13 Items That Should Never Go Down the Garbage Disposal

Posted by on July 2, 2018
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Garbage disposals are handy little units that many households can’t live without. They shred food into a small pieces, so they can easily pass through the plumbing. Garbage disposals help wastewater plants process these organic scraps into fertilizer products that are good for the environment. But, there are definitely some things that should never go down your garbage disposal.

#1: Potato peels

Potatoes are a staple, so there’s a good chance you go through piles of peels every week if you cook. Potato peels can turn into a soupy mess once they go in the garbage disposal. That’s because potatoes are made of starch, and will clog your drains. Put potatoes and their peels for your regular compost bin instead.

#2: Pasta

Once pasta makes contact with the drainage system, those pasta clumps will turn into huge balls. They’ll continue to expand in your pipes, causing a huge backup of food scraps over time. This is another item that’s best left in your regular compost.

#3: Bones

Although you can put bones in your city’s green bin, these should never go down your garbage disposal. Your unit has very sharp blades that have no problem shredding up a lot of food scraps. Unfortunately bones aren’t among them. If you’ve put the odd bone fragment down the disposal, dont worry. It’s the bigger bones you have to worry about. Your disposal blades will dull over time and those bones will surely cause additional complications down the line.

#4: Celery

Who would’ve thought celery would be a no-no down the drain? Celery stalks have long fibrous strings that can get tangled up in the blades of your garbage disposal. They can ruin your entire unit, making for a costly repair.

#5: Beans

Beans are just as starch-filled as potatoes. They will also turn into sticky mush once they go down the disposal. Even if your blades are able to shred up the beans, you’ll still be left with clumps that will clog your drains.

#6: Grease

Better think twice before you tip that skillet grease down the drain; grease and oil will thicken into a hard gel, and clog your drain. If this happens, you will have to take your entire unit apart and pick out the grease chunks by hand.

#7: Coffee grounds

Many people put coffee grounds in their green bins to neutralize the stench. So it may seem like a good idea to put java in the garbage disposal too. But not so fast. Coffee grounds can pile up and turn into a disgusting sludge. It will then settle at the bottom of your drain and pipes. And we don’t have to tell you how much of a disaster that would be.

#8: Fruit pits and seeds

Avocado pits, peach pits and olive pits are off limits in the garbage disposal. Your blades will destroy themselves trying to cut up them up. Be weary of putting watermelon and pumpkin seeds down the drain too.

#9: Asparagus

Asparagus seems harmless, but just like celery it can kill your disposal unit. Asparagus has those long, stringy fibres that can get tangled up in your blades. Save these for your green bin, or tell your kids to eat all their asparagus instead.

#10: Egg shells

The blades in a garbage disposal can easily cut up egg shells. But that’s not the issue. The problem is that shells tend to stick to the pipes. No amount of water can wash them away once they’re caked on either. So avoid encasing your plumbing system in shell bits and keep these out of the disposal altogether.

#11: Corn husks

Like celery and asparagus, corn husks can also turn into a tangled mess. No amount of shredding will set your blades free from this fibrous web. After shucking your corn, toss the husks in your city’s compost bin. Or better yet, save them for delicious recipes like corn husk grilled fish!

#12: Rice

Rice grains are so tiny that a blade won’t be able to shred them up any smaller. This means rice turns into a gruel-like mush once it goes down the garbage disposal. Even the tiniest amounts of rice can stick together and form a dense ball. Keep these grains out of your unit or else you’ll end up with a nasty clog that can be costly to fix.

#13: Shells

Seafood shells have the same effect as bones. Your garbage disposal won’t be able to shred them, causing your blades to dull or break altogether. Keep the shells from oysters, lobsters, clams and mussels out of your drainage system to ensure long-term use of your garbage disposal.

To find out how Red Bins can help keep your home organized, call us at 416-733-2467 or contact us here.

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