A garbage disposal is a great way to reduce household waste and improve your carbon footprint. However, there are limits to what a garbage disposal system can handle; it’s not equipped to process everything you might want to put in it. The following is a list of things you should never put into your disposal unit.
What NOT to throw down the garbage disposal
Always makes sure you clear out all the dishes in the sink, and check to make sure no non-food items have fallen inside your garbage disposal before flipping that switch
GREASE AND FATS
Your garbage disposal can handle grease when it cools—because it liquefies—but it cannot handle when it solidifies inside your drain and creates clogs. For that reason you should avoid putting oil and fats into your disposal unit, as well.
Celery, asparagus, artichokes, chard, kale, lettuce, potato peelings, and onion skins should all be kept out of your garbage disposal unit. These foods can get tangled up in the blades and cause it to jam
UNCOOKED PASTA AND RICE
Rice and pasta expand when water is added, so if you dump a sizeable amount into your garbage disposal unit it can get backed up.
Coffee grounds are sticky and tend to get caught in the drain trap, eventually causing clogs and backups.
FRUIT PITS, SEEDS AND APPLE CORES
These items are hard and your garbage disposal unit is unable to process them without the risk of breaking.
The membrane on the inside of an eggshell can wrap around your garbage disposal unit’s blades, so do not put eggshells into the appliance.
Fish bones are the exception, but bones challenge even industrial—strength disposal units. These are better to be collected with the trash.
Despite what some say about ice with lemon helping wash your garbage disposal, ice can dull the blades of your disposal, making them less efficient. To properly disinfect your garbage disposal you will need to use a cleaning solution that includes at least mild soap and warm water. There are even disposal-specific cleaning products you can find at the store to help you do an even better job with this. Remember to never pour caustic chemicals such as bleach, drain cleaners, or other chemicals, into the garbage disposal as they can erode the unit. Also, make sure your disposal is disconnected from its power source while you are cleaning it!
Things You Can Put in Your Garbage Disposal
For it to function at its best, you should always run cold water through your garbage disposal unit for 20-30 seconds before and after you grind foodstuffs. This ensures that all of the food will be flushed down the drain. Food left to rot can cause odor and stink up your whole kitchen.
LIQUIDS, SOFT AND CHOPPED FOODS
Here’s a good rule of thumb: if a baby can eat it, the garbage disposer can handle it without any problems.
There are special cleaners specifically made for your disposal that you should use.
Follow this list of do’s and don’ts, and your garbage disposal unit should live a long and happy life. If your unit does act up you can call the garbage disposal experts at Outstanding Plumbing.