Garbage disposals are a convenient addition to any kitchen, but they can also be a source of frustration when they become clogged or damaged. Knowing what not to put down your garbage disposal is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and preventing costly repairs.
We will discuss the top 5 items you should keep out of your garbage disposal and provide tips on how to prevent clogs.
1. Grease, Fats, and Oils
Grease, fats, and oils are some of the most common culprits when it comes to clogging garbage disposals. When these substances cool and solidify, they can create a thick, sticky residue that clings to the blades and pipes, causing blockages.
To prevent this, avoid pouring grease, fats, and oils down the drain. Instead, collect them in a container and dispose of them in the trash. You can also wipe down greasy pans and dishes with a paper towel before washing them to minimize the amount of grease that enters your disposal.
2. Fibrous Vegetables
Fibrous vegetables, such as celery, asparagus, and corn husks, can cause problems for your garbage disposal. The long, stringy fibers can wrap around the blades and motor, leading to jams and potential damage.
To prevent this, chop fibrous vegetables into small pieces before disposing of them in the trash or compost bin. If you must use your garbage disposal for these items, feed them in slowly and in small amounts, running cold water as you do so.
3. Eggshells and Coffee Grounds
While it may be tempting to toss eggshells and coffee grounds down the disposal, doing so can lead to clogs and damage. Both of these items can create a gritty, sludgy buildup in your pipes that can be difficult to remove. Instead, dispose of eggshells and coffee grounds in the trash or compost them.
4. Starchy Foods
Potato peels, pasta, rice, and other starchy foods can cause problems for your garbage disposal. When these foods come into contact with water, they can expand and create a thick, glue-like substance that can clog your pipes. To prevent this, dispose of starchy foods in the trash or compost bin, and avoid rinsing them down the drain.
5. Bones and Hard Items
Bones, fruit pits, and other hard items can damage your garbage disposal's blades and motor, leading to costly repairs.
These items should be disposed of in the trash or compost bin. If you accidentally drop a hard item into your disposal, turn off the power and carefully remove it with a pair of tongs or pliers.
Preventing Clogs and Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal
By avoiding the items listed above and following these simple tips, you can prevent clogs and keep your garbage disposal running smoothly:
- Run cold water before, during, and after using your disposal to help flush debris through the pipes.
- Feed items into the disposal slowly and in small amounts to avoid overloading it.
- Clean your disposal regularly by running a mixture of ice cubes and salt or baking soda and vinegar through it. This will help remove buildup and keep your disposal smelling fresh.
If you do experience a clogged or malfunctioning garbage disposal, it's important to address the issue promptly to avoid further damage. All County Plumbing & Leak in Largo, FL, offers expert garbage disposal repair and maintenance services to help keep your disposal running smoothly.
Contact us today for assistance with all your plumbing needs.