We can barely remember how terrible our lives were before the invention of garbage disposals in 1927. Installing garbage disposal became popular right after World War II, but now more than half of the American population have one in their homes.
However, garbage disposals aren’t magical machines that can “eat” any trash you send its way. To keep both your garbage disposal in working order and avoid plumbing problems, you’ll want to keep an eye on the things you shouldn’t put in your disposal machine.
Suppose you have no idea about those items, no worries. You’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading for our full breakdown of all the food and non-food items you should keep far away from your kitchen sink.
The Bane of Garbage Disposal’s Existence: Coffee Grounds
Let’s start with one of those tricky items that most people will put in their garbage disposal, and those are coffee grounds.
As a nation obsessed with coffee, our plumbing tends to get bombarded with paste-like fine coffee grounds, all to its disadvantage. If you put it down your trash disposal, you’ll end up with a blockage in your drain due to a buildup of gunky sediment.
Gluten-Based Products: Rice, Bread, and Pasta
What do all three of these items have in common? They all absorb and expand water, which may quickly block a drain. Don’t be concerned if a little leftover spaghetti ends up in the garbage disposal, but don’t throw pasta down the garbage disposal regularly.
If you must put pasta, rice, or bread down the disposal, do so for at least 30 seconds and then flush the grains down the drain with cold water to prevent them from expanding. Oats and any other grain that absorbs water are in the same boat.
Avoid Fat, Oil, and Grease
The difficult thing with grease, oil, and fats is that they may seem liquid at first, but they don’t last in their liquid form for long. With time, these items may solidify, causing a significant clog in your drain.
This is the most environmentally friendly option: allow the chemicals to cool before throwing them out.
Otherwise, you’ll call a plumber sooner than you might think. And, if your pips are already clogged, then it’s time to reach out to plumbtimesc.com to fix your problem as soon as possible.
It’s just not designed for grinding up complicated things. Bones are one of the toughest naturally available materials, and they may drastically reduce the lifetime of your disposal.
If you drop a tiny fish or chicken bone down the drain, don’t worry; your trash disposal can handle it. On the other hand, anything bigger than that will just spin about at your disposal, damaging the grinding gears.
Hard Pits and Seeds
Pits and seeds Pits and seeds are often spherical and tiny, making grinding them even more difficult.
Not to mention the awful noise they create as they bounce around your garbage disposal. Throw them in the garbage to save your disposal the bother.
Chunks of Onion Layers
While sliced onions may easily go down the garbage disposal, it’s the outermost layer that has to be avoided.
The membrane that sits immediately under the dry skin may travel through the disposal, either obstructing or wrapping around the blades grinder. It may even get lodged in the drain and serve as a net, catching other objects.
Nuts and Shells
Softer nuts, such as peanuts, are also not recommended for disposal. Your trash disposal functions similarly to a nut grinder, and do you know what happens when you grind and crush peanuts?
Peanut butter is a delicious spread. Well, it’s not quite a peanut butter in a jar, but it’s a thick peanut paste that may easily clog up your drain.
We’ve all heard the widely held belief that eggshells may assist in sharpening the “blades” of your garbage disposal. Trash disposals, on the other hand, do not have blades. They have broad impellers rather than sharp impellers, which makes them more efficient.
These impellers crush food waste rather than being chopped up as it would be by a blender. Moreover, when was the last time you used eggshells to sharpen the edges of your knives?
Eggshells are not only worthless for sharpening grinding mechanisms, but they also include membranes that may easily wrap themselves around the grinder, making it impossible to utilize them. This may result in a plethora of problems for your equipment.
Fibrous Fruits and Vegetables
Items like celery, asparagus, banana peels, maize husks, and rhubarb are a few things to toss in the trash instead of the disposal.
A few here and there won’t harm, but try to prevent it if you want to keep your appliance’s quality.
Potato peels may seem to be innocuous.
Nevertheless, if this debris manages to get into the pipes, it may create significant blockages in the future. Other starchy vegetables and legumes can cause the same problem.
The term “trash disposal” may be deceptive. It doesn’t imply you should handle your trash disposal like one. Paper towels, plastic wrappers, and tissues, among other non-food things, may clog your drainage system.
These substances may also travel via your drainage system and end up in your local water supply. Anything that isn’t biodegradable shouldn’t be thrown away.
Ready to Give Your Garbage Disposal a Break?
We know that this can cause a bit of an information overload, especially if you weren’t already familiar with at least some of those items on our list.
However, we hope that our explainer has shed some light on why these items can cause damage to your garbage disposal. Remember that if it’s something that blunt blades would have trouble breaking apart, then maybe it’s better to throw it in the regular trash.
If you liked our article, make sure to check out all our additional tips and tricks for your home life. You’ll find them available to you in our lifestyle and home sections.