs of degradation to make sure the oil is still safe to use. These include: 

  • Foam on the surface of the oil. 
  • An “off aroma” or “fishy stench” that indicates the oil has spoiled. 
  • A dark, murky appearance. 
  • The oil starts to smoke before it reaches the desired temperature. 

How to Reuse Cooking Oil

Once you’ve finished frying, you can preserve the used oil so that you can reuse it again. The first step is allowing the oil to cool completely. Before you store your oil, it needs to be at room temperature as this will protect you from oil burns or damage to your storage container. 

Next, you need to strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer with a protective layer, such as a kitchen roll or a coffee filter. This will catch any leftover pieces of food from your previous frying as when you reuse the cooking oil those pieces will burn, giving an unappetising taste to your food.

 Once strained, the oil needs to be transferred into a clean container and stored in a cool, dry place. If the oil isn’t cooled and stored correctly, the oil can develop harmful free radicals that can be detrimental to your health

How To Dispose Used Cooking Oil 

When disposing of cooking oil, there are practices you have to follow to meet food safety standards. You cannot pour cooking oil down the drain or sewers as it can cause blockages, terrible odour, vermin issues and pollution in the water. Both domestically and professionally, licensed services will collect your used oil for correct disposal. 

For Business use

When disposing of oil waste commercially, there is only one way to legally do this. As a legal and environmental requirement for working in the food sector, you are obliged to dispose of your used oil. 

Thankfully, you can do this with a licensed waste oil collection service so the work is done for you. Just get in touch with us here at BioUKFuels through our contact form, select a collection date and store your used cooking oil ready for collection. This can either be in the container they came in or in leakproof containers that have been provided by us, usually blue storage barrels.

For Domestic Use

To dispose of your used cooking oil domestically, you can do this in two ways. Firstly, you can get in contact with a waste collection service that will take your used cooking oil. You should ensure that your oil is stored correctly in either the containers they came in or a leakproof container that will not spill. 

The alternative is to check with your local recycling centre to see if they will take your used cooking oil and dispose of it for you. Check if your local recycling centre will accept your used cooking oil with the Recycle Now website

Collecting Your Used Cooking Oil 

At BioUKFuels, we can help your business recycle your used cooking oil all across the UK. We offer a free waste collection service where we take your waste oils and fats. They’re then converted into biodiesel, which is our contribution to renewable fuel. 

To schedule your free collection that suits your business needs, simply call us on 01709 373248 or complete our online contact form to find out more about the services we offer. 

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Bio UK Fuels (Sheffield) Ltd
Unit 6A
Greasbro Rd, Tinsley
Sheffield, S9 1TN


01709 373248



[email protected]


Monday - Friday
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© Bio UK Fuels (Sheffield) Ltd 2022