Did you know that your garbage disposal is not a magical device capable of devouring anything you throw its way?
While it may seem like a convenient solution for getting rid of unwanted food scraps, there are certain items that should never find their way into this kitchen appliance.
From causing clogs and damage to compromising the effectiveness of your disposal, these forbidden foods can turn a helpful tool into an expensive nightmare.
In this blog post, we will reveal the top five things you should never put down on your garbage disposal and explain why they pose such a risk.
So before you toss another item down the drain, read on to protect both your wallet and your plumbing!
What People Should Never Put Down Their Garbage Disposal
We often take the incredible power of our beloved garbage disposals for granted, relying on them to make kitchen clean-up a breeze.
But we must remember that these hardworking appliances have their limits. They’re great for reducing kitchen waste and keeping our sinks clean, but we must be careful to know what we can and can’t put in there.
Certain items can damage the blades, cause clogs, and even lead to plumbing issues, so understanding what to avoid is key to preventing unnecessary blockages and costly repairs.
Below are some of the most frequent errors people make when utilising their garbage disposals, as well as some priceless advice on what never to put down the drain.
Large bones, such as ones from chicken or beef, should never be put down the garbage disposal.
These appliances aren’t indestructible and aren’t designed to grind items that are too hard. Doing this can damage the blades, leading to costly repairs. Instead, dispose of bones in the regular trash or compost them if you have a compost bin.
Fruit Pits and Seeds
Similar to bones, fruit pits and seeds are too hard and can damage the blades of your garbage disposal. Besides that, they can get stuck in the appliance and cause clogs. Instead, dispose of them in the regular trash or compost them.
Grease and Oil
Grease and oil should never be poured down the drain or put in the garbage disposal because they are typically known to solidify and create clogs in the pipes. Instead, let the grease or oil cool and solidify and dispose of it in the regular trash.
While some people believe that eggshells can help sharpen the blades of their garbage disposal, they can actually cause damage.
The membrane of the eggshell can encase the blades and trigger blockages and destruction. Instead, dispose of eggshells in the regular trash or compost them.
Coffee grounds may seem harmless, but they can also cause clogs in the pipes because they clump together and create a paste-like substance. Instead, dispose of them in the regular trash or compost them.
Just remember that a garbage disposal isn’t a trash can and shouldn’t be treated as one. Only put items in it that are meant to be disposed of in this way.
If you’re unsure whether you can put something down your garbage disposal, it’s better to stay on the safe side and dispose of the item in the regular trash or compost it.
What Should You Do If You Accidentally Put One of These Things Down Your Garbage Disposal?
If you have accidentally put any of the items I mentioned above down your garbage disposal, there are a few steps you can take to fix the problem. Just keep in mind to keep your expectations realistic.
If damage has been done to the blades, nothing can save them except for replacing them with new ones (and not repeating the same mistakes):
- Disconnect the disposal and pull the plug out of the socket. This will prevent the appliance from running and potentially causing more damage.
- Collect any large items, for example, bones or fruit pits, using tongs or pliers. Don’t put your hand near the disposal, even if it’s not running.
- Run cold water down the disposal. Do that for at least 30 seconds to help flush out any remaining leftovers.
- Use a handful of ice cubes and run it for a few seconds. This can help sharpen the blades and break up any remaining leftovers.
- Mix together baking soda and distilled vinegar to get a solution. If you notice any unpleasant odours coming from your disposal, create a natural cleaning solution by pouring half a cup of baking soda in it followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the solution bubble for a few minutes, run cold water and turn on the disposal to help clean it.
If these steps don’t work or you’re unsure about what to do, it’s best to contact a professional plumber or garbage disposal repair service, who can assess the situation and make any necessary repairs or replacements.
What Else People Should Know on This Topic
Here are a few more considerations to ensure that garbage disposals are operating at peak efficiency:
It’s important to maintain your garbage disposal by running cold water for at least 30 seconds after each use to help flush out any leftovers. You can also keep it clean by using the baking soda and vinegar method.
Garbage disposals come in different sizes, so it’s important to choose the right one for your household. Smaller disposals may be cheaper, but they may not be able to handle the amount of food waste your family produces.
Overloading the Disposal
Don’t overload the disposal with too much food waste. Put in a bit at a time and let it be processed before adding more.
If your garbage disposal is making unusual noises, emitting unpleasant odours, or gets clogged frequently, it may be time to replace it. To help you determine this, it’s advisable to consult a professional plumber who can also help you choose the right replacement.
Always remember to turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it before attempting any repairs or maintenance. Never put your hand in it, even if it’s turned off, and always use tongs or pliers to retrieve any items that may have fallen in.
Over time, grime, food particles, and grease can accumulate in your garbage disposal, leading to clogs and decreased efficiency.
To mitigate this, regular home cleaning and blade maintenance are crucial. Utilising a long-handled brush or an old toothbrush, scrub the rubber flaps and the underside of the rubber baffle, where food debris often gathers.
Additionally, grinding a few ice cubes every couple of weeks will help break up any built-up residue and sharpen the disposal blades.
A Few Final Thoughts
In conclusion, it is crucial to remember that your garbage disposal is a powerful appliance designed to handle certain types of food waste.
By avoiding the five items mentioned in this post – grease and oil, coffee grounds, fibrous foods, eggshells, and bones – you can ensure its smooth operation and longevity.
Instead, consider composting or disposing of these items in an appropriate manner. Taking proper care of your garbage disposal not only saves you from costly repairs but also contributes to a healthier environment.
So next time you find yourself tempted to toss something questionable down the drain, think twice and choose wisely. Your garbage disposal will thank you for years of reliable service!