5 Food Items You Should Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
December 19, 2014
The garbage disposal has become an integral part of every kitchen. You probably scrape your plates into the sink without even a second thought. But if you aren’t careful, this could lead to garbage disposal problems in the future.
So before you flush your uneaten scraps through your kitchen disposal, take a look at this list and make sure to avoid these objects.
Anything you can avoid
The first thing to remember is that your garbage disposal should not be used as a waste basket. If you have cut up a vegetable on your counter, put the scraps in the trash, not the disposal. And after a meal, scrape your plates into the trash to get rid of all the big items.
That being said, there are times where a disposal comes in handy. Feel free to use it when needed, just avoid the foods listed below.
Grease and fat should always be thrown out, not dumped down your drains. Grease sticks to the inside of your plumbing and collects other food and scraps, eventually leading to a clogged drain.
If you do end up with grease in your sink, run it down your disposal with cold water, not hot. The cold water will cause the grease to harden, which will help it completely evacuate your drain. If you use hot water, the grease will stick to the blades of the disposal or your plumbing, causing a clog.
Rice and pasta
Putting cooked pasta and rice down your garbage disposal can turn into a nasty problem. The garbage disposal mashes the rice and pasta and creates a thick paste that can cause your disposal to stop working or clog the drain, which water from going through your disposal.
Corn husks, celery and asparagus
These vegetables may seem harmless to your kitchen disposal. However, they have long, stringy fibers that can become entangled around your garbage disposal’s blades, causing it to stop working. Even lettuce may create similar problems.
Bones and fruit pits
This one should be a no-brainer – don’t put hard things down your disposal (or any of your drains, for that matter). Even small pieces of bone can get stuck in your disposal. Peach pits have also been known to cause problems. As a general rule, if you can’t chew it up, it’s too hard to go down your disposal.
If something does jam your garbage disposal, do NOT reach your fingers into it to remove the item. A short circuit can happen when you dislodge the item, causing the blades to turn on. Instead, use a tool like a long needle nose pliers. If you can’t get it yourself, you may need to contact a plumbing repair expert.
Avoid these five food items and your garbage disposal should operate well for years.
Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122