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Garbage Disposal Do's and Dont's

Written by A. Borrelli Mechanical on 05.19.20

Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a quick and easy solution for homeowners to dispose of their food waste. Like all other home appliances, a garbage disposal can be overworked if not properly used or cared for. There are ways that you can make sure your garbage disposal continues to work properly and efficiently. 

DO NOT Put These Down Your Disposal

Garbage disposals are used to break down food waste so that it won’t clog your pipes. By breaking down this waste, it will biodegrade at a faster rate. Although it sounds like this appliance is strong and invincible, there are certain things that should never go down your disposal.

grease in kitchen sink drainGrease: In any instance, with or without a garbage disposal, grease should never go down your drain. The fatty material can build up and cause major clogs. Instead, set aside a grease catcher to dump your excess oils. After the grease has cooled and hardened, you can toss it in the garbage without harming your pipes.

Fibrous Foods: Wastes such as Banana peels, corn husks, celery, and asparagus are a garbage disposal no-no. They are hard to break down and can ruin the blades. Instead, these items are great for a compost.

Starchy Foods: Pasta, rice, and potato peels expand even after they are shredded into smaller pieces. This can cause clogs inside of your pipes in the long run. 

Non-biodegradable products: Your disposal’s job is to chop up food waste into smaller pieces so that it speeds up the process in which it breaks down and biodegrades. Products that aren’t naturally biodegradable will build up and clog your plumbing system. This includes things such as shells, glass, and bones. 

Coffee Grounds: Think about when you empty your coffee filter. Liquid and coffee grounds create a dense and thick material that is bad for your drains. A small amount of coffee grounds here and there are OK, but never empty your entire filter into your garbage disposal.

Foods with membranes: Food waste such as onion peels and eggshells have a membrane. The thin layers can miss the blades of your disposal and get lodged in your drain. When they are stuck, they can trap more foods passing through and cause a serious clog.

DO Put These Down Your Garbage Disposal

Although there are many things that might harm your garbage disposal system, there are also items that are perfectly safe for your drain, and can actually improve the smell and function of it.

Citrus Rinds: When lemon and lime peels are broken down, they naturally clean your disposal and leave a citrusy smell behind. This can eliminate odors from previous waste that might not smell the best.

Ice: If you are experiencing continuous odors coming from your sink, there is a good chance you have food residue stuck someone in your garbage disposal. Grind an ice cube or 2 in your disposal to loosen up any leftover pieces that might have gotten stuck to your blades or didn’t quite make the drain.

Soft Foods and Liquids: Your garbage disposal’s purpose is to serve as an environmentally friendly and convenient way to dispose of your food. Any soft foods can be sure not to harm the blades or pipes and will help you reap all the benefits of your system.

Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

If you are experiencing issues with your garbage disposal, draining, or plumbing, A. Borrelli Mechanical can help. Our experienced professionals can help solve all of your plumbing needs. Contact us today or schedule a virtual appointment for any of your HVAC needs.


Topics: Plumbing

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