Your garbage disposal is an incredibly useful kitchen appliance, helping you quickly and easily get rid of food scraps and leftovers that could otherwise make your trash can – and your home – smell rather unpleasant.
But, although disposals are convenient, they aren’t designed to handle every type of kitchen waste.
Putting certain foods and items down your garbage disposal can render the appliance useless and potentially even cause serious damage to your home’s plumbing. To keep your disposal running smoothly – and to keep the plumber away – never put any of these ten items down the drain.
No. 1: Grease and Oil
When grease and oil cool, the solidified fat creates a film on your garbage disposal blades and makes them less effective. The fat also solidifies in the drain pipes, leading to annoying and expensive sewer clogs.
No. 2: Coffee Grounds
Over time, coffee grounds can build up into a sludge-like mess in the disposal trap. The result is a clogged drain and a kitchen that smells like old coffee.
No. 3: Egg Shells
Contrary to popular belief, egg shells don’t sharpen garbage disposal blades. Actually, their stringy inner membranes can wrap around the shredder ring and stick to your drain pipes, creating clogs and odiferous plumbing problems.
No. 4: Potato Peels
Potato peels turn into a gluey, starchy mass when put down the disposal. As time goes on, the mass can harden and clog the drain pipes.
No. 5: Fibrous Veggies
Celery, asparagus, kale, chard, onion skins, corn husks and other fibrous veggies often wrap around disposal blades instead of flowing safely down the drain. This prevents the appliance from operating properly and leads to plumbing clogs.
No. 6: Pasta and Rice
Even after cooking, pasta and rice continue to swell with water. Put either down the drain, and you risk filling up the disposal trap and clogging the sink.
No. 7: Fruit Pits
Pits from plums, peaches, avocados, cherries and other stone fruits and berries shouldn’t be washed down the drain. Fruit pits not only clog up your plumbing, but also dent, crack or break your disposal blades.
No. 8: Bones
Fish bones don’t typically lead to plumbing problems, but chicken, beef, pork and lamb bones shouldn’t go down the drain. Garbage disposals aren’t strong enough to adequately break them down, so they end up getting caught in the appliance or your drain pipes.
No. 9: Seafood Shells
Just like bones, shells from clams, oysters and lobsters won’t safely make their way through your drain pipes. Seafood shells can damage the disposal blades and cause plumbing clogs.
No. 10: Non-Food Items
Garbage disposals are meant to handle food scraps. Cigarette butts, broken glass, rubber bands, twist ties, paint chips and other non-food items can’t be broken up by the blades, and putting them down the drain is asking for plumbing clogs.
Have you (or any little ones living in your home) been too casual about what you put down the garbage disposal? The experienced professional plumbing team at American Plumbing Services can make sure your drain pipes are problem-free. And, if necessary, we can provide expert garbage disposal repair or replacement.
As a trusted Northern Utah industry leader for over a decade, American Plumbing Services has a reputation for quality workmanship, exceptional customer care and affordable pricing. For a free garbage disposal repair estimate, contact our Provo office today.