Garbage disposals are pretty cool, we have to admit. It’s great when you’re cleaning plates after a meal and don’t want it to stink up the kitchen by having it sit in the trash. It’s also a great alternative to sink stoppers, which can be difficult to keep clean and keep on top of.
When you are in need of garbage disposal installation or cleaning, please give us a call here at Garvin’s. But we’re happy to give you a few tips to cut down on drain cleaning and keeping your garbage disposal up-and-running in the meantime.
Know what not to send down: People put the wrong stuff down the garbage disposal, and that can ruin both the disposal and clog your sewer drain. Don’t let the name fool you…garbage disposals aren’t supposed to be a trash can for anything that will fit into it.
So, what should you watch out for?
- Stringy and starchy fruits and veggies – Potatoes skins, artichokes, mangos, asparagus, rhubarb, celery…all of these will cause your garbage disposal to choke and seize up. Many of these are just too tough for the blades, or their “strings” get caught around the blade mechanism. Send this stuff to your composter and let the heat and bacteria break them down so that they can fuel your garden.
- Grease – We know, we say it a lot. (The moment people stop doing it, we’ll shut up about it!) Oils and grease aren’t just bad for you drain, they’re also bad for your garbage disposal. Put the grease in the trash or recycle it.
- Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds tend to get caught in the trap of your garbage disposal, so it’s best to toss them or compost them like the fruits we mentioned above.
- Bones – Some garbage disposals claim that they are great at getting rid of chicken bones. We don’t recommend it. While chicken bones are certainly thinner and softer than what you’ll find in a t-bone steak, there’s really no reason to risk them getting trapped, starting a clog that you really don’t want to have to deal with.
- Pits – This one is pretty obvious. Stone fruits like peaches (also known as drupes) produce pits that are as hard as…well, stone. Watch out for avocado pits as well (the skins are pretty tough, too). If it’s something that could rattle around in your garbage disposal for days, it’s probably a bad idea to put it in there in the first place.
- Utensils – We know that you didn’t intentionally put your spoon into the garbage disposal, but when you turn it on and it sounds like a plane crash in your kitchen, you feel pretty freaked out (and you might have damaged the disposal as well.) Before you use your disposal, take a quick look to make sure that no one has dropped anything in (and that Lily Tomlin isn’t down there)
Garbage disposals make life easier, but they’re not catch-alls for anything that falls down your drain. Treat it right and you won’t need drain cleaning nearly as often. But when you do, give Garvin’s a call.