Your garbage disposal is a vital part of your home’s plumbing system. It should be kept in pristine condition to ensure the water in your kitchen flows efficiently. You can inadvertently damage your disposal if you throw things in there that it cannot fully process. Learn about the 11 items you should never place in your garbage disposal.
1. Animal Bones
If you consume dishes containing meat, like chicken, beef, or pork, you are probably familiar with all the bones you must deal with after eating the flesh off of each bone. Your garbage disposal may be able to grind small bones, such as fish or chicken wing bones. However, it cannot handle thick, bulky waste products like lamb bones. Putting them in your garbage disposal can damage the appliance. It can cause clogs or weaken your disposal’s blades.
People often think it is safe to place eggshells in the garbage disposal because they are thin and fragile. However, you should avoid doing so. The hard outer layer of eggshells does not harm garbage disposals, but the thin film lining on their inner region can. It is hard for a garbage disposal to break down this membrane. It can get stuck in the drain or the disposal’s impellers. The impellers are the parts of a disposal that force waste against a shredder ring to grind solid food. If an eggshell’s membrane gets lodged in your disposal’s impellers, it will not function well.
3. Fruit Pits
Fruits like apricots, avocados, mangoes, peaches, and plums contain pits. Fruit pits, even small ones, should not go down the disposal. Small pits are hard and thick, and they are tiny enough to get past the blades within a garbage disposal. Thus, they may end up clogging the drain. Large pits are too dense for chef knives to cut through, let alone your disposal. If you toss them down the sink, they could mangle your disposal’s blades. Also, sizable pits could trigger your disposal’s overload protector switch because it may overwork itself to break down those pits.
4. Fibrous Plants
Many vegetables and fruits have fibrous strands. If you peel corn husks, you will see silky, fibrous threads. Dissect a pumpkin, celery, or rhubarb, and you will see their long fibrous strings. You may be tempted to place fruit and vegetable fibers in your garbage disposal because they are soft and flexible. However, you should avoid doing this. Fibrous strands are more likely to wrap around your disposal blades than they are to get shredded by them. And lumps of these strands in your sink can result in a severe blockage.
5. Coffee Grounds
If you are a coffee drinker, then you are familiar with coffee grounds. It may seem innocuous to put these grounds down your disposal because they are finely milled. Nonetheless, stop yourself from doing so. Coffee grounds turn into a dense, thick paste when you put them down your disposal. This paste can clog your drain or prevent your disposal’s blades from reaching other food items. Moreover, it can apply pressure on the various parts of your disposal, preventing them from rotating properly.
6. Onion Skins
Like eggshells, onion skins have a dry outer layer and a thin, wet inner film. This film can get tangled up in your garbage disposal’s blades. Since it is so fine, it can also miss the disposal’s blades and end up in the drain. Onion skin film can get stuck in the pipes and act like a net, catching any food items that pass through. The result will be a blocked drain.
7. Potato Peels
Small amounts of potato skin peels may not affect your disposal to a great extent. However, a large amount can do significant damage. Because potato skin peels are thin, they can get past your disposal’s blades and go down your drain. If enough of them pile up, a blockage will form. Like onion skins, a pile of potato peels can function like a catching net, stopping other food waste from traveling through the drain. If your disposal’s blades happen to hit a bunch of potato peels, they could grind them up, leaving a thick potato starch paste that could clog your drain and stop your disposal’s parts from spinning.
8. Seafood Shells
Some seafood shells are stronger than others. For example, clam and oyster shells are thicker than shrimp shells. Nevertheless, you should never put seafood waste, including shrimp, clam, oyster, lobster, and crab shells, down your disposal. Most of these shells are too solid for your disposal to cut through, and they could destroy its blades. Thin seafood shells, such as shrimp shells, cannot fully process within your disposal, leaving bits and pieces of shell that will emit a foul odor.
9. Grease, Fats, and Oils
If you use grease, fats, and oils while cooking, do not pour them down your garbage disposal. Many of these substances can solidify. For instance, coconut oil is a popular cooking oil that cools at low temperatures. Pouring grease, fats, and oils in your garbage disposal may seem harmless because these substances have a liquid consistency or soft texture. However, over time, these substances can cool and harden, causing globs of them to clog your drain.
10. Harsh Chemicals
Strong chemicals are not suitable for your garbage disposal. If you need to dispose of industrial-grade or highly acidic substances, pour them in places other than your disposal. Some potent chemicals can alter metal. This means they may dissolve your disposal’s blades or burn a hole in your drain. Pouring harsh chemicals in your disposal can also pose a safety hazard because some substances are volatile and evaporate into the air when churned in your disposal.
11. Non-Food Items
You may use non-food items while cooking or cleaning your kitchen. If so, do not toss non-food items down your disposal, especially if they are not biodegradable. Non-food materials, including plastic bags, paper towels, and tissues, can clog your drain. Moreover, these items are more likely to get tangled up in the blades of your garbage disposal than they are to get broken own. Paper items, in particular, can soak up the juices of other foods, leaving a foul smell coming from your disposal.
In conclusion, your garbage disposal is crucial to your kitchen’s plumbing. It is best to keep it in mint condition so that water travels smoothly in your pipes. If your disposal is experiencing problems, seek the assistance of Fahnestock Plumbing, HVAC & Electric in Wichita, Kansas. Our company has been helping people for more than 70 years. We are proud to have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We offer garbage disposal repair and replacement services. We also conduct pipe repairs and can tackle the piping underneath your kitchen sink if it has issues.
With our highly skilled and experienced plumbers, you can trust us to address your problems effectively and efficiently. We have licensed professionals who can provide you with top-notch customer service and support. They will complete the job and ensure you stay up to date on their progress. Contact us at Fahnestock Plumbing, HVAC & Electric today if you need plumbing services in Wichita or the surrounding areas.