Garbage disposals are one of the best parts of the modern kitchen. They allow you to rid your sink of small amounts of leftovers, and alleviate some of your stinky garbage. Each garbage disposal is different, so it’s important to always read the manual when you have specific model related questions. That being said, we’ve compiled a rule of thumb guide on what you must never put down the drain, and a few disclaimers on items that people disagree about!
We hear it all the time, either you believe it or someone you know believes it; egg shells can go down the disposal. The theory behind this is that the sharp edges of the shells sharpen the blades of your disposal. They eventually become manageable small pieces and end up going down the drain. This is sound logic, but we still err on the side of caution here. They don’t actually sharpen the blades, and the shells are covered in a thin membrane that coats them making them work harder than normal. A great alternative to putting them down the drain would be to compost them!
Shells, nuts and onion skins are items we suggest tossing as well! These items are all tough to breakdown and cause damage to the blades of your disposal. None of these items should be put down the disposal, seafood shells can be disposed of. Onion skins are fibrous and can get wrapped around the blades and dull their effectiveness.
An absolute do not ever put down the drain is grease of any kind. Oil, butter, fat, leftover cooking fluid all counts as items you should never put down your drain if possible. It should all be stored in a container and cooled before being thrown out. It may be liquid after cooking, but will harden inside your pipes causing a massive clog.
Cleaning products like harsh chemicals should also never go down the drain. Over the counter cleaning products do not belong in your disposal either contrary to popular belief. This includes some of the all natural cleaning methods such as putting coffee grounds down the disposal. This may smell wonderful, but the grounds accumulate in the base of the disposal and collect into a paste. The best way to clean your disposal is to put ice cubes and dish soap inside and run it with cold water. It will harden any oil or grease and go down the drain!
The three things we’d like to leave you with, are to remember to regularly run the disposal, run the disposal with water, and make sure it’s cold. In the off chance you accidentally send some food or oil down the drain, running it with cold water will allow the oil to harden and breakdown faster. Make sure to keep non biodegradable items in the trash, and you should keep your disposal in good shape for a long time! If you ever accidentally put something down the drain that doesn’t belong there and causes a clog or damage, let us know! We are always around to help.
At Tony's Plumbing & Heating, we offer outstanding residential and commercial plumbing and heating services in the East Twin Cities metro. With our blog, we hope to bring you useful tips and tricks for ever day life!