While there are plenty of foods that are totally fine to dump down your drain if you have a garbage disposal, like citrus rinds and meat scraps, there are a number of items that are not. To avoid a potential disposal disaster, and an emergency call to your local plumber, here are a few items the Minneapolis plumbers at One Hour Rooter recommend you keep out of your kitchen sink.
1. Grease and Oil
When grease cools, it solidifies. If it goes down your drain, it can cause a clog. Instead, pour leftover grease and oil from cooking into a ceramic bowl and slide it out into the trash once it has cooled. You could also use a leftover unrecyclable takeout container and toss the whole thing into the trash as well.
2. Coffee Grounds
Coffee grounds may appear to go down the drain easily. In reality, they can get stuck inside the trap of your disposal, settling into your plumbing like sludgy sediment. After your cup is done brewing, toss the grounds away or into your compost.
3. Pits and Seeds
Hard, round pits and seeds, even from small fruits like olives, don’t grind up very well and shouldn’t be placed in your garbage disposal. They can cause damage or get stuck and clog your drain.
The stringy fibers of vegetables like celery, asparagus and even corn husks have a tendency to tangle around the impellers inside your garbage disposal. To avoid a potential blockage, toss these items in the trash or compost.
5. Potato Peels
Starchy vegetables like potatoes can cause a soupy mess in your disposal. Save yourself from a potential clog and always toss these in the trash or compost.
6. Rice and Pasta
Even after they are fully cooked, both rice and pasta continue to expand in water, so they should never be dumped down any drain. It they do end up going down your garbage disposal, it’s likely they will gather in the disposal’s trap, where they will continue to swell and clog it over time.
7. Egg Shells
The thin membrane inside an eggshell can wrap around your disposal’s impellers and the shells can stick to the drain and other food that you run down the disposal. Overtime, all this sticking forms a clog. Eggshells, however, are an excellent addition to your compost.
8. Animal Bones
Animal bones and seafood shells should never be put down your garbage disposal. They will likely get stuck and just spin around the impellers. If they do happen to make it down the disposal, they won’t make it all the way through your pipes.
Garbage Disposal Repair or Installation
Despite all the things you shouldn’t place down your garbage disposal, they can still be a wonderful addition to your kitchen. They help make meal prep and clean up easier, and they help keep a lot of food waste from ending up in landfills. By avoiding putting these items down the drain, you can reduce your chance of a kitchen sink clog or backup. However careful you are, clogs do still happen. When your garbage disposal isn’t working properly or if you’d like one installed, One Hour Rooter can help. Call (651) 217-8439 or contact us online to schedule an appointment if you are in the Minneapolis, MN metro and are in need of a plumber today. If you now know it shouldn’t go down the garbage disposal, but you’re still wondering if you can pour it down a different drain, double check this list of items you should never pour or flush.