What NOT to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
October 27, 2017
The garbage disposal: the most used, most underappreciated, hardest working appliance in the house. It seems indestructible. Every day the garbage disposal easily rids our kitchen of things that would clog a regular drain instantly. In fact, it’s so good at its job that it’s easy to think that just about anything can go into it. If you’ve ever had your garbage disposal suddenly shut down mid-use or your drain suddenly clog then you know this isn’t the case.
To keep your garbage disposal healthy and your drain clear, there are several common kitchen items that are not compatible with its use. Below is a list of items to avoid overwhelming your drain and disposal this holiday season.
A good rule of thumb is if your knife has trouble cutting it, so will your garbage disposal. Bones cannot be broken up by your disposal and they will just keep spinning around the blades. If the bones manage to get down the disposal they won’t be able to make it down the drain pipes. This could lead to a nasty clog or even pipe damage.
The fibrous strings of vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, and corn husks tend to tangle around your disposal’s blades. These end up getting stuck in the disposal and adding residue to your blades. Toss these leftover vegetables into the trash or add to your compost pile to avoid clogs, residue, and garbage disposal odor.
This may come as a surprise because coffee grounds appear to go down easily. While the grounds may surpass the garbage disposal, they tend to get stuck in the drain. Coffee grounds create sediment, like pouring dirt down the drain. They pile up and create a sludgy mess at the bottom resulting in a clogged sink over time.
Fruit Pits, Seeds, and Apple Cores
If you’ve ever tried to cut through a peach pit or avocado seed you know why this is an impossible task for your garbage disposal too. Just like bones, these are far too solid for your garbage disposal. It’s best to toss these in the trash as well.
Fats, Oils, and Grease
Grease and oil will most likely surpass your disposal and go straight down the drain instead. Grease, oil, and fats should never be poured down the drain. They are one of the leading causes of drain clogs.
This one may seem like a no brainer, but when dishes pile up, it’s easy for a fork or other small utensil to slide into the drain unnoticed. Turn your garbage disposal off immediately if it sounds like something is caught to avoid damaging the garbage disposal’s blades. Before turning it on, make sure all dishes are clear of the disposal and that no non-food items have fallen inside.
Pasta and Rice
This is another one that seems to go down the disposal easily but can result in a clogged drain over time. Pasta and rice expand when exposed to water. Even small pieces can pile at the bottom of your drain and accumulate and expand over time. Eventually, a sizeable amount sent into your garbage disposal will lead to a clogged drain.
Eggshells were once thought to help sharpen garbage disposal blades. In fact, egg shells, similar to coffee grounds are very sedimentary in nature. They can settle at the bottom of your drain and cause clogs later on.
Bleach and Drano
Bleach and Drano should never be poured down your drain or garbage disposal. These harsh chemicals and cleaners can ruin your disposal’s seals and even eat through your pipes.
There are more effective and environmentally friendly ways to clean both your drain and disposal. Try using vinegar and water, baking soda, or other natural cleaners to keep your drains clean and your pipes healthy.
While this list does limit what your garbage disposal can do, it’s still the hardest working appliance in the house. If your garbage disposal has suddenly shut down while in use, don’t panic. Just run some cool water down the disposal and then press the reset button on the bottom of the disposal.
If you’ve tried this with no luck, don’t worry! Call Fix-It 24/7 at (303) 214-0277 for an appointment today!
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