Despite the fact that most homes in America have one, there’s still a lot people out there who don’t know much about their garbage disposal. Among the most common myths surrounding this appliance is that you can put pretty much any food down it and the sharp blades will tear it to shreds. Sadly, this is not the case. While your garbage disposal is a great way to get rid of certain foods, and is a useful tool for keeping your plumbing system clean, it should not be used as a substitute for your waste basket. Keep reading for Smith’s Plumbing Services’ top 10 foods you should never put down your garbage disposal, and remember to hire our Memphis plumbers for all your plumbing service needs.
The Top 10 Foods You Should Stop Putting Down Your Garbage Disposal Are:
- Animal Bones: Animal bones are a top contender for ways to quickly destroy your garbage disposal. They easily get stuck, and can basically destroy the appliance’s blades. Next time you finish those chicken wings, just go straight to the trash.
- Coffee Grounds: Surprising, right? So many people empty their grounds into the garbage disposal every day, assuming the tough blades will be able to easily get rid of the sedimentary grounds. Yet grounds are very difficult to wash out of your system once they’ve entered it, and tend to settle into your plumbing easily; they too should go in the can.
- Grease, Oil, and Fat: Much like coffee grounds, you might think that the average garbage disposal would be able to handle a little grease. Yet while modern day garbage disposals are tougher than ever, people forget that as porous as grease, oils, and fats are when they enter your drains, they often congeal and harden. Once solidified, they can cause clogs, which are one of the biggest threats to your garbage disposal and larger plumbing system.
- Egg Shells: Egg shells break apart easily, but the thin membrane inside the shells often wraps itself around your garbage disposal’s blades. For this reason, it’s better to compost shells or just throw them away.
- Pumpkin, Celery, and Other Fibrous Vegetables: The fiber in stringy, starchy plants like celery and pumpkins makes them another frequent culprit for getting wrapped around garbage disposal blades.
- Rice, Pasta, and Other Starches: To reiterate, starchy foods are not good for your garbage disposal. They tend to swell up in water, and get clogged in the garbage disposal trap over time.
- Potato Peels: Potatoes are full of starch, so see the above two points for why you should keep them away from your garbage disposal. Regardless of what type of potato it is, disposing of the peels in this way is basically asking for a thick paste which can cause the blades to stick.
- Pits and Seeds: Putting things like peach and olive pits into your garbage disposal is basically like putting stones down your drain. Moreover, even smaller seeds like those from sunflowers can get stuck in your system and cause problems as well.
- Onion Skins: While your garbage disposal may be able to handle most parts of an onion, the skin is another story. Essentially, the layer around the onion is thin enough, it can miss the blades entirely, and act like a net in your plumbing system, trapping other foods and causing clogs.
- Rinds, Skins, and Peels from Various Fruits and Vegetables: This is a tough one, because in some cases, putting peels down your disposal in small quantities may be okay, and in fact, a little citrus has even been found to be good for your garbage disposal. But you should never toss a lemon or lime down whole once you’ve finished using it. The discarded peels from fruits can be tricky too, because they are usually okay in small quantities—one apple or mango peel is probably okay, for instance. But multiple banana peels, on the other hand—that’s likely to cause a clog. Meanwhile, you should never, ever put the tough rinds from fruits like watermelon down your garbage disposal.
We Will Never Treat Your Garbage Disposal Like Trash
If your garbage disposal has been acting up lately, make sure to call our Memphis plumbing pros at Smith’s Plumbing Services. We have what it takes to get rid of clogs quickly and efficiently, and even assist in kitchen remodeling for when you need to put in a new garbage disposal altogether. Call today for information about affordable financing options and more.
Smith’s Plumbing Services is available 24/7 for emergencies at (901) 290-1110, or you can fill out our contact form right here.