Your Garbage Disposal: What Shouldn’t Go Down There?

January 4, 2017 12:49 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Most people think that as long as a food item is biodegradable, it’s okay to put down the garbage disposal. But as your local plumber in Colorado Springs, CO, we can tell you firsthand that there are many common food items that people put down their garbage disposals that can actually damage the disposal or clog the pipes. To keep your garbage disposal functioning properly and your pipes clog free, here’s a list of foods that definitely should not go down your garbage disposal:

  • Pasta and rice: Pasta and rice are both foods that expand when wet. That’s why they should not go down your garbage disposal. Even if they are broken up into tiny pieces, inside your pipes they can still expand and cause a blockage in your plumbing.
  • Cornhusks, celery and banana peels: The three items above are all fibrous foods. Those fibers can’t actually be ground down by your garbage disposal, and can get tangled in the blades or create a block similar to the way hair does in your plumbing system.
  • Artichokes and asparagus: Artichoke leaves and asparagus are actually really tough vegetables. Your garbage disposal may not be strong enough to grind them, and they can actually jam the blades. Better to not take the risk and just throw them away in the regular garbage.
  • Potato peels: Although your garbage disposal can handle a few potato peels here and there, you should never try and put a whole bunch down your disposal at once. The starch in the potatoes can actually create a paste that can gum up your garbage disposal.
  • Grease: Avoid pouring grease and any other fatty substances down your garbage disposal. These can actually coagulate, creating a thick, sticky mass in your pipes.
  • Nuts: Although your garbage disposal can definitely grind a nut, a nut will turn into a substance similar to peanut butter when you grind it, rather than small pieces that can be flushed away.
  • Bones and shrimp shells: Bones and shrimp shells are really hard. Although your garbage disposal may be able to handle a small bone here and there, it’s really not designed to pulverize skeletons.
  • Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds won’t actually harm your garbage disposal, but they can still get stuck in your pipes. Better to dispose of coffee grounds the traditional way, in the trash can.

As your local, expert plumber in Colorado Springs, CO, we want homeowners to know that it’s best not to treat your garbage disposal like a trash can. If some food items go down the drain during food prep or cleanup, that’s fine. But you should not throw all of your food waste down the pipes. Better to make the effort to throw your food waste in the actual garbage than risk an expensive repair bill.

However, if you do find that your garbage disposal is not working or your pipes are blocked with food waste, the team at Affordable Rooter is always here to help. Call today for fast assistance!

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