Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Luckily for you, this means that your tummy will soon be filled with plenty of delicious food. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about your garbage disposal, which does not benefit from being jammed with food. Thanksgiving is actually the busiest day of the year for plumbers – and many of the issues come from broken garbage disposals.
Foods to Avoid Putting in Your Garbage Disposal
The disposal blades will just spin the bones around without breaking them down. If the blades do manage to break down the bones, they will still have a hard time traveling down the drain.
Vegetables like celery and asparagus tangle around the disposal blades, which can damage them.
Grounds may appear to slide down the sink easily, but tossing them in the disposal results is a mushy mess that builds up in your drain.
The shell’s membrane lining can stick to the sides of the disposal and wrap around the blades.
Fruit seeds are too hard to break down, which can damage the blades.
Grease and oil can clog your pipes, especially when hot water is poured in (since it solidifies the fat).
Whether cooked or not, pasta expands with water. Tossing pasta in the disposal will fill the disposal trap due to swelling.
Starchy veggies cause a soggy mess in your disposal which leads to a buildup.
How to Protect Your Disposal
This is such a popular topic that even The Washington Post covered it. Two of the most common mistakes people make that decrease the lifespan of a garbage disposal are not cleaning it correctly and using hot water while the disposal is turned on. To expand the lifespan of your disposal:
- Use cold water instead of hot water
- Clean the disposal correctly: do not use bleach or harsh drain cleaners
- Use the correct operating sequence: rinse, grind and then rinse again
- Only toss in food items
- Do not pour grease or fat into the disposal, which can solidify in the pipes
What to Do When Your Garbage Disposal Breaks Down
If you find that your garbage disposal is clogging frequently, releasing unusual odors or making strange noises, it might be time for a garbage disposal replacement.