Many homeowners find the garbage disposal to be a bit of a mystery.
It is easy to assume that anything can be flushed down the toilet, but this is not true. Before deciding to install a garbage disposal, you must be aware of what should not go down the drain in order to save time and money in the future.
As plumbers, we understand how inconvenient a malfunctioning, odorous garbage disposal can be.
Fortunately, we are here to assist you.
Garbage Disposal 101
Between the underside of a sink and its trap, a garbage disposal (garburator) is installed. It utilizes a series of blades to shred waste into particles small enough to be flushed down the toilet. It is environmentally friendly and significantly facilitates kitchen cleanup. There are, however, restrictions on what can be placed in a garbage disposal. It is not suitable for processing everything that could be placed within it. Tough or sticky objects, for instance, can prevent the disposal blades from turning or cause a clog.
What Can a Garbage Disposal Accept?
Numerous liquids and soft foods can be processed in a garbage disposal. Some objects are even advantageous to waste management.
This consists of:
Cool Flowing Water
It is recommended to use cool or cold water when operating a garbage disposal. Before and after using a garbage disposal, you should let the water run for ten seconds to help flush waste down the drain. If scraps get stuck to the bottom of the garbage disposal without running water, it could cause a clog or emit a foul smell. In addition, it is important to note that cold water will aid in flushing any unexpected fat down the drain pipes, thereby preventing future headaches.
Ice cubes help to clean and sharpen blades in garbage disposals. Every other week, you should toss a few ice cubes down the drain to prevent debris from accumulating on the blades of your garbage disposal. Adding a few drops of lemon juice, vinegar, or biodegradable cleaning products to ice cubes can help your garbage disposal smell even better. It is essential to note that some garbage disposals have impellers rather than blades. Ice cubes are unnecessary in this situation.
Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges can serve two purposes when placed in a garbage disposal. On the one hand, the acid in citrus fruits aids in dissolving accumulated gunk in a garbage disposal. Citrus fruits, on the other hand, can effectively eliminate odors and replace them with a pleasant scent. You can simply cut your desired fruit into wedges and rinse each one with cold water.
Biodegradable Dish Soap or Garbage Detergent
Grease is a garbage disposal’s worst nightmare. Dish soap and draining fluid contain anti-grease chemicals that help flush out grease, allowing the disposal to run more efficiently and last longer.
What to Avoid Placing in a Waste Disposal
When it comes to what should not be placed in the garbage disposal, common sense can only go so far.
Some of these items may not be readily apparent to you.
Here are items that should not be placed in a garbage disposal:
The Coffee Grinds
This is one of the worst things you can do to a garbage disposal or any other drainage system. When coffee grounds enter the drain, a thick, dense paste is formed. If too much is poured down the drain, it can clog or slow down the process of draining. They are best disposed of in a compost bin or utilized in a garden.
Fats and grease are among the most crucial substances to avoid putting down a garbage disposal. As fats cool, they become solid. Without proper flushing to push the fats further down the line, they can accumulate at the bottom of the disposal unit, causing drainage and clogging issues.
Fats and grease should not be flushed down the toilet, but fat is unavoidable in some common foods, such as salad dressing, etc. Be sure to flush the food scraps with cold water so that the fat remains solid as it travels through the disposal and into the drain pipes.
Eggshells for Throwaway
Can eggshells be put through the garbage disposal? The response is no. It is a common mistake to put eggshells down a garbage disposal. The myth that eggshells can sharpen blades is widespread. The membrane on the inside of the shells has a significant effect on the disposal blades, whereas the shells themselves have little effect. This is the thin coating that can be found within an eggshell. It can wrap around the blades of the disposal, become dislodged and lodge in the impeller, or create a gummy obstruction in your plumbing.
Onion skins, like eggshells, contain a membrane similar to that of an eggshell.
As this membrane layer is quite thin and wet, it can easily pass through the blades and become lodged in the drain, causing a clog.
Similar to onion peels, potato peels can be sufficiently thin to pass through the blades. Potato peels in a garbage disposal may pass through without being finely chopped. This creates a barrier in the sink trap, which can lead to clogging.
The blades of garbage disposals cannot cut through bones, nuts, pits, and other hard food waste. This can cause the blades to jam or significantly damage them.
Expendable Dry Foods
Foods that expand in water, such as pasta, oats, and rice, will continue to expand in the plumbing system of a sink, eventually causing a clog. As with most food scraps, a small piece or two left on a plate after a meal should be fine to dispose of in the garbage disposal.
Please remember to flush the food waste through the trap and into the main sewer line with cold water.
This will prevent food from remaining and expanding at the bottom of the unit, thereby preventing future blockages.
Contact Us Immediately for Help
Contact us if you have questions about your garbage disposal or are interested in purchasing a new one.
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