Junk Removal

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using a Garbage Disposal

Most disposals can handle soft food waste, but some foods are hard on them and could clog the drain or motor. Fats, oils, and grease should never go into a disposal (or drain). Neither should large bones like chicken or beef ribs, fruit pits, and fibrous vegetables like celery. CR’s lab tested each model with these tough foods to see how they fared.

Perth Rubbish Removal is a convenient way to grind food scraps so they’re less likely to clog your drainpipes. It also reduces how much trash you create, which is good for your wallet and the environment. But what many people don’t realize is that a disposal can do a lot more than save you money on the trash bill. A well-maintained disposal can improve drainage, protect your pipes, and help reduce nasty odors.

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Garbage disposals are designed to grind almost anything you throw at them, but that doesn’t mean everything is safe for them or your plumbing system. There are a few foods that should never be placed at your disposal, like meat bones, eggshells, or potato peels. These foods can clog your drainpipes and cause serious problems in your home’s plumbing.

You should also avoid putting fats, oils, and grease down your disposal. These substances will clog your drainpipes and plumbing over time, costing you money for costly repairs.

Instead, put these foods into your compost bin or throw them away in a trash can. Also, don’t put cigarette butts or other chemicals at your disposal. These aren’t only dangerous to the garbage disposal and could end up in your drinking water supply.

To keep your disposal in good condition, run a handful of ice cubes through it periodically. The ice will help scour and clean the disposal’s walls. Routinely cleaning your disposal is easy and affordable, too. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of borax down your drain (like the kind you’d find in the laundry aisle at the grocery store) and let it sit for an hour before flushing with hot water. This natural sink cleaner and sanitizer keeps your disposal’s blades sharp, breaks down grease build-up, and eliminates stubborn odors.

When you turn on your disposal, an electric motor rotates a flywheel surrounded by a ring of shredding impellers. The motor spins the impellers to chop up food placed in the upper hopper chamber, and when it’s fully chopped, it moves on to the lower chamber through a waste line connector. From there, it’s flushed down the sink drain and into your plumbing system.

A garbage disposal is an invaluable kitchen appliance that makes cleaning up after cooking much easier than scraping leftovers into a trash can. Plus, disposing of food scraps in the disposal cuts down on the amount of waste sent to landfills, which reduces methane production and saves you money on your trash bills.

However, there are some foods you should never put at your disposal because they can damage the machinery and cause clogs. The most common culprits for clogs are oil and grease, coffee grounds, eggshells, citrus peels, bones, nutshells, potato peelings, paper towel scraps, string, and cigarette butts. These problem foods can all clog your disposal and the pipes, so they’re best left in the trash or compost.

Another way to avoid a stinky disposal is to clean it regularly. You should wipe down the inner side of the hopper chamber with a cloth or paper towel and scrub out the inside of the drain opening using a bottle brush. It would be best if you also cleaned the rubber ring around the drain opening and drain hole, as well as the drain flange where it connects to your plumbing.

If you ever experience a clog, try pressing the reset button underneath the sink or unplugging it to clear it. If that doesn’t work, inserting a hex key or Allen wrench into the flywheel hole at the bottom of the disposal and jiggling it can dislodge a stuck piece of food. If you continue to have problems, contact a plumber for professional help.

Garbage disposals are designed to be tough enough to grind up most food scraps, but they’re meant for only some things. Putting the wrong types of waste in your disposal can damage or cause clogs in your drain. To ensure your disposal lasts as long as possible, here are some do’s and don’ts for using it.

It’s safe to put most fruit and vegetable peelings at your disposal, but don’t try to toss anything fibrous or stringy. Artichokes, celery stalks, rhubarb, lettuce, onion skins, and asparagus all tend to wrap around the grinder’s teeth and can jam it up. Instead, add them to your compost pile or trash bin.

Cooked meat scraps and bones are fine for your disposal, but cut large bones into small pieces before you toss them. Also, avoid throwing in too much grease. Grease will slowly accumulate and impede your disposer’s ability to grind food particles, as well as create drain clogs. To prevent this, always run cold water when putting fats and oils down your disposal drain, and never pour grease or oil.

A garbage disposal isn’t designed to break down huge chunks of food, so if you’re throwing in something big like a chicken bone or rack of ribs, chop it up into small pieces first. This will help the machine work more efficiently and reduce the chances of a jamming incident.

If you accidentally drop a bone or large piece of food at your disposal, you can often clear it by turning on the unit and using an Allen wrench (one may have come with your disposal when you purchased it) to crank open the drain manually. You can also try running hot water down the drain to help melt any remaining grease.

Other items that don’t belong in a garbage disposal include:

While disposals are designed to handle most food waste, some items should be placed outside. Putting these items down your disposal could lead to broken disposal and clogged drains.

While disposal can safely grind small chicken or fish bones, large bones like those from ribs can cause your disposal to break down or clog the drain. Likewise, putting hard shells like those from oysters, clams, and mussels down the disposal can damage the blades or burn out the motor. Similarly, hard pits and seeds from fruit such as peaches, mangoes, and avocados should be kept from disposal, as they can overwork, bend, or break the blades and cause a clog.

Stringy vegetables like celery, asparagus, kale, and artichokes should also be removed from your disposal because they can wrap around the blades and cause a jam. Additionally, coffee grounds should never be dumped down disposal as they can clog drains and pipes. They can even block your garbage disposal’s holes, causing it to overheat and possibly stop working.

Grease should also not be placed in disposal because it can solidify and create drain clogs. Instead, put greasy foods into your garbage disposal a little at a time while running cold water.

Non-food waste like glass, plastic, metal, and paper should never be placed in disposal as they can damage the unit’s impellers or burn out the motor. In addition, it is illegal to dispose of hazardous materials in your home’s plumbing system, so they should be thrown away separately.

Additionally, it is recommended that you turn off your disposal before placing anything in it, as this will prevent any accidental injuries to your hands. It is also a good idea to clean out your disposal occasionally by flushing it with hot water after each use, especially after grinding meat scraps. This will help keep the disposal smelling fresh and clean and ensure that it is operating correctly. If you need help with your disposal, it is always best to contact a professional plumber.