Your garbage disposal is a great appliance. It makes cleanup in the kitchen faster and easier by devouring old scraps and leftovers. But as good as it is, it has its limits. Holidays, with extra crowds and heavy kitchen use, can really add stress to the garbage disposal. Everything you put down your disposal goes into your plumbing. As plumbers, we’ve seen some pretty nasty stuff get caught in those pipes. So this year, we’d like to keep you from being one of our service calls for a clogged drain or broken garbage disposal unit. The plumbers at Herrmann Services put together this list.
10 Things to Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
- Grease – While liquid grease is hot and thin, when it hits those pipes, it cools and thickens coating your pipes. It creates a sludge that other items can get caught in and create a blockage. It’s best to put grease in a jar and dispose of it in the trash.
- Bones – Bones are just too hard for the garbage disposal blades to crush. They’ll just keep spinning around and around with the blades and won’t wash down the pipe. Then they will start to stink and you’ll have to dig them out by hand – gross!
- Celery – The fibrous strings that run down a stalk of celery get tangled around the disposal blades. They can jam it and cause the motor to fail. If any do get through, they are just the thing to cause a tangle further down the line when they meet other disposal no-nos.
- Coffee Grounds – While they seem harmless, the oil in coffee grounds becomes a sticky sludge and creates the same problem as the grease. Just dump them in the trash or compost instead.
- Eggshells – By themselves, eggshells aren’t horrible, but when ground, egg shells become sand-like particles that stick to any grease in the pipes causing buildup and eventually clogs.
- Corn Husks – Just like celery, the long, stringy fibers get caught in the blades and can cause a jam.
- Artichokes – Artichoke leaves are just too fibrous to be ground up by the disposal blades. Toss these in the trash or compost as well.
- Fruit Pits – Fruit pits are extremely hard and can jam the disposal blades.
- Potato Peels – While they are not too hard for the disposal to grind up, their starchiness can cause a sticky mess and clogs in the pipes.
- Noodles – Just like potato peels, the starch becomes sticky and slimy and can cause problems down the pipe.