Posted on 11/4/2011

Garbage disposals are incredibly useful tools, but there are some materials even they can’t handle. Use these homeowner tips to avoid putting the wrong items down your garbage disposal.

Garbage disposal

  • Common Food Perpetrators: Starch-heavy foods like potatoes, rice, and yams can easily form serious clogs. While a few grains of rice shouldn’t cause noticeable effects, dumping leftovers can have serious consequences. Also avoid draining stews and family-sized portions. Moisture and temperature cause the starch particles in these foods to dissolve and combine into carbohydrate sludge. This starchy gel can quickly cause drains to back up or flood a kitchen. Disposing of small animal bones won’t harm the disposal’s motor, but it will dull the blades. Wrap and toss bones into the trash to maintain maximum disposal efficiency.
  • Drain Breakers: Most non-food items can cause significant damage once caught inside a garbage disposal. Many of these items can become nearly impossible to safely retrieve without professional help. Keep metal silverware, glass, paper, and all plastics clear of garbage disposal drains. Use a strainer to prevent unwanted objects from infiltrating the disposal. For best results, make a habit of clearing your sink before operating the disposal. Also remember to avoid pouring hot water down a garbage disposal. The heat can cause leftover grease particles to collect and clog the disposal.
Understanding what can or cannot be put down your garbage disposal is key to avoiding a preventable repair call. For more tips on preventative plumbing maintenance or troubleshooting some common plumbing questions, visit Arrow Plumbing online. If you’re in need of a professional plumber immediately, call us at (847) 549-9600 to schedule a quick, radio-dispatched repair.