In order to enjoy a food waste disposer that will last over a decade, you need to be aware of what shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal. Although they may seem like mean, lean, grinding machines, disposers are indeed sensitive to certain items. We won’t be stating the obvious (i.e. forks, hands, etc.), but we will tell you what foods to avoid.
When deciding what shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal, you have to think about the texture and consistency of the food. What could block the blades? Which foods can clog up your drain? We’ll present and explain the most common ones below. Without further ado, find out what shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal and treat your unit with kindness.
If it has starch, it has to go. Starchy foods are a living nightmare for food waste disposers and the people who own them. Food items in this category expand when they come into contact with water. Consequently, you’ll likely end up with a clogged disposer. At a glance, high-starch foods may seem harmless, but they’ll have long-term effects on your unit that you won’t be happy with.
A few examples of starchy foods to avoid at all costs are:
- Potatoes and potato peels
Just like high-starch foods, coffee grounds can and will clog your disposal. We hate to break it to you, but they will transform into a sticky paste when soaked in water for a long time. Even though coffee grounds affect your plumbing more than your disposer, the results are just as obnoxious.
If you empty a pot of coffee in your sink accidentally, see how to unclog your disposer and fix other common garbage disposal problems in our guide.
Fibrous vegetables are a disposer’s worst enemy. Just think about it – all those strings can easily get tangled around your garbage disposal’s propellers. In addition, they will affect your unit’s motor. You may not think twice about letting your unit gobble up some onion skins, but you will regret it later.
Several common high-fiber veggies to keep in mind are:
- Corn husks
- Onion skins
Regardless of the type of shell, it has no reason to go in your garbage disposal. In the case of eggs, for example, the super-thin membrane can act like a stringy veggie. If the grinding components catch the membrane, they can easily get stuck. We recommend that you compost your egg shells instead.
On the other hand, seafood shells are harsh for garbage disposals. If you don’t want your unit’s blades to dull, avoid chucking in lobster, oyster or crab shells.
Pits are no joke. Your favorite fruits can lead to jamming or even breaking your disposal if you’re not careful. If it has a rock-hard center that you can’t cut through with your kitchen knife, there’s a good chance it can harm your garbage disposer. It’s better to save yourself the potential stress by throwing them away normally.
Several examples of fruits with pits that are destructive for disposals are:
It may seem like common sense to not put bones down your garbage disposal. However, you never know when you might forget a bone or two in your plate when putting it in the sink. Think about it this way – a bone is the equivalent of silverware in your disposer. In many cases, your unit will jam and you’ll be under the impression that it’s broken.
If you have learned your lesson the hard way, you can learn how to fix a garbage disposal that hums in a few simple steps.
To conclude, if you know what shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal, then you’re bound to make the most of your unit. We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but it’s best to treat your disposer with caution if you want to avoid overpriced plumbing services.
Do you have any other tips in terms of what shouldn’t go in a garbage disposal? Have you experienced any messed that you have learned from? We encourage you to share your stories with others so they can prevent sticky situations in the future.