Your garbage disposal is typically commonly relied upon. It offers a very convenient service through helping you dispose of inedible pieces of vegetables and other such materials that can make your garbage smell. Garbage disposals can also help prevent clogs in your plumbing system through grinding up materials that could otherwise cause clogs, making it so that instead, they can pass smoothly through your pipes.
Since they are so useful and convenient, problems in your garbage disposal system can be quite disruptive and annoying to your daily routines. It is important to maintain your garbage disposal and have necessary repairs done in order to keep it running smoothly.
In addition to proper maintenance and repairs, you can take other measures to prevent garbage disposal problems. These include being aware of what you can and cannot put down your garbage disposal. Putting the wrong things down your garbage disposal can break it and create clogs instead of preventing them. You don’t want to inadvertently cause problems in your plumbing system.
Here’s what you need to know about what you can and cannot put in your garbage disposal.
What Can Be Put Down A Garbage Disposal
Garbage disposals can take a lot. There are many things you can put down them. Generally, if it’s soft or liquid, it’s safe to go down there. If it’s solid but is easily softened with cooking or grinding, it’s likely fine. This includes most vegetables, most fruit, and fruit rinds.
An easy way to tell if something is safe to go down your drain is if you can easily tear it with your hands. If you can’t, you shouldn’t put it down your garbage disposal.
What Can’t Be Put Down A Garbage Disposal
Contrary to what you may think, your disposal system is limited in what it can and cannot handle. You can’t put just anything down it, not unless you want to have clogs and an eventually broken garbage disposal. Here are some of the things that you cannot put down this useful appliance.
- Fat, Grease, And Oil.
These solidify, leading to clogs in your system. It’s better to throw these out in the trash.
Bones are brittle, especially cooked bones. They can not just clog your system, but outright break it.
Just like bones, shells from seafood can break your disposal in addition to running the risk of clogging it.
- Coffee Grounds.
This one probably comes as a surprise, since they’re already ground. But coffee grounds can collect at the bottom of your drain, piling up over time, leading to slow drainage.
- Potato Skins.
Just like fat, grease, and oil, potato skins can solidify in your pipes and cause clogs, due to their high starch levels.
- Rice, Pasta, And Other Starches.
As mentioned above with the potato skins, starches can solidify in your plumbing system. Plus, rice and pasta expand with water. This can lead to further issues in your pipes.
This is actually the subject of some debate. The eggshells themselves break down without a problem in a disposal, but the membrane can cause issues through getting caught on the blades, leading to problems over time.
- Any Fibrous Fruit Or Vegetable.
Banana peels, corn husks, artichokes, and other fibrous fruits and vegetables can tangle around the blades of your disposal.
- Fruit Pits.
Pits are hard and not at all easy to grind, meaning that if you throw them down your disposal, you’ll probably dent or break the blades.
- Any Non-Food Item.
Utensils, medication, cigarettes, paper plates, plastic utensils, and other such non-food items can end up in your garbage disposal. These belong in the trash, not down your disposal, as they can cause serious problems.
These are but a few of the things that people put down their systems that shouldn’t go there. Some other things include nuts, oatmeal, meat, apple cores, and more. Generally, if it can’t be ground up into something that could easily be fed to a baby, it shouldn’t go down your system. To avoid preventable damages to your appliances, steer clear of putting these things down them.
What To Do When You Have Garbage Disposal Problems
Garbage disposals can be quite complex, which is why it’s important to call a professional if you notice you’re having trouble with it. You don’t want to try to fix them yourself and inadvertently create even more problems.
Do You Need Garbage Disposal Repairs?
Here at S & B Plumbing, we offer expert plumbing services and can help you with any garbage disposal problems you may have. We care not just about fixing your garbage disposal, but also about keeping it in working order for a long time to come. If you would like to learn more about our garbage disposal services or any of our other plumbing services, please contact us at S & B Plumbing today!