Things to Avoid Putting Down Your Garbage Disposal

What Not To Put Down A Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a convenient way to dispose of food scraps and other waste materials. However, improper use can lead to damaged disposal blades or even a clogged drainage system.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common items that should never be placed in your garbage disposal. By avoiding these substances and materials, you can ensure the longevity of your appliance and prevent potential plumbing issues.

While a garbage disposal is a great tool to have in the kitchen, it is not a catch-all for everything you need to throw away. Obviously, knives and forks and other non-organic waste should never be thrown into the disposal, but there are other less-known food waste items that should be kept out as well. 

Now let’s take a look at these common food items that should NOT be put down a garbage disposal. 

Do Not Put Grease and Oil Down A Garbage Disposal

Keep grease and oil out of your garbage disposal to avoid clogs and damage to your disposal blades. Bacon grease and oil is also bad for your plumbing.

When grease and oil cool, they solidify and stick to the sides of your drainage system, causing blockages that can lead to a clogged drain

Speaking of clogged drains, one of the most common plumbing repairs is bathroom and kitchen sink clogs. Want to know more about sink repair?

Instead of using your garbage disposal to dispose of greasy food and oil, collect grease and oil in a container and dispose of them with your regular trash or at designated recycling centers for proper handling.

Remember, a little extra effort can save you from a big headache later on.

Do Not Put Down Your Disposal Fibrous Foods

These fibrous materials are stronger than they look, and are very hard on a garbage disposal. Also, the long strands can wrap around the mechanism and cause problems.

As the disposal blade (Actually, it’s a spinning plate and grinding ring) cuts through food waste, it slowly dulls. Fibrous foods, not to mention fruit pits, can dull the disposal blade quickly. 

Instead, compost these scraps or toss them in the trash to avoid a clogged drain and costly repairs to your garbage disposal blades.

Potato peels are another no-no. Potatoes are starchy, and that starch can turn into a sticky paste. So compost those potato peels.

Trust us, your drainage system will thank you.

If your disposal is not working correctly, and you’re not sure what’s going on, give us a call: 214-585-1499. Hackler Plumbing is here to help keep your disposal running smoothly.

Avoid Damaging Your Garbage Disposal Blades

Don’t put bones from fish, poultry, or egg shells down your garbage disposal – they can cause serious damage to the disposal blades and clog your drainage system.

This list includes pits, banana peel, pasta (very starchy), and of course, non food items.

Instead, toss these hard materials into a compost bin or trash can to keep your pipes clear and your garbage disposal running smoothly.

Coffee Grounds Should Not Be Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Don’t let your garbage disposal become a victim of coffee grounds, as they can stick to the disposal blades and create a clogged drain nightmare.

These tiny particles can accumulate in your drainage system and form a sludgy mess that blocks water flow and can cause a clogged garbage disposal.

Instead of tossing coffee grounds down the sink, try using them for composting or as a natural deodorizer for your fridge.

For more information on using coffee grounds in composting, check out this helpful guide on composting.

Do Not Put Down a Garbage Disposal Any Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners in your garbage disposal, as they can corrode the metal components and damage the disposal blades.

Instead, opt for natural cleaning solutions such as baking soda and vinegar to maintain a clean and functional garbage disposal system. Here’s some further info on sanitizing your disposal

If you are planning on mixing cleaning chemicals to help sanitize your disposal, you might want to read this first.

A Few Friendly Tips For Keeping Your Garbage Disposal Running Smoothly:

  • To keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh, consider adding ice cubes made from white vinegar.
  • Don’t let your garbage disposal become a garbage can, only dispose of appropriate items.
  • Regular maintenance of your garbage disposal can prevent costly repairs in the future.
  • Proper use of your garbage disposal can extend the life of this kitchen appliance.
  • Remember to always run cold water when using your garbage disposal to prevent overheating.

A Quick Note For Your Safety When Using a Garbage Disposal:

Never reach down into the disposal, even after you’re certain it has stopped. Every year many people make a trip to the emergency room after reaching into the disposal. 

And always run cold water down the drain when running the disposal. Please refer to the “owner’s manual” for additional information. 

Here’s a cool little video showing how they work: 

How a Garbage Disposal Works – InSinkErator:

YouTube video

To Review What Not To Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Don’t abuse your garbage disposal! 

  • Avoid Grease and Oil: They can solidify and cause blockages, leading to a stinky mess.
  • No Fibrous Foods: Stringy veggies like celery or asparagus can wrap around the blades, causing a jam.
  • No Bones or Shells: Hard items like bones or shellfish can dull the blades, making them less effective.
  • No Coffee Grounds: They may seem harmless, but they can accumulate over time and cause clogs, leading to a major headache and drain cleaning.
  • No harsh chemicals: Chemicals such as bleach or drain cleaners should never be used in a garbage disposal because they can corrode the unit’s components, leading to costly repairs. 

For more information on what not to put down a garbage disposal, consult your owner’s manual. Remember, proper maintenance of your garbage disposal will ensure its longevity and prevent any unwanted surprises!

However, if you do run into garbage disposal problems, give us a call. Hackler Plumbing will be happy to come over and get it running for you as good as new. 214-585-1499

Whatever your plumbing problem, we are here to help.

FAQs About What Not To Put Down a Garbage Disposal

What can damage a garbage disposal?

Grease, oil, fibrous foods, bones, shells, and coffee grounds can dull the disposal blades or clog the drainage system.

Can you use ice to clean a garbage disposal?

Yes, ice cubes are safe to put down a garbage disposal and help clean the blades by knocking off any stuck food scraps without causing damage.

Is it safe to pour boiling water down a garbage disposal?

Pouring boiling water into your garbage disposal is generally safe, but it may not be effective in clearing clogged drains caused by solidified grease or oil buildup.

What Can Ruin a Garbage Disposal?

Yes, you can ruin your garbage disposal. When you put non-food objects or other hard materials into the disposal, it is possible to ruin it. 

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