Don’t Treat Your Garbage Disposal Like a Catchall


Don’t Treat Your Garbage Disposal Like a Catchall

There's almost no other appliance in the kitchen that's as handy as a garbage disposal. The individual that created this easy, flush-it-and-forget-it device revolutionized meal prep and cleanup for kitchen workers forever. Before you go tossing a bit of everything down your drain, however, know that there are a few things that you should never put down the garbage disposal.

Here are the main things that will trip up the disposal:

  • Grease and fat: These move into your pipes where they will coagulate and cause a clog.
  • Hot water: Wait, really? Yes, because hot water will melt any bits of grease and fat that do make their way in. The hot water also moves them further down the plumbing pipes. Although you'll send hot water down your drain when the disposal is not in use, always use cold water when operating the disposal.
  • Rice and pasta: These kinds of foods expand as they sit in moisture; if you push them down the disposal, they'll eventually plug up the plumbing.
  • Any food or item that isn't biodegradable: Items such as plastic or paper can damage the blades and eventually cause the motor to malfunction.
  • Fibrous foods:. Think about what happens to celery when you try to chop it up. Its long strings are tough, and if you force celery down the disposal, those fibrous strings can get wrapped around the blades and damage the system.
  • Foods with tough skin: Foods such as corn and onion have a hard shell or exterior. Running them through the disposal makes it work too hard, and they can get wrapped around the blades.
  • Hard foods: Other foods to avoid putting down the drain include fruit pits—these can never be emulsified by the disposal—and meat bones.
  • Too much food: Disposals are designed to grind up a small amount of food. If you have a whole bag of carrot peels, for example, to put down the disposal, do it in small increments.
  • Your hands—or any body part for that matter: You might think the disposal is off, but you never know if the unit itself will malfunction or someone will accidentally switch the system on. Ideally, the cold water itself should push the food into the disposal. If you must use something, use a tool such as a wooden spoon or other utensil to push food down the disposal. Never use your hands.

While the garbage disposal makes light work of food prep and clean up, following these rules will keep you safe, keep your disposal in good condition, and prevent unnecessary problems in plumbing system.

For answers to your questions, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr