If you’re like most people, you probably use your garbage disposal daily. And while it’s a great convenience to have for stuff like food scraps, there are some things that you should never put down the drain. If you are unsure what to avoid, this article will look at some of the most common things you should never put in your garbage disposal. Keeping this stuff out of your disposal can help ensure it stays running smoothly!
Tips To Care For Your Garbage Disposal
Taking care of your garbage disposal is an essential part of home maintenance that isn’t often considered but really can make a difference in its lifespan. Making sure you properly maintain it is not particularly difficult and only requires some basic and simple steps. To start, pour boiling water down the disposal every so often to help break up hard-to-grind items. Add ice cubes to sharpen the blades and help keep them clean.
You can also incorporate citrus fruit peels such as lemon or orange into the mix, leaving a pleasant scent in your sink and freshening up the appliance. And as a last step to ensure it stays in working order, regularly pour a cup of baking soda and vinegar down the disposal. This will help break up any lingering grime and eliminate bad odors.
Things You Should Never Put in Your Garbage Disposal
While it might be tempting, some things should never go down your garbage disposal as they can damage it beyond repair. The most common items to avoid are:
Grease & Oil
Removing grease and oil from your kitchen sink may seem like a hassle, but it’s necessary for the health of your garbage disposal. When grease and oils build up in a disposal, they can form clogs that prevent water from draining. The gunk also corrodes metal parts of the disposal, damaging its inner workings and leading to malfunctions over time.
Furthermore, greasy sludge down the drain is bad for septic systems or municipal pipes, contributing to costly blockages. So, the next time you’re washing dishes and pouring off excess grease into the sink’s drain, remember that your garbage disposal is not a trash bin – instead, dump it in a container and throw it away with your other household waste.
Putting potato peels in your garbage disposal might seem like an easy way to get rid of kitchen scraps, but it’s a bad idea. Potato peels often get stuck or tangled in the disposal blades, ultimately causing clogs and jams. These can lead to malfunction and damage to the unit, which could mean costly repairs or even replacement of the entire system.
Not only that, but often, potato peels are too small to shred, meaning they get stuck in the pipes. This can cause an even bigger problem and cost more money to fix if it’s not taken care of quickly. So, consider composting or tossing them in the trash instead of putting them down your disposal.
Eggshells are a deceptively dangerous item to put in your garbage disposal. Though they appear flimsy and harmless, their structure presents issues when sent through a disposal. Eggshells have a thin inner membrane and a harder outer surface, making it easy for them to clog pipes or grinders.
Additionally, they can easily get caught in the measuring wheel present in the disposer, jamming it and preventing it from rotating properly. It is better to avoid this mess altogether by disposing of eggshells in your compost pile rather than down the drain. Not only will you avoid possible plumbing issues, but you can also take advantage of their natural fertilizer properties in your outdoor garden!
While your garbage disposal can handle much of the food scraps that come with meal prep and sink clean-up, there is one type of food material you should never put down there: dry pasta. It may seem like an innocuous choice, but dry pasta expands when wet, even after it’s cooked. The pasta will cause clumping and sticking around the inner edges of the disposal and jam it up quickly.
Pasta can also form into hardened balls as it comes in contact with water which will cause issues with the blades. Even if you avoid putting dry pasta into the drainage system, take extra precautions when rinsing off leftover pasta dishes, so the small pieces make their way into the garbage rather than end up stuck in your disposal.
Many people believe throwing coffee grounds in their garbage disposal is a great way to freshen up the sink, but this can be quite dangerous. Coffee grounds can quickly accumulate inside the garbage disposal, disrupting the blades and causing them to jam. Even if the coffee grounds don’t result in clogging or jamming, they can create a barrier between the impellers and other particles down the line, leading to further clogs or backups.
This could eventually require professional plumbing repairs, which are typically much more expensive than disposing of coffee grounds in the trash bin. To avoid any issues, always throw your coffee grounds away in a trash bag and not down the sink.
Onions are excellent ingredients that add flavor and texture to countless recipes, but putting onion skins down your garbage disposal can lead to major problems. The thin strands of the skin can get caught on the blades, causing clogs and blocking the disposal from functioning correctly. Even after dislodging a clog, these onions can still leave pieces of themselves behind and cause more clogs down the line.
Additionally, the oils in onion skins can linger and create an unpleasant odor in your drains. And while it is safe to put chunks of onion into your disposal, it’s best to avoid putting the skins altogether.
This last one may seem rather obvious, but it’s worth mentioning – it’s best never to put seafood shells down your garbage disposal. The crunchy and hard shells of shrimp, crab, and lobster can easily get stuck in the impellers or grinding wheels, resulting in clogs or broken pieces. Due to their strong odor, they can also attract pests near your sink, like ants and roaches.
The best way to dispose of these shells is to wrap them in a bag and throw them away in the trash bin. Not only will you avoid issues with plumbing, but your kitchen will also remain pest-free.
Never Put These Items In Your Garbage Disposal!
While it’s true that you can safely dispose of most food waste with garbage disposal, some materials should never go down the drain. If you want to avoid any damage to your garbage disposal and help keep your drains free, then make sure to avoid putting these items anywhere near your sink. And if you have questions about other things you are unsure if they belong at your disposal, then it’s best to err on the side of caution and throw them away instead. Doing so can save you a lot of trouble down the road!