CJ the Plumber here, with a new blog on the “do’s” and “don’ts” of your kitchen garbage disposal. Remember just because the word “garbage” is part of its name, it does not mean your disposal is a trash can, and it should not be treated as such.
When you put incompatible food items, or other miscellaneous products, down your disposal, you are making your kitchen plumbing work overtime to try and clear your waste. Keep the following out of your garbage disposal, and your kitchen will remain clog-free!
Garbage Disposal Don’ts
Chicken, Fish, and Meat Bones
If you have to use your hand to shove something down your disposal, it’s best to throw it into your trash instead. Chicken, fish, and meat bones are too hard for your disposal to break down. Yes, even small fish bones can upset your pipes, as they get stuck in your plumbing system and cause clogs.
Chicken and meat bones can completely break your disposal’s motor if they get lodged in the blades. You’ll need an entirely new disposal system if this occurs, so avoid replacement by keeping all food scraps with bones out of your sink.
When coffee grounds get wet, they form into one big clump—or in your pipes, one big clog. Think back to your coffee this morning. When you removed the used filter from your coffee maker, the grounds were all packed together. The same process occurs when you place your coffee grounds down your disposal. Water won’t flow past a coffee ground clot in your pipes, and you will have to contact a professional plumber to remove your clog.
Now, I know this is a highly debated topic—whether eggshells can do down the disposal or not—but let me set you all straight. It is not the eggshell itself that causes a plumbing problem in your pipes, but rather it is the thin membrane that lays beneath the egg’s shell that wreaks havoc on your disposal. This thin membrane acts like a small plastic bag blowing in the wind. The membrane will float around in your pipes, collecting food scraps, until the little bag-like object is overflowing, creating a blockage. This can lead to a serious backflow issue.
Veggies that are fibrous are usually quite stringy and cannot be rinsed down your disposal. When in your disposal, these types of vegetables, such as corn, asparagus, and celery, are shredded and then later clump together in your pipes to form a clot in your system.
If you can’t cut a fruit pit with a dull knife, it should not go down your kitchen sink. Pits will likely break a blade or clog your pipe. Keep ‘em out of there!
Grease, Oil, and Fats
Do you ever have a little extra oil in a pan after cooking? Or some extra salad dressing that you don’t need? Don’t pour these excess oils down your drain. Grease and oil actually harm your drains, as they coat your pipes and become sticky. This creates an ideal trap for food scraps to cling onto and form clogs. It’s best to throw excess oil into your trashcan.
Take just a second and think about how peanut butter is made. Nuts get ground up and spun until a paste is formed. Well, when you pour nuts down your kitchen drain they go through a comparable process. Just as a blender chops and spins, so does your disposal. Nuts will form a gooey, thick paste that will stick to your pipes when rinsed down your disposal. A severe clog will likely form and you will have to call Winter Home Services for drain cleaning.
Starches expand when wet. So, when you place spaghetti, rice, or the crust of your kid’s PB&J down your disposal, you are asking for a major blockage. These items will all expand when in water and grow until your pipe is completely blocked.
Until next time,
CJ the Plumber
If your disposal is already clogged with one of these “don’ts”, contact Winters Home Services at (617) 977-3101. We are here to help!