If you’re like many Kansas City homeowners who own kitchen garbage disposals, you probably know how useful these appliances can be. However, you can’t just toss anything down the chute without hurting your disposal or damaging your plumbing. Here are six foods and items you should never put down your kitchen drain, along with a few considerations and warnings.
1. Greasy, Oily or Fatty Foods
High on the list of foods that should never go down a disposal chute are those that contain grease, oil or fat. Grease that sticks to the interior of sewer pipes can accumulate, which results in blocking pipes. Consider that your garbage disposal won’t keep out grease from your plumbing system since it’s designed to shred only solid substances into small bits. Even worse, it lets grease descend down your drain, which creates more problems.
Fatty meats should never be dumped into a drain as well as oily foods. Thus, never throw shortening, cooking oil, lard, questionable food scraps, butter, margarine, sauces, dairy products, and baking goods into your garbage disposal.
2. Coffee Grounds
Unfortunately, too many people think they can use a disposal for getting rid of coffee grinds. Don’t dump coffee grounds down your drain because they can hurt your plumbing, although they won’t affect your disposal. Consider that eventually, coffee grinds can get into your plumbing, which can lead to clogs.
3. Stringy or Fibrous Veggies and Fruits
Never put stringy vegetables, such as celery and asparagus, down your disposal. This is because the strings of these veggies can easily wrap around the moving parts of a disposal and cause damage.
Also, don’t toss fibrous fruits and vegetables down your chute. Avoid vegetables with layered bulbs, such as onions. In addition to causing damage by wrapping around a disposal’s moving parts, they can weaken or even ruin the motor of a disposal.
4. Rice and Pasta
Rice and pasta should stay out of a disposal. These types of food are prone to expand in a disposal when coming into contact with water. As a result, they can easily block your disposal’s trap or clog your drain.
5. Shells and Nuts
You may have heard the old wives’ tale that eggshells can be used to sharpen disposal blades, but this is just isn’t true. Egg shells can be hazardous because of their filmy membrane that can wrap around the moving components of a disposal. Rather than throwing shells down your disposal, use them as compost.
Shells from seafood aren’t meant for a garbage disposal, as they are exceptionally hard. On the other hand, there are some disposals that can take their hardness. But it’s still not a good idea since it can cause blades to become dull. What’s more, your disposal won’t last as long. Furthermore, don’t throw nuts down your disposal.
6. Items That Aren’t Biodegradable
Non-food items, such as tissues and napkins, should not be allowed in a disposal. A good rule of thumb is that if an item isn’t biodegradable, it’s a no-no. These items include those such as plastic, paper, metal, glass, wood, and others. Simply recycle these materials, if possible, or just toss them in your garbage.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- Never throw animal bones into a disposal. Bone is an extremely hard substance, so it’s not intended for a disposal. Even though some garbage disposals can process bones, throwing animal bones into a disposal can still cause wear and shorten lifespan.
- Don’t use harsh chemicals to clean out your disposal. Instead, clean it out by pouring a small amount of dish detergent into it. Throw down a few ice cubes, because ice can clean the walls and blades, while the soap breaks down oil and grease as well as gives it a pleasant scent.
- Keep cigarette butts out of your disposal because they can expand, causing clogs. Again, a kitchen garbage disposal isn’t intended for any man-made materials.
- Don’t throw down too much stuff at the same time. In other words, put only a small handful of a substance down the chute instead of tossing everything down at once. You don’t want to put excess stress on your disposal’s motor because this can wear it out quickly.
Sometimes, drains get clogged or need repair even if they are used properly and maintained. For all your home drain needs, you can depend on Lutz Plumbing. Please contact us.