What Not to Put in a Garbage Disposal
Modern kitchens boast numerous conveniences, with garbage disposal being one of them. By grinding up certain forms of kitchen waste, helping prevent clogs in drains, and keeping countertops tidy, garbage disposals help homeowners avoid dealing with clogged drains and keep kitchen surfaces free from clutter. While powerful enough, these devices should never be treated like invincible machines. Mr. Rooter Plumbing explores what not to put in your garbage disposal. Contact one of our professional plumbers immediately if you have a malfunctioning garbage disposal.
Why Is It Essential to Understand What Not to Put In a Garbage Disposal?
First and foremost, garbage disposals are designed to handle organic food scraps that contain soft ingredients such as fruits or vegetables, so any inappropriate materials thrown down them could damage their blades, cause clogs, and eventually result in their malfunction. Furthermore, plumbing systems are complex; anything you put down your drain doesn't simply disappear down its pipe network but may travel through pipes until blockages occur and require emergency plumbing service calls. by taking extra steps when using your garbage disposal correctly, you could avoid unexpected plumbing bills and extend its useful life span and length.
What Not to Put Down the Garbage Disposal System: Common Offender Items
- Grease, Oils, & Fats: While pouring grease down the drain may seem harmless at first, doing so is actually a common plumbing error that often ends in blockages and build-up in pipes that require professional plumbing service to resolve. As these substances cool, they solidify into thick blocks, which lead to blockages within pipes that require immediate attention from nearby plumbers to get flowing again.
- Bones: Garbage disposals were never intended to handle bones of any size - whether chicken or beef! Garbage disposals can become damaged when exposed to small chicken bones that could potentially puncture blades, leading to potential dulling effects and spinning around without actually grinding up anything useful - which leads to additional potential problems in their overall operation.
- Eggshells: There's an urban legend that eggshells help sharpen garbage disposal blades. In reality, the thin membrane can wrap around shredder blades and turn into a thick paste that blocks pipes and prevents drainage.
- Coffee Grounds: Although coffee grounds might appear harmless enough, they can become trapped within pipes and lead to blockages, leading to plumbing problems in your home and garden. Instead of risking plumbing disaster, consider composting them or planting your garden with them for maximum impact!
- Pasta and Rice: Both pasta and rice expand when exposed to liquid, even ground into flour forms that could clog pipes due to their sticky consistency. This could cause blockages requiring extensive repairs in pipes throughout a home's system, including toilet clogs that may occur from excess weight accumulation within them.
- Stringy Vegetables: Items like celery, asparagus, and corn husks contain fibrous threads that may entangle your garbage disposal's blades and cause it to jam.
- Fruit Pits and Seeds: Unfortunately, fruit pits and seeds often prove too tough for an efficient disposal to break down, risking irreparable damage to blades and motors. Throwing these items down the garbage chute may put your blades and motor at risk!
- Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes and potato peels, in particular, can quickly form an adhesive mass when ground up, leading to blockages in sewer lines and drains.
- Non-Food Items: Although this may seem obvious, non-organic materials like plastic wrappers and rubber bands should never be put through your garbage disposal as they cannot be broken down and could potentially damage pipes and infrastructure.
- Harsh Chemicals and Cleaners: Harsh chemicals and cleaners may damage the blades and inner mechanisms of garbage disposal and cause irreparable harm to a plumbing system.
Maintenance and Care
Proper maintenance for garbage disposal involves more than knowing what not to put down the disposal; regular service visits will extend its lifespan and ensure efficient operation. Once in a while, grind some cubes of ice up with your motorized blade grinder to clean and sharpen its blades; using vinegar-baking soda mix can naturally deodorize and clean its components, too!
If your garbage disposal has issues or is producing too much noise, feel free to seek professional plumbing assistance. While DIY solutions might solve small issues temporarily, professional services will ensure the long-term stability of the unit and will guarantee its proper functionality.
Are You Shopping for a Garbage Disposal?
Homeowners looking for their first or replacement garbage disposal installation will greatly benefit from consulting Mr. Rooter Plumbing. A plumbing service will guide which unit will best meet their needs while making installation more seamless than ever.
Your garbage disposal can be an invaluable addition to your kitchen, but like all tools, it requires proper usage for optimal operation. By being mindful when placing items into it and performing regular maintenance checks, you can avoid unwanted plumbing headaches - just remember, when in doubt, just throw it out (into the trash bin!).