5 Surprising Things You Can and Cannot Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

It’s an appliance you often take for granted until it stops functioning—the unsung hero of the kitchen, the garbage disposal. When it’s working correctly, it’s a convenience that makes kitchen clean-up a breeze. This article will dive into five surprising items you can and cannot put down at your disposal to avoid a costly garbage disposal repair. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a newbie in the kitchen, you’ll find this guide handy in keeping your garbage disposal running efficiently.

What You Can Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Citrus Fruits

Lemons, limes, and oranges not only add a zesty touch to our dishes but also help freshen up the smell of our garbage disposal. The citric acid in these fruits helps remove any lingering odors from food scraps that may have made their way into the disposal.

Ice Cubes

It may seem counterintuitive to put ice down your garbage disposal, but it’s one of the best ways to sharpen its blades. As the ice cubes grind against the blades, they remove any buildup or debris that could cause them to become dull over time.

Small Bones

While you shouldn’t put large bones down your garbage disposal, small soft bones like fish or chicken bones are perfectly fine. They can help clean the blades as they grind against them and also add to the overall efficiency of the disposal.

Pasta and Rice

Cooked pasta and rice may not seem like items that should go in a garbage disposal, but they’re beneficial for keeping it running smoothly. The soft texture of these foods can help clean the blades and pipes as they move through the disposal.

Coffee Grounds

Another surprising item you can put down on your garbage disposal is coffee grounds. Not only do they add a pleasant aroma, but they also act as a natural deodorizer for your sink’s drain.

What You Cannot Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Grease and Fat

This is the most well-known item that should not go down your garbage disposal. Grease and fat can solidify in the pipes, causing clogs and blockages that require a professional garbage disposal repair.

Nuts and Seeds

While tiny seeds like sesame or chia may seem harmless, when ground up in a garbage disposal, they can create a paste that sticks to the blades and pipes. This can lead to clogs and damage over time.

Potato Peels

Potatoes are starchy vegetables, which means when peeled, they produce a sticky substance that can cling to the blades and pipes of your garbage disposal. This can cause jams and blockages that require maintenance or repair.

Egg Shells

While eggshells may seem fragile and harmless, they can cause damage to your garbage disposal’s blades. The membrane inside the shell can wrap around the blades, causing them to become dull or damaged.

Fibrous Foods

Fibrous foods like celery or cornhusks are unsuitable for garbage disposal because they can get caught in the blades and cause jams. They can also wrap around other debris, causing clogs that require professional attention.

While it may seem like anything and everything can go down a garbage disposal, there are some surprising items you should avoid putting down to ensure its efficient operation. By following these guidelines and being mindful of what you put in your disposal, you can help prevent the need for frequent garbage disposal repair and keep it running smoothly for years to come. Remember, when in doubt, always err on the side of caution and ask for the help of your local plumber.

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