What Not to Put Down a Garbage Disposal

As wonderful as it would be to have a contraption that got rid of any unwanted food or material, garbage disposals do have some limits. Follow these rules to avoid running into clogs, jams, or completely broken disposals.

This one should be obvious. Bones are the number one culprit for jammed disposals. The blades just aren’t sharp or powerful enough to chop up animal bones. Throwing any down will just jam the machinery.

Fat, Grease and Oil
Yep, just because it’s a liquid doesn’t mean it’s alright to put down the disposal. Fat, grease and oil tend to solidify after a short time and thus end up clogging the drain.

Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds have a “sandy” consistency that can gather into nooks and crannies of the disposal and can also clog pipes.

Egg Shells
The thin membrane of an egg shell can wrap itself around the blades of your disposal. The shell itself can be broken down into too-fine of a product that can cause further problems. And don’t believe the folks tale that egg shells in your disposal will sharpen the blades – not true!

Seeds, pits and kernals in moderate quantities should stay out of the drain because they tend to be too hard (physically) for the machine’s blades to break down – causing the potential for a jam.

Pasta and Rice
These foods are too difficult for the garbage disposal to break down. They also tend to expand when wet, so even the small pieces will be able to get stuck. Anything items that expand should be kept out of the disposal.

Stringy Fruits and Vegetables
Lettuce, celery, potato peels, banana peels, carrots, squash, pumpkin and asparagus are all either stringy or difficult to peal. Their remnants can get tangled in the disposal parts and really create a problem.

Non-food Items
Other items that are best left thrown in your trash or recycle bin include:
Rubber bands, fabric, string, rags, sponges, cigarette butts, twist ties, glass, screws / nails, utensils, bottle caps, paper, plants / flowers, or hair.

Posted in: Disaster Prevention, Plumbing Tips

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