When used properly, a garbage disposal is a very helpful and effective appliance in the kitchen. However, if not treated with care, it can become a bigger hassle than convenience. In this article, we’ll cover the top 10 things you should avoid dumping down your garbage disposal. Some you may know – others might be more of a surprise.
- Grease and oils – This is a big no-no. When hot, fatty liquids such as grease and oil are poured down the drain, they will eventually cool, turn solid, and likely cause a clog.
- Pasta and rice – Starchy foods like pasta and rice can expand when soaked in water (even after cooked) and become sticky, making them more likely get caught and back up your plumbing.
- Coffee grounds – Not only can coffee grounds wear down the blades of your disposal, but large amounts can become packed down and clog up the drain.
- Bones – Even small bones like chicken wings are too hard for your garbage disposal to handle. You run the risk of ruining the blades and the motor.
- Fruit pits and seeds – Similar to bones, pits and seeds are too tough for the blades. Plus, the round objects will rattle around the disposal and make a pretty awful sound.
- Produce stickers – When washing fruit, be sure to pick off the sticker and throw in the trash. If it ends up down the garbage disposal, the adhesive will likely get stuck on the blades.
- Celery – Stringy veggies can get wrapped around the blades and damage the motor. For the same reason, avoid onion peels, lettuce, asparagus, and corn husks.
- Seafood shells – Shells from shrimp, crab, and lobster can be too dense and wear down the blades of the disposal.
- Egg shells – While claim that egg shells can help sharpen the blades, that’s not really the case. And the membrane of the shells can get caught and damage the disposal.
- Non-food items – This one should be obvious, but things like paper towels, medicines, and harsh chemicals shouldn’t go down the drain. Not only can they break down your garbage disposal, they can also cause sewer line backups and affect water quality.
The moral of the story is simple – take good care of your garbage disposal and it will take care of you. A small amount of these items going down the disposal by accident probably won’t cause a major issue, but try not to let it become a repeated pattern.
If your garbage disposal doesn’t seem to be getting the job done anymore or you notice that the kitchen sink is draining slowly, don’t hesitate to call Rick’s Plumbing at (203) 874-6629. Our licensed plumbers are standing by to solve your problem.