“The Bottom Seven”

“The Bottom Seven”: Avoid Putting These Seven Things Down Your Garbage Disposal

Like most modern conveniences, a garbage disposal can make life a lot more convenient. Still, to keep your disposal working well, you need to be smart in what you put down it! Don’t make your garbage disposal the catch-all for inappropriate items. If you do, you’ll be one step closer to a leak, a big clog you can’t fix, or a completely non-functional disposal.

Get to the root of disposal problems with “The Bottom Seven,” seven items that should never go near your garbage disposal.

1.Grease As tempting as it may be to drain grease directly from a pan into the disposal, this is asking for trouble. Grease slows your drain and acts as a magnet for other items like stray hairs, small food particles, dirt, and other compounds that don’t break down well. Drain grease into a jar and throw it away instead.

2. Vegetable peelings. Potato and apple peelings may seem like no problem to send down a disposal, but because peelings are generally the most fibrous part of vegetables and fruits, they merely clog the disposal. Also, they’re not always caught by disposal blades. Avoid trouble later by disposing of peelings in your compost pile or in the garbage can instead.

3. Egg shells. Unfortunately, egg shells are similar to peelings; they frequently clog the disposal. Nine times out of ten, shell fragments can get left behind or get stuck in the blades and overall mechanics of your disposal system.

4. Stringy, fibrous vegetables. Disposals don’t handle foods like celery or turnips very well, mostly because these vegetables feature stringy, fibrous matter that can wrap around the mechanical parts of the disposal. If in doubt, throw them out.

5. Bones. Animal bones have no place in your garbage disposal. Even heavy-duty disposals can get clogged or bogged down from meat bones. A related problem? Meat also means more grease (see number 1, above). If you want to cut down on smells, put bones in a zipped, plastic bag in the refrigerator until the garbage truck comes.

6. Rice & Pasta. Because these foods swell in water, you’re likely to end up with a clogged drain. Disposal blades can’t reduce these foods enough to stop them from becoming problems down the line.

7. Bleach or harsh cleaners. Use Borax as a way to keep your disposal clean. Harsher alternatives will only damage pipes and disposal blades.

Need more tips? Contact Pitton Plumbing & Heating, Inc. for all your plumbing questions at 1-800-499-4184. And if your disposal is getting you down, we’re only a phone call away!