Many people wrongly assume they can treat their garbage disposal like a waste basket. But if you do that, you run the risk of your garbage disposal breaking down and requiring an expensive repair or replacement. While garbage disposals are certainly a convenient and safe way to dispose of leftover soft foods, there are some things you should never throw down there.
Never throw these 10 things in your garbage disposal. Always place these in the proper trash receptacles beforehand.
- Coffee grounds: Wet coffee grounds will clump together into a solid mass, forming a nasty clog in the gears.
- Pasta: Wet pasta tends to expand. While small bits of spaghetti or macaroni and cheese can be put down the disposal, large batches of pasta and sauce can clog the drain.
- Bones and pits: Your garbage disposal shouldn’t be tasked with grinding up hard items like chicken bones, peach pits, ribs, or avocado seeds.
- Fibrous produce: This includes foods like celery, raw pumpkins and rhubarb. Fibrous produce has a string-like consistency that can wrap around the gears of your disposal, leading to a possible malfunction. Add these types of produce to your garbage bin or throw them in your compost heap.
- Shells: Just like bones and pits, seafood shells from mussels, crab or lobster can clog the drain and require professional service to fix.
- Potato peels: While convenient to peel your potatoes over the sink, you should scoop out the peels before they head down the drain and just toss them in the trash or compost heap instead. Potato peels turn to glue once they hit water inside your pipes.
- Egg shells: Instead of sending these shells down the drain (they’re harder than they seem), put them in your compost pile, mix them in your outdoor potted plants for added nutrients, or just toss them in the trash.
- Chicken skin: Many people prepare chicken for their dinner by removing the oily skin before cooking it. But chicken skin can clog your plumbing and leave nasty germs like salmonella in your sink. Plus, it can lead to an unpleasant odor.
- Produce stickers: While it’s OK to toss citrus, banana or apple peels down the garbage disposal, don’t forget to take off any produce stickers before doing so. These seemingly harmless stickers will attach themselves to the disposal blades or the insides of your pipes.
- Fat, grease and oil: Your garbage disposal can take semi-solid fats, liquids, greases and oils with no problem, but this doesn’t mean the rest of the plumbing system can. Be sure to seal liquid oil and grease in a jar or can first.
Contact L&P Plumbing LLC
If you’re having problems with your garbage disposal, contact us at 512-468-9030. L&P Plumbing can address any issues you may be having with your pipes. We specialize in garbage disposal repair, replacement and installation, as well as 24-hour emergency plumbing services.