Having a garbage disposal is a huge convenience in the kitchen, helping you reduce the amount of waste you create while getting rid of those extra kitchen scraps you probably have left over. Many of us would like to imagine a garbage disposal can handle just about anything, and there are a lot of people out there who never really think about what sort of things it can't really handle. While some things should obviously never go down the disposal drain (like a metal spoon, broken glass, or your fingers), there are other items that should never go down the garbage disposal due to the havoc that they will wreak upon your kitchen's plumbing.
Any hot liquid fat in general should not be put into your garbage disposal for a very good reason. Once that hot oil, grease, or fat cools inside your garbage disposal, it will solidify. That solidified fat will end up accumulating and clog your pipes, meaning you will eventually be forced to spend time or money getting your pipes unclogged. Instead of pouring the hot liquid fats into your disposal, pour your grease into a heat resistant container and wait for it to solidify. You can then throw the hardened grease into your trash can.
Vegetables High in Starch or Fiber
Potatoes, banana peels, corn husks artichokes, asparagus…this is just a partial list of foods with a lot of starch and fiber that you should avoid putting in your drain. Starchy and stringy vegetables can end up wrapping themselves around the blade of your disposal and cause clogging in your drain, while vegetables high in fiber tend to be really hard to break down and can make your garbage disposal work extra hard. Consider composting these types of scraps instead of trying to put them down the garbage disposal.
Pasta and Rice
Pasta and rice aren't really foods you'd think twice about putting through the garbage disposal normally, but it's actually something you shouldn't do. Because pasta and rice expand whenever they come into contact with water, you run the risk of allowing the pasta or rice to continue expanding once it's in the garbage disposal. Yes, even when they are chopped up into small bits. The rice or pasta can then cause your garbage disposal pipe to clog, or fill up your disposal trap.
Another thing you may not realize is bad for your garbage disposal are eggshells. It may seem harmless at first, but eggs have a thin membrane which coats the inside of the shell, meaning it can end up wrapping itself around the garbage disposal blade. Composting your eggshells instead is a better and safer option, not to mention friendly for the environment.
Fruit Pits & Seeds
Putting both fruit pits and seeds down your garbage disposal is generally not a good idea. Pits from drupes (avocado, peaches, plums, olives, mangos, cherries), however small, tend to be very dense and hard to break down. Putting these types of things down the disposal means you run the risk of damaging the blades or clogging up your drain with debris. Pits and seeds are better off in your garbage.
Large bones from animals such as cows, pork, or lamb should not be put down the disposal. Your garbage disposal isn't really strong enough to break down too much bone and can end up getting caught in the drain, so if you find yourself trying to shove some large bones down there: stop. Bones are a common cause of disposal jams. Smaller bones, like those from fish or small chickens, are usually okay to put through the garbage disposal. Putting large bones in either the trash or compost is a much better option.
If you have been putting these items down your garbage disposal, you might find yourself with damaged pipes or a damaged disposal. Call a plumbing company, such as Rapids Plumbing & Heating Inc, to have your sink repaired, and then remember to avoid putting these items in the disposal so that you won't have to worry about repairs again any time soon.