What Can I Put Down My Garbage Disposal?
A garbage disposal is a crucial addition to any homeowner’s kitchen. This powerful tool simplifies post-meal clean-up while preventing food scraps from causing plumbing blockages. Modern conveniences like the garbage disposal make life easier, but issues can arise if proper care isn’t taken.
Despite their sharp blades and formidable power, garbage disposals have limitations when it comes to processing certain foods and debris. To avoid clogging or breaking your appliance and incurring expensive repairs, it’s essential to be mindful of the dos and don’ts of using your garbage disposal.
To ensure your garbage disposal lasts longer and runs efficiently, proper use and maintenance are necessary. Here are some helpful tips on what food scraps can be processed and how to use a garbage disposal correctly.
What Not to Put Down a Garbage Disposal:
Coffee grounds might seem like they could easily be disposed of using a garbage disposal, but this is actually a common mistake that many people make. When coffee grounds mix with water, they form a sticky, dense mass that can cling to the blades of the garbage disposal and accumulate in the drainpipe. Over time, this buildup can cause a blockage that prevents water from flowing through the pipes and leads to a clogged sink.
The problem with coffee grounds is that they don’t break down easily, and the thick mass they form can be difficult to dislodge once it accumulates in the pipes. Additionally, the oils in coffee can cling to the garbage disposals blades, causing them to become dull and less effective over time. As a result, it’s best to avoid putting coffee grounds down the garbage disposal altogether and dispose of them in the trash or compost pile instead.
A pungent and unpleasant smell emanating from your garbage disposal is a common problem, and it is often caused by meat that has been put down the disposal. The reason is that meat scraps can easily get stuck to the inside of the disposal and rot, producing a putrid odor that can quickly fill up your kitchen. Meat remnants are best disposed of in the trash or compost pile.
In addition to meat, bones should also be kept out of the garbage disposal. Although it may seem like a convenient way to dispose of them, the blades in the disposal are not designed to break down hard bones. Putting bones in the garbage disposal can damage the machine and cause it to become clogged, leading to costly repairs. It’s better to dispose of bones in the trash or compost pile, or use them for making bone broth.
If you do happen to accidentally put meat or bones down the garbage disposal and notice a foul smell, there are a few things you can do to get rid of it. First, run cold water and turn on the disposal to flush out any remaining scraps. You can also add a few drops of dish soap and continue to run the disposal to help break up any residue. Alternatively, you can use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean and deodorize the disposal. Simply pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of vinegar, let it sit for a few minutes, and then run cold water and turn on the disposal.
Certain types of foods may seem harmless to put down your garbage disposal, but in reality, they can cause serious blockages in your drain. For example, bread, oatmeal, pasta, and rice are all foods that expand when they come into contact with water. When these foods mix with water in your drain, they can form a sticky, gelatinous paste that can easily block up your sink.
This paste can cling to the sides of your drainpipe, gradually building up over time and reducing water flow. In severe cases, it can cause a complete blockage, preventing any water from draining at all. If left untreated, this can lead to unpleasant smells, flooding, and even water damage.
To prevent these types of blockages, it’s important to avoid putting starchy foods down the garbage disposal. Instead, dispose of them in the trash or compost pile. If you do happen to accidentally put these foods down the disposal, run cold water for at least 15 seconds after you turn off the disposal to help flush out any remaining particles. Additionally, avoid using hot water as it can cause food scraps to melt and accumulate in your pipes.
If you notice slow draining or an unpleasant odor coming from your sink, it may be a sign that you have a blockage. In this case, it’s best to contact a plumber to resolve the issue before it causes any further damage.
Shells, Nuts, or Peels
When it comes to using a garbage disposal, it’s important to remember that not all food waste is suitable for disposal. As the paragraph mentions, seafood shells are one type of waste that should never be put down the garbage disposal. The reason for this is that shells are very tough and can break up into small pieces that can damage the blades of the disposal and cause clogs in the machinery. Over time, this can cause the disposal to malfunction and eventually break.
In addition to seafood shells, there are several other types of waste that should also be avoided when using a garbage disposal. Eggshells, for example, are very hard and can also damage the blades. Similarly, nuts and fruit pits can be very tough and cause damage to the disposal. Vegetable peels and corn husks and cobs are also problematic because they are stringy and can wrap around the blades, causing clogs.
Overall, it’s important to be careful about what you put down the garbage disposal. While it can be a convenient way to dispose of food waste, it’s not designed to handle all types of waste. By avoiding certain types of waste, you can help prevent damage to your disposal and ensure that it continues to function properly for years to come.
Grease, Oil, or Cooking Fat
It’s important to be careful about what you pour down your sink, even if you don’t have a garbage disposal. In particular, materials such as grease, oil, and fat should never be poured down the sink, as they can cause serious issues.
When grease, oil, or fat is poured down the sink, it may be in liquid form initially. However, as it cools, it will solidify and can create a blockage in your pipes. This blockage can be difficult and expensive to remove, and may even require the help of a professional plumber.
In addition to causing blockages, pouring grease, oil, and fat down the sink can also be bad for the environment. When these materials enter the water system, they can contribute to pollution and harm aquatic life.
To avoid these issues, it’s best to dispose of grease, oil, and fat in other ways. One option is to let it cool and solidify, and then dispose of it in the trash. Alternatively, you can use a designated container to collect the grease and then take it to a recycling center or disposal facility. By taking these steps, you can help prevent blockages, protect the environment, and avoid expensive plumbing bills.
While it’s true that many vegetables are healthy and nutritious, not all of them are suitable for disposal in a garbage disposal. The sentence mentions several vegetables that are particularly problematic due to their stringy nature.
Vegetables such as celery, kale, lettuce, chard, artichokes, asparagus, pumpkins, and rhubarb all have long, fibrous strands that can easily get tangled up in the blades of a garbage disposal. When this happens, the disposal may become jammed or clogged, and may even stop working altogether.
In addition to these vegetables, there are several other types of food waste that should be avoided when using a garbage disposal. These include bones, coffee grounds, pasta, rice, and potato peels, among others. All of these items can contribute to clogs and jams in the disposal, and can cause serious damage over time.
To prevent issues with your garbage disposal, it’s important to be careful about what you put down the sink. By avoiding stringy vegetables and other problematic items, you can help ensure that your disposal continues to function properly and avoid costly repairs or replacements. Instead, consider composting these types of food waste or disposing of them in the trash.
When it comes to using a garbage disposal, it’s important to be aware of what you’re putting down the drain. While certain types of food waste can be safely disposed of in a garbage disposal, other items can cause serious problems.
As the paragraph notes, it’s not uncommon for utensils such as forks or spoons to accidentally fall into the sink and get caught in the blades of the disposal. This can cause a loud grinding noise and may even damage the blades or motor. Similarly, food wrappers or napkins can also cause issues if they get stuck in the disposal.
To avoid these types of problems, it’s important to take a quick look before starting your garbage disposal. Check the sink for any stray utensils or other items that may have accidentally fallen in. It’s also a good idea to avoid putting anything down the disposal that isn’t food waste, such as cleaning products or chemicals.
By being careful and mindful of what you’re putting down the drain, you can help ensure that your garbage disposal continues to function properly and avoid costly repairs or replacements. And if you do accidentally drop something down the sink, be sure to turn off the disposal and unplug it before attempting to retrieve the item.
Caustic Cleaning Chemicals
When it comes to maintaining your garbage disposal, it’s important to use the right types of cleaning products. While it may be tempting to use harsh chemicals such as drain cleaner or bleach, these products can actually do more harm than good.
Baking soda is a great natural cleaning agent that can help to neutralize odors and remove buildup in the disposal. Simply sprinkle some baking soda down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.
Vinegar and lemon juice are both acidic, which makes them effective at breaking down grease and other types of buildup in the disposal. To use these products, simply pour a cup of vinegar or lemon juice down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing with hot water.
Dish soap can also be an effective cleaning agent for your garbage disposal. Simply add a few drops of dish soap to some hot water and pour it down the drain. Let it sit for a few minutes before running the disposal with cold water.
By using natural cleaning products like these, you can help keep your garbage disposal clean and running smoothly without the risk of damaging the blades or motor. Plus, these natural products are typically much safer and more environmentally friendly than harsh chemicals.
Also, we highly recommend the product known as BioClean, which is non-harmful and fully organic. Learn more about BioClean HERE.
What Can Be Put Down a Garbage Disposal:
Soft & Liquid Foods
A good rule for food is you can feed it to your baby, you can put it down your garbage disposal. This means that many types of solid foods, such as fruits and vegetables (without peels), can be safely disposed of in the garbage disposal. However, it’s important to chop these foods up into small pieces beforehand so that they don’t strain the unit.
It’s worth noting that while many types of food waste can be safely disposed of in the garbage disposal, there are still some items that should be avoided. As mentioned in earlier paragraphs, foods with fibrous or stringy textures (such as celery or asparagus) should be avoided, as should hard items like bones or fruit pits.
In addition to being mindful about what types of foods you’re putting down the disposal, it’s also important to use the appliance properly. Be sure to run cold water while using the disposal, and avoid putting too much waste down the drain at once. This will help ensure that your garbage disposal continues to function properly and avoid clogs or other issues.
Using ice cubes in your garbage disposal can be an effective way to keep it clean and free of buildup. When ground up, the ice can help to dislodge any food residue that is stuck to the blades or the walls of the unit.
To use ice in your garbage disposal, simply throw a few ice cubes down the drain along with your food waste and grind them up. This can help to keep the blades sharp and prevent clogs or other issues.
In addition to helping keep your garbage disposal clean, ice can also be used as a natural deodorizer. If your disposal is emitting unpleasant smells, simply throw a handful of ice cubes down the drain and grind them up. This can help to break down any odor-causing bacteria and leave your disposal smelling fresh and clean.
It’s important to note that while ice can be a useful tool for maintaining your garbage disposal, it’s not a replacement for regular cleaning and proper usage. Be sure to follow the other tips in this guide (such as avoiding fibrous foods and using natural cleaning products) to keep your garbage disposal functioning properly for years to come.
To keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh, you can use frozen citrus peels. Simply keep a bag of orange, lemon, or other citrus peels in the freezer and toss some down the drain when needed.
To prevent any unnecessary stress on the garbage disposal, be sure to cut the citrus peels into small, bite-sized pieces before putting them down the drain. This will help to prevent any clogs or damage to the machine.
In addition to being a natural deodorizer, citrus peels can also help to clean the garbage disposal. The acid in the peels can help to break down any buildup or residue that has accumulated in the unit, leaving it clean and fresh.
It’s important to note that while citrus peels can be a useful tool for maintaining your garbage disposal, they should not be relied upon as the sole means of cleaning or deodorizing the unit. Be sure to follow the other tips in this guide (such as using natural cleaning products and avoiding harsh chemicals) to keep your garbage disposal functioning properly.
Have you run into a clog or is your garbage disposal giving off unpleasant smells? Check out our steps to clean your unit HERE.
If you take preventative measures, your disposal should remain unclogged. Read your unit’s manual, be selective about what you put down the drain, rely on strainers or stoppers, and if worse comes to worst, Relax! Just Call Budget.
We Support #AutismAwareness
Budget is proud to support the Center for Autism Education here in St. Charles. We are passionate about spreading autism awareness and encouraging people to give back to their community.
Together we work hand in hand with the center on their journey to ensure that everyone receives a respectful, supportive and safe environment. That’s why all service vans and uniforms feature a puzzle piece. To learn more about this cause visit their website.
I just had my water heater replaced and I need to say that they exceeded my expectations. Very kind professionals that worked quickly while still taking care of all the details. They even took the time to explain to me some of the technical parts that I was not aware of. Thank you Budget team, you did a really great job and made my weekend.
- Marco T.
When it comes to my HVAC needs, Budget is my go-to company. Their expert technicians have tackled projects that others would not, all at a fair price. I fully intend to keep using them for any services I require in the future, and I am grateful for their awesome team!
- John D.
I recently had the pleasure of working with Budget to install a new tankless water heater in my home. From start to finish, the experience was seamless and stress-free. The team of installers were incredibly professional and friendly.
- Emily W.
Budget sent a technician to unclog my drain and he was very professional through the whole experience. He quickly resolved the issue and even provided some helpful tips for preventing similar issues in the future.
- Gabriel F.
Budget recently performed maintenance on my furnace and AC. The technician that they sent was professional, knowledgeable, and thorough. He went above and beyond to ensure that everything was working efficiently. I would highly recommend Budget!
- Ben M.
- Emily W.
- Gabriel F.
- Ben M.
HEATING, COOLING & Plumbing Specialists
Providing 5-Star Service in St. Louis, MO.
HEATING, COOLING & Plumbing Specialists
(636) 887-2800: Call or Text
325 Mid Rivers Mall Dr. St. Peters, MO 63376
Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 7:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am - 5:00pm