Garbage Disposer FI

10 Things You Should Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposer

Our garbage disposer works hard to keep our sinks and drains clear. It whisks away the remains of our dinner. It helps keep our kitchen a little cleaner during meal prep.

However, there are a few things that should never go down your disposer. They can clog your disposer, your drains, or even cause damage that may require the installation of a new disposer! 

At this time of year, with the holidays right around the corner, a new disposer or a professional drain cleaning is an expense few would like to see. Avoid that kitchen disaster this season by refraining from disposing of the following:

10.  Coffee Grounds

Garbage Disposer

While coffee grounds might make your drains smell better, the grains tend to clump together. This can cause a drain clogging plug that may result in a call to your local plumber.

9. Potato Peels

Garbage Disposer Potato Peels

I am guilty of this one. One of our technicians came out to clear our drain after I used our garbage disposer to dispose of our potato peels one evening. You see, the peels can be thin enough to slip under the blades and drop down the drain without getting chopped up. This causes a rather nasty clog that catches everything that drops on top of it.

8. Nuts

Garbage Disposer Nuts

While a bit tough, nuts can be broken up by your garbage disposer. That’s a big problem. If you think about how peanut butter is made, you can imagine what is happening in your garbage disposer when you put nuts down the drain.

7. Fruit Pits/Bones/Shells

Garbage Disposer Pits

Garbage disposers are great at chewing up a great many things, but hard items like pits, bones, shells, and nuts are not on that list. At best, they will spin around and around and make a lot of noise, at worst, they could cause a backup or even ruin your disposer.

6. Celery/Corn Silk/Squash

Fibrous fruits and vegetables like celery, pumpkin, and cornhusks can cause strings to tangle around the blades of your disposer which could result in it seizing up.

5. Egg Shells/Onion Skins

Garbage Disposer Eggshells

There is a bit of controversy regarding eggshells. A lot of people swear by them for sharpening the blades of their garbage disposer, but we include them here for the same reason as the onion skins. The thin membranes can get caught and twisted on the blades, tangling just like number 6.

4. Garbage

Garbage Disposer Garbage

While it might seem obvious, you’d be surprised how many times we’ve fished straws, paper towels, and candy wrappers out of someone’s drain! Even though it is a called a garbage disposer, it is only meant for organic garbage, namely food items.

3. Pasta/Rice/Oatmeal

Garbage Disposer Pasta

All of these things risk expansion in the drain line and can become surprisingly gummy, sticking to the blades. Very small amounts might not cause an issue, but a plateful might become a problem.

2. Chemicals

Garbage Disposer Chemicals

While dish soap and all-purpose spray cleansers aren’t going to cause an issue, using harsh chemicals, such as drain cleaners can cause long-term damage not only to your garbage disposer but your drain lines as well. The best way to keep your blades clean is dropping a bit of ice down the disposer and keep it smelling fresh with a bit of dish soap. If you do have a clog, first try plunging, or having your drain snaked, rather than resorting to corrosive cleaners that may do more harm than good.

1. Grease. Bacon grease, hamburger grease, any kind of grease.

Garbage Disposer Grease

Grease is the number one cause of drain and disposer blockages that we see. Even if it is liquid when it goes down the drain, it can quickly congeal and sticks to the walls of your pipes like plaque. It can build up and cause a full blockage, especially when other small bits of food get stuck in it. Avoid pouring grease in your drain. Also, follow up any small amounts of it with hot water and dish soap to help rinse it away.

Problems with Your Garbage Disposer?

Remember, if you do run into issues with your garbage disposer or you have a clog that needs to be removed, you can give the PROs at PRO Plumbing Service a call, day or night, at 303-660-9831.

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