Your garbage disposal helps keep your kitchen clean and odor-free. However, it’s essential to use it wisely to prevent costly damage and repairs. Regular maintenance and mindful use of your garbage disposal can extend its lifespan and minimize the risk of expensive repairs. This guide will tell you what not to put in garbage disposal, and also discuss when and why you might need to contact a plumber if your disposal unit isn’t functioning correctly.
The Golden Rule: Avoid Hard and Fibrous Materials
One of the most critical rules for maintaining a healthy garbage disposal is to avoid hard and fibrous materials. These items can wreak havoc on the blades and motor, leading to clogs, jams, and even complete breakdowns. Here’s a list of items to keep far away from your disposal:
Bones, whether large or small, should never go into your garbage disposal. They can dull the blades and cause blockages.
The pits from fruits like peaches, cherries, and avocados are exceptionally hard and can damage the disposal’s grinding mechanism.
Avoid disposing of nutshells, as they can be too hard for the disposal to break down and can lead to jams.
Corn husks are fibrous and can wrap around the disposal’s blades, causing blockages.
Potato peels have a significant amount of starch, which can turn into a sticky paste when ground up, leading to clogs.
Liquids and Grease: A Risky Combination
Pouring liquids and grease down the garbage disposal might seem harmless, but it can lead to problems over time.
Cooking Oil and Grease
Grease and cooking oil can solidify inside your plumbing system, causing blockages. Get rid of them in a separate container and throw them in the trash.
Accumulated coffee grounds can create sludge in your pipes. Instead, consider adding them to your compost or disposing of them in the trash.
Stay Clear of Stringy Vegetables
Stringy vegetables can wrap around the disposal’s blades, impeding their movement.
Celery is notorious for its stringy fibers, which can tangle in the disposal’s mechanisms.
Asparagus can have a similar stringy quality and should be disposed of elsewhere.
Some fruits are unsuitable for garbage disposal due to their texture and composition.
Banana peels are thick and can wrap around the blades, leading to clogs.
While citrus fruits are not as problematic as some other items, their tough rinds can still cause issues if overused.
Signs Your Garbage Disposal Needs Professional Help
Even when you’re careful about what you put in your garbage disposal, problems can still arise. Here are some signs that it’s time to contact a plumber:
If your disposal is making strange or loud noises, it could indicate a mechanical issue that requires attention.
Frequent clogs in your garbage disposal may be attributed to either pipe blockages or a malfunction within the unit itself.
A slow-draining sink can be a sign of a clog in the pipes or a malfunctioning disposal.
Your garbage disposal is a valuable kitchen appliance, but it’s essential to know what not to put in the garbage disposal to avoid disasters. Avoid putting hard, fibrous, and stringy materials down the disposal, and be mindful of liquids and grease. When your garbage disposal shows signs of trouble, don’t hesitate to call a plumber.