Before you decide to toss those potato skins down the drain, read this blog post. Although it is meant to be very convenient and easy to use, your garbage disposal system wasn’t designed to chew up everything you throw down it. There could be other items, too, that are bad for your kitchen sink in general.
Fortunately, you’re in luck! We’re here to provide homeowners just like you with expert guidance about what can and can’t go down the garbage disposal, and in doing so we hope to help you prevent some common plumbing problems. Read on to learn more!
What Not to Put Down That Kitchen Sink Drain
Here are some items that need to stay out of your garbage disposal, and out of the kitchen sink drain altogether:
FOG: This stands for Fats, Oils, and Grease. FOG is not harmful for your garbage disposal, but it can do a number on the kitchen sink drain itself. The problem with FOG is that as it cools, it hardens. So it will sit in your drain pipe, collecting and hardening until you have a stubborn clog on your hands.
Unchewable Food Items: In general, a good rule to live by is that if you can’t chew it up with your teeth, then neither can your garbage disposal. Things like meat bones, fruit pits, and popcorn kernels should go in your garbage can instead of down the kitchen sink drain.
Anything That Expands with Water: This includes rice, pasta, and coffee grounds. These are soft and small, and you would think that your garbage disposal system could break them up. But what happens is that they continue to absorb water, which causes them to swell up, and this causes a problem with clogs just like FOG does. In the case of coffee grounds, their tiny particles can gather and settle in the curves of your pipes, kind of like sediment. This makes it easier for your pipes to catch things like FOG.
Actual Garbage: This includes plastic wrappers and packaging, twist ties, paper materials, etc. These types of materials can cause a good deal of damage to the impeller blades of your garbage disposal… and even if they make it past the garbage disposal they can cause serious clogs in the drain pipes.
Your Hands: Under no uncertain terms should you ever put your hand into the garbage disposal without turning off power to the garbage disposal system from your circuit breaker, and testing it to make sure it doesn’t cycle on when you flip the switch. If your garbage disposal seems seriously jammed up, the best thing you can do is call our team.
“So, What Can I Put Down the Garbage Disposal?”
Here’s what is safe to put down your garbage disposal and kitchen sink drain:
- Cold water
- Non-fibrous fruit and veggie scraps
- Citrus peels
- Soft foods like yogurt or applesauce
If you have any questions or need to schedule garbage disposal services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team!