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What Things Shouldn’t Go in a Garbage Disposal and Why?

Garbage disposals are wonderful appliances many homeowners have, as they help break down many different types of food wastes. When used correctly, they can prevent a clogged kitchen sink, compared to putting food waste down a sink drain without a disposal.

However, you need to remember, garbage disposals do not work with all types of food waste. This is a common misconception many homeowners take for granted. Unfortunately, they learn the hard way that their disposal was not designed for certain things when it stops working, a clog develops, or other problems appear.

Not sure if you are using your garbage disposal correctly? Then check out our plumbers’ list of things you should never put into a garbage disposal:

  • Rice and Pasta: Both rice and pasta will continue to absorb water, even after it is cooked to your preference. If you dump it down the disposal, the small bits that go down the drain will get bigger and can lead to clogs. Plus, pasta and rice can get stuck in the disposal’s drain trap.



  • Potatoes/Potato Peelings: Potatoes are starchy and can create a big mess in your disposal. Cold water and potatoes make a paste that is gummy and can create sink clogs. Potato peelings are equally starchy and also hard to grind up. Not to mention, any residues, if you do avoid problems, still smell very bad.
  • Hot Grease: Hot grease and cold water do not mix. The cold water causes the grease to cool and stick to the insides of the components on the disposal, as well as the drain pipes.
  • Bones of Any Size or Shape: Bones do not play well with your disposal. The blades might be able to crack and snap some smaller ones. Even if they do make it through the disposal, the bits and pieces can create a clog.
  • Coffee Grounds: The grounds may seem small and like they would go easily down the disposal. Yet this is not the case, and used coffee grounds can turn your sink into a big mess. The friction caused while running the disposal turns them into sludge.
  • Fibrous Vegetables: Vegetables that have fibrous strings in them, such as celery and asparagus, can cause problems for your disposal. The strings wrap around moving parts and components and can cause the disposal to overheat and stop working.
  • Corn Cobs/Silk/Husks: These things are rough on your disposal and only create more problems in the long run. The cobs will not break down easily and could create a clog. The silk and husks are stringy and will wrap around moving parts.

By avoiding putting these items into your disposal, not only will it last longer, but you also can avoid kitchen sink plumbing problems.

man fixing kitchen sink plumbing

In the event you do have a problem with your disposal, clogged sink, or any other plumbing problems, do not hesitate to contact your nearest Christianson Air Conditioning & Plumbing location in Austin, New Braunfels, Temple, or San Antonio today!

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