If you are in the habit of sending everything left on your plates into the sink and the garbage disposal, you may want to reconsider. It is a very helpful appliance but it is not a ‘catch all’ designed to make clean up easier.

The purpose of the garbage disposal is to shred food waste into smaller pieces to prevent them from clogging the drain pipe. Not everything should be put in the disposal. Some of the waste you may feeding into it can still clog pipes.

What NOT To Put In Your Garbage Disposal

  • Grease – while some suggest running cold water to turn the grease to a solid so it can be shredded, the next time you run hot water down the drain it will liquefy. When it coagulates later it can easily create a blockage.
  • Bones, pits and anything hard – They will not break into small pieces meaning clogs and again, possible damage to the unit itself.
  • Fibrous foods – banana peels, onion skins, asparagus and celery are a few examples. They won’t shred and can get caught on the blades.
  • Nuts – use caution here. A few won’t be a problem but if you are dumping a bowl of them down the drain, consider how they make peanut butter – by grinding peanuts. That is exactly what your garbage disposal would be doing.
  • Anything that isn’t food – It’s not really a ‘garbage’ disposal.

A Word Of Caution

Don’t over load your garbage disposal. Too much, while chopped finely, can go down the drain at once. It can still get caught or bind together further down the drain. If you have large amounts of waste, send a little down at a time. This will also prevent the disposal itself from having to work too hard, potentially burning out the unit.

Consider An Alternative

Consider composting your food waste. Not everyone has the space or the need, but if you can, it is a better alternative. Less solid material in your drain pipes and the benefit of a green fertilizer.

Garbage disposals are one of the most helpful appliances in your kitchen when used properly. Abuse them or treat them as trash compactors and you could find yourself with bigger problems down the road. Treat them well and they will last and make clean up a bit easier.

If you are experiencing an issue, give us a call and schedule an appointment before it becomes worse.