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Foods You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

It’s easy to assume that, with a name like “garbage disposal,” the hardworking appliance under your kitchen sink should be able to “dispose all.” However, while you can safely send a variety of food scraps down the drain, plenty of things belong in the trash. Heed this list of foods you shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal to keep this device working well for years to come.


Cooking Grease, Oil & Fat

Hot grease may be a liquid when you pour it down the sink, but a few feet into the pipe, the fat solidifies and becomes a gelatinous glob that can create a significant clog. Plus, the smell of decomposing grease coming from your kitchen sink is enough to ruin your appetite. The best way to dispose of oil is to pour it into a can or jar, wait for it to cool, and toss it in the trash.

Stringy, Fibrous Food

Items with long fibers or film-like membranes tend to wrap around garbage disposal blades, increasing the risk of burning out the motor. That’s why it’s best to throw these foods in the trash rather than down the sink. Examples of stringy, fibrous foods include:

  • Celery
  • Artichokes
  • Corn husks
  • Eggshells
  • Onion skins
  • Asparagus
  • Rhubarb
  • Leafy greens

Starchy Food

When you cook starches, they soften and swell. When overcooked, they turn into a squishy paste. As you can imagine, foods with this consistency can clog your kitchen plumbing, so never dispose of them down the sink. Starchy foods that can gum up your pipes include:

  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Beans
  • Potato peels
  • Coffee grounds

Hard Objects

Garbage disposal blades are powerful, but they can’t grind up rock-hard objects. Keep the following out of the garbage disposal to prevent damage:

  • Bones
  • Fruit pits
  • Pistachio shells
  • Seafood shells

Non-Food Items

The garbage disposal isn’t designed to handle non-food items. In short, if you wouldn’t serve it on your plate, it doesn’t belong in the disposal. Here are the sorts of things that can damage the blades and block the kitchen drain:

  • Rubber bands
  • Pull tabs
  • Twist ties
  • Produce stickers
  • String
  • Hair
  • Fabric
  • Pant clippings
  • Broken glass

Drain Opening Chemicals

Never attempt to clean your garbage disposal or open a clogged kitchen sink with harsh chemicals. The best way to help the appliance remain odor-free is to grind up a handful of ice cubes and dish soap. Finish with orange or lemon peels for a fresh, citrusy scent. If the kitchen sink becomes clogged, you can attempt to remove the obstruction with a plunger. If that doesn’t do the trick, call a plumber for further assistance.

Has your garbage disposal stopped working properly? Perhaps you want to have one installed in your kitchen sink for the first time. Either way, please contact Albert Nahman Services at (510) 876-9725 for garbage disposal installation and repair in Berkeley, CA.

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