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9 Things That Don't Belong in Your Garbage Disposal

November 22, 2022 | Blog

Garbage disposals are a common staple in kitchens now, but they’re easily taken for granted. While you may know a few basics about these systems, there’s plenty more to learn. For example, there are a few things you shouldn’t send down your disposal. We’re here to explain why this is so that you can keep your garbage disposal in good condition.

Natchez Heating and Cooling understands just how irritating it is to wake up to a foul-smelling, broken garbage disposal. In order to prevent this issue, we’ve outlined some items to keep out of your disposal.

Garbage Disposal Tips

Some foods will cause clogs in your drain, and they may or may not be obvious! These items should stay far away from your garbage disposal because they’re bad news for your unit.

1. Meat

If you frequently notice a rotting stench coming from your drain, meat may be the culprit. It’s easy to assume that meat can go down the disposal because it’s tender, but there’s another reason to avoid it.

It’s easy for meat to get stuck to the inside of the machine. While it’s stuck, the meat rots and begins to smell. To avoid this problem, throw meat scraps into your trash bin.

2. Coffee Grounds

Morning coffee, just like the disposal, is a common household staple. But when you’ve finished brewing your cup for the morning, don’t send the grounds down the garbage disposal.

Coffee grounds form a thick, heavy paste as they go down the drain. If there’s too much of this paste, it will form a clog. Even if the grounds don’t stop your disposal completely, they can easily slow down its process.

3. Vegetable Peels

Potato peels and onion peels can be extremely thin. The thin peels can slip through the blades without being minced into smaller pieces, creating blockages and clogs.

4. Grease Or Oil

Cooking family meals is always fun, but sometimes they can leave a greasy mess behind. Although you might initially think to drain the fat from your pan into your sink, this isn’t a good idea.

Grease solidifies as it cools down, and this can create clogs in your drain line. If you don’t properly flush the grease down the line with cold water, it leads to more issues. Some foods naturally have higher fat contents, so this is just something to be aware of when grinding away sink scraps.

If you’re going to toss food scraps down the disposal, run cold water before, during and 30 seconds after you’ve run the machine.

5. Starchy Foods

Pasta, bread, oatmeal and rice are all common meal components, and when these foods get wet, they expand. Starchy foods turn into a sticky paste when wet, meaning they can easily block your drain and sink.

6. Eggshells

A common household tip is to run eggshells through your garbage disposal to “sharpen” the blades. However, this tip is nothing more than a myth.

Eggshells have a thin membrane inside of the shell which is problematic inside disposals. The skin can wrap itself around the blades, create a messy blockage in your plumbing or lodge itself in the impeller. No matter what, this is not good news for your disposal.

Avoid putting eggshells in your disposal. Use them in compost or toss them in your trash instead.

7. Bones, Nuts And Pits

You should never put chicken bones, fruit pits or nuts down the drain. These hard foods are way too tough for the blades to cut through, so they end up jamming or damaging your disposal. To avoid damaging your disposal, toss hard foods in your garbage.

8. Harsh Chemicals

Drain cleaner seems like a great idea if you’re dealing with frequent clogs or smells, but it isn’t a miracle product. The harsh chemicals in cleaners can damage the plastic and metal components of your disposal and even corrode your pipes.

Instead, opt for a homemade drain cleaning mixture of baking soda, vinegar and dish soap. Let this mixture sit in your drain before running your disposal with cold water.

9. Items That Aren’t Food

You may be familiar with the awful sound of a fork in a garbage disposal, but it’s not just metal that can damage your system. Something as small as a napkin or wrapper can also sneak into your food disposal and block up your system. Always check your sink for stray items before turning on your disposal.

Professional Drain Services In Natchez

Have potato peels and eggshells taken a toll on your disposal system recently? Luckily, Natchez Heating & Cooling has your back!

Natchez Heating & Cooling is Mississippi’s choice for premier heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing services. We’ll keep your home flowing smoothly, just like we have for years. If you’re dealing with a broken garbage disposal, we offer reliable plumbing repairs!

Get your drains working fluidly again with Natchez Heating & Cooling.

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