‘Tis the season of dinner parties and home-cooked meals. You’ll probably be trying out different recipes and dealing with food waste. The last thing you want is smelly garbage or food scraps stuck in your kitchen garbage disposal when hosting a family dinner–and turning on the faucet doesn’t always help.
Figuring out what goes into your trash can and what shouldn’t is critical for maintaining even the best garbage disposals. Whether it’s the leftover from your Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas lunch, here’s what you should avoid emptying down the kitchen sink.
Oil, Fats, and Grease
Whenever you cook, you’ll always have residue oil in your dish or pan. What should you do with it? Empty the oil into the kitchen sink disposal? While that may be tempting, you won’t want to make that mistake.
When washed down the drain, grease and oils can coat the piping and flange of your food waste disposer and grab onto other particles—this can clog the grind chamber. While some believe that dumping hot water along with oil and grease will dilute it, this is a myth. Dispose of grease and oil residue into the trash can.
Bones and Meat Scraps
Thanksgiving turkey and Christmas ham are going to feature prominently on a lot of menus. After everyone is full, clear meat scraps and bone fragments into your trash. Bones are tough and tend to get stuck in the blades, causing the disposal’s motor to break down. This will force you to replace the entire disposal system.
Potatoes, Rice, and Pasta
Starch expands when it encounters water. Emptying food particles with starch down the kitchen drain can lead to a massive clog. Over time, starchy foods like potatoes will form a thick clump on your piping. But that’s not the only threat. Potato peels can slip past the disposal and accumulate in the drainpipe, worsening a bad situation. Whenever you peel potatoes, do it over the trash and empty leftovers into a bin.
At this time, you might be preparing fruit pies. Whether cherry, strawberry, or peach, be sure to keep the fruit pits out of your garbage disposal. Fruit pits can damage your blades and clog water pipes. Contact your local plumber to clear clogs on your drains.
Vegetable Side Dishes
Fibrous vegetables are harmful to your disposal too. Spinach, kale, eggplant, and green beans tend to be stringy when shredded. And their strands can clump together blocking pipes and obstructing water flow.
Thinking of chopping and spinning nuts to form a thick paste? Go ahead, but don’t throw the leftovers into your disposal. The gooey paste will stick on your drains and grab food particles that are washed down. And you can guess what’ll happen.
Dinner parties aren’t complete without decaf coffee. When prepping yours, make sure coffee grounds don’t go to the disposal. Wipe coffee ground spills into the trash, not the kitchen sink. Wet ground coffee can lump together and create awful clogs. Dispose of filters in your trash can too.
Celery and Corn Husks
Both have fibrous materials that can easily get stuck on your blades. As well as wearing out your motor, these can cause the disposal to jam.
Whether you are in charge of Thanksgiving dinner or ordering food, you’ll need to make sure none of these food items end up in the garbage disposal in your kitchen. Get proper trash cans and keep an eye out for what happens in the kitchen for a stress-free New Year.
What Do You Do When Your Garbage Disposal Stops Working?
So—what happens when you slip up and clog your kitchen sink with one of the above foods? Here are a few troubleshooting tactics you can try before calling in A1 professionals.
First, although obvious, make sure that your garbage disposal is on. Second, try hitting the reset button. The reset button on a garbage disposal unit cuts off the motor from electricity, to prevent it from overheating. On Insinkerator and Badger-brand disposals, the button should be on the bottom. If you have Waste King or Moen-brand, the reset button should also be at the bottom. Once the reset has been completed, try running the water again and see if your disposal is working again.
Avoid putting your hand inside of the garbage disposal at all costs. And if all else fails, call in the professionals to de-clog your garbage disposal the right way.
Call A1 Sewer & Drain for an Inspection of Your Garbage Disposal
Be sure to schedule a quick kitchen plumbing repair inspection and quote with us so you can have a free-flowing kitchen drain. We’re here to help you repair your drains before they become a nuisance or health hazard.