Your garbage disposal is a wondrous thing, allowing you to dispose of various types of food waste without needing to worry about it stinking up your trash can. However, counterintuitive though it may be, you can’t put just anything down a garbage disposal. There are types of waste that you can banish down it, never to deal with again, but others that, unfortunately, do indeed need to be disposed of in other ways, such as in your trash can (scented trash bags, anyone?)
Indeed, place enough of the wrong things down your disposal, and you’ll learn soon enough that it’s no impervious mechanism, but one that can break down, the same as anything else in your home. In order to stave off such breakage and to keep your disposal and your life running as smoothly as possible, here is what you need to know about what you can and cannot put down your garbage disposal. Let’s begin!
What Can Be Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
The name “garbage disposal” may seem a bit misleading since you can’t use the appliance as a trashcan, but nonetheless, it is incredibly useful for helping you dispose of the following items.
- Ice – but in small amounts, while you are running water.
- Orange peels. Not only can these go down your disposal, but they also help freshen up your kitchen while they’re at it.
- Milk – but be sure to follow it with plenty of water, lest it leave a nasty smell.
- Small bits of cooked meats, like beef. Ensure that there are no bones, there is no grease, and there are no large chunks.
- Boiling water. This can also help clear buildup.
In general, good rules of thumb for what can be put down your garbage disposal include: soft or liquid foods, small chunks of citrus fruits, and ice. It should be easy for the blades to break up and there should be minimal risk of the items clinging to your pipes and causing clogs.
What Cannot Be Put Down Your Garbage Disposal
Underwhelmed by what you can in fact stuff down there? You may find yourself a bit overwhelmed by all the things that you really shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal – not unless you want to risk clogging up your pipes or damaging the blades, anyway.
Ready to learn about what you thought you could dispose of down this appliance but that you really shouldn’t? Here are some of the top things that people mistakenly believe that they can put down their garbage disposal.
- Coffee grounds. These can end up clumping together and clogging your drain.
- Starchy foods. Bread, oatmeal, pasta, the like, you don’t want to put any of these down your disposal. This is because these foods tend to expand when they are wet, leading to clogs.
- Paint. Garbage disposal, sink, etc, many a painter or a DIYer may believe you can dump this down the drain, but you’ll end up with hardened clogs if you do. Ensure that you dispose of paint properly – ie, not down the drain!
- Bones. Bones are quite brittle and hard and the blades of your disposal simply aren’t made to be able to grind such objects up.
- Nuts. Nuts ground up turn into nut butters, which may be delicious on sandwiches, but down your sink? This is a problem just waiting to happen.
- Grease, fat, cooking oil, etc. These are liquids, and we just said above that liquidy foods are generally okay to put down your drain, so what gives? The difference is that these can solidify and lead to – you guessed it – clogs.
- Fibrous foods. Pumpkins, banana peels, you name it, these are better off used for composting or dumped into your trusty trashcan rather than put down your disposal. This is because the fibers can end up jamming the appliance.
- Fruit pits. These are too hard for the blades to chop up, which can lead to all sorts of problems.
- Harsh cleaners. Put down the Drain-O, it won’t help you here. You can put natural liquid soaps down your disposal, but the harsh chemical cleaners can do a number on your drain.
Do You Need Garbage Disposal Repair?
Accidentally put the wrong things down your disposal one too many times and now you’re facing the consequences? Fortunately, VanderDoes Home Services can help! Contact us today for any garbage disposal repairs you may need, and let us help you get your kitchen back to full functionality.