The truth is, most people mistreat their garbage disposals. Disposals take all our garbage and never complain a bit… unless we give it something it cannot handle. Over time, as we treat the disposal as a garbage can, it can start to accumulate significant plumbing issues.
You can save yourself the headache and the call to repair service by avoiding “nine don’ts” when it comes to your garbage disposal. Some you may know, and some may be a surprise to you.
Coffee grounds look like they are fine particles, but the size is not the problem. When the filter is emptied into the disposal, the grounds are packed into a paste-like clump. The coffee, containing natural oils, will gunk up the disposal and increase the potential for goopy clogs. Add them to a compost pile of the garbage can.
Bones are simply way too hard for your disposal. The disposal may seem like a bone-crushing machine, but the “blades” are not actually blades. They are paddles that churn and move the food through the plumbing. Bones are too long and durable for a disposal system, even little chicken wing bones. Throw those in the trash can.
The onion’s paper-like outer layer can either wrap around the blades or miss them altogether, giving another reason for a clog down the line. They can also form a dam across the pipe openings and back up the system. Best to add these to the trash.
Corn husks, banana peels, asparagus, and celery have naturally fibrous strings. These strings can wrap around the mechanism and stop the blades from working. Flower stems can do the same if they are the stringy type, like sunflower stems. Trash them.
These two starchy carbohydrates expand in water. So, you know what will happen then. Another clog! Cold water will help them go down without expanding if you accidentally get some in there. Scoop them into the trash.
These little pieces seem too small to do any damage. However, they are almost like putting a bone or a stick down the drain. You’d never put a stick down the drain, right? Besides, the nuts will form a clogging paste, like a nut butter in the pipe, leaving a mess to get out. Toss them in the garbage can.
There’s a bit of disagreement over this, but in general, it is best to err on the side of caution. We do know they don’t sharpen the blades as some claim. And the membranes may get wrapped around the blades or stick to the inside of the pipes. So, peel your eggs into the trash can or a compost jar.
Here is another item that is questionable to some but it is best to avoid in the garbage disposal. The peels are starchy and can add to the sludgy starchy clog-causing list of things sticking to the interior of your plumbing. Potato peels are another excellent idea for the compost pile or garbage can.
Grease and oil are in liquid form, right? If you pour them down the drain, they won’t get caught the blades or need to be chopped up. Right? Well, yes. But they are another item that will gunk up the pipes causing clogs. The warm liquids cool as they go down, congealing to the inside of the pipes. We suggest keeping an old can with a lid under the sink. Each time you need to drain the grease or oil, pour it in the can and let it harden. Then you can throw the entire can away in the garbage.
A bit of care when it comes to our appliances goes a long way. Knowledge is power, and now you know! The garbage disposal is not a trash can, and we should not treat it as one. So, dispose of those habits (pun intended).
However, should you run into a problem with your garbage disposal… you can always call a repair service. The expert technicians at Gulf Coast Appliance Repair are available to remove gunk, clogs, and oopsies from your disposal and plumbing.
Call to schedule an appointment with Gulf Coast Appliance Repair for all your appliance repairs today.