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Pancake Day warning issued over leftover batter to avoid kitchen disaster


Woman cooking homemade pancakes for breakfast

Be careful what you do with your leftover batter (Picture: Getty Images)

If you’re making pancakes this Shrove Tuesday, the aftermath could end up being more than a carb and syrup-fuelled food coma.

A plumbing expert has issued a warning over leftover Pancake Day batter – and it’s one you’ll want to heed if you don’t want your Lent to start off with an emergency visit from a tradesperson.

Batter – made up up eggs, milk, flour and butter – falls into the category of FOG, which stands for Fats, Oils and Greases.

While it may seem harmless as it looks like a liquid, pouring any FOG substance down your sink can result in a blocked pipe, costing up to a hefty £250 to repair.

‘Pancake mix is filled with oil, and as such is a disaster for sink pipes. Blockages are not only very inconvenient, but are pricey to fix,’ says Andy Simms, a plumbing expert from MyBuilder.com.

The mixture can cool and harden in the bends of the pipe, either blocking it entirely or coating it with solid fat that picks up further dirt and debris.

Pancake mix is classified as a FOG substance (Picture: Getty Images)

So to avoid a kitchen disaster, it’s important to dispose of leftover batter (if you have any) correctly.

‘Never be tempted to pour it down the sink,’ adds Andy. ‘Not only could it cost you money, it’s terrible for our sewers and can contribute to fatbergs.’

If you have a food waste or compost bin, pop it in there. If not, decant it into a sealed plastic bag with a few paper towels to soak up leaks and throw it away in the regular bin.

Andy also recommends making use of pancake mix in new ways rather than chucking it out: store it in the fridge to whip up some Yorkshire puddings on Ash Wednesday, or freeze it for pancakes at a later date, then nothing goes to waste.

It’s not just pancake batter that can harm your drains either. MyBuilder urges households to properly discard of meat fat, cooking fat, gravy, custard, and cream too.

But in case you do fall foul of a clog, a combination of baking soda and vinegar can help lift it.

Simply pour half a cup of baking soda down the sink followed by a cup of white vinegar. Cover the plug with a cloth to let the acid and alkali do their thing for up to 30 minutes, then pour boiling water through to flush it all away.

For added freshness, half a cup of soda crystals, a capful of scented disinfectant like Zoflora and more boiling water should get your kitchen smelling great again.

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