Our garbage disposer works hard to keep our sinks and drains clear. It whisks away the remains of our dinner. It
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
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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