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The 7 Worst Things to Put Down Your Disposal


If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, you know how your garbage disposal can be your best friend. However, that relationship can quickly turn sour when harmful materials are dumped down your drain. To help you avoid some common mistakes that could cause a lot of damage, Mattioni is here to share the 7 worst things to put down your disposal.

1. Bones

Because the blades in your garbage disposal are not angled, thy are not equipped to grind extremely hard items like bones. If these bones make it past your disposal, they certainly won’t make it down the drain pipes. As a result, you could be facing expensive plumbing repairs down the road.

2. Egg Shells

Although there has been some debate over this one, it made our list due to the sticky membrane lining of egg shells. While the actual shell can arguably sharpen your disposal blades, there is the risk of the membrane lining sticking to the sides of the disposal, wrapping around the shredder. Therefore, we recommend playing it safe and keeping egg shells away from your disposal.

3. Fruit Pits

Another major no-no is putting fruit pits down your garbage disposal. This includes the smallest cherry pits to the larger peach, avocado, or nectarine pits. Simply put, if you cannot cut these pits with your sharpest kitchen knife, you can assume your disposal blades certainly won’t be able to, either.

4. Fats and Grease

Just like your shower or sink drains, your kitchen sink drain should be a grease-free zone. Because fats and greasy substances tend to adhere to your pipes and lead to clogs, you should keep them out of your disposal. If you do accidentally pour grease or fat down your disposal, try running hot water down the line.

5. Stringy Foods and Peels

Because stringy foods tend to get tangled around your disposal blades, we advise against putting them down your sink drain. Also, you should avoid vegetable and fruit peels, as they can create a thick paste that builds up on the blades. Even if this paste makes it past the disposal, it can clog your pipes and cause waste back-up. Here is a list of foods to avoid putting down your disposal:

  • Celery
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Pasta
  • Lettuce
  • Carrot Peels
  • Potato Peels
  • Corn Husks
  • Onion Skins
  • Raw Meat
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Rhubarb
  • Pumpkin Guts
  • Banana Peels

6. Coffee Grounds

While many may tell you that coffee grounds are a great way to neutralize odors, they can wreak havoc on your disposal and your plumbing. If coffee grounds form into a dense, packed paste when you take them out of your coffee filter, imagine what they can do to your drain! Avoid severe clogs and damage to your plumbing and keep coffee grounds out of your disposal. As a safer deodorizer, you can make vinegar and citrus ice cubes to use  for your disposal. In addition to freshening your disposal, these vinegar and citrus cubes will sharpen the blades. Here is the quick and easy recipe for these refreshing cubes:

 1) Chop Citrus Fruit –Start by chopping citrus peels into small pieces. You can use lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit, etc.

 2) Fill Ice Tray –Then, place 5 to 6 pieces of the citrus fruit into an ice cube tray and fill it with vinegar. You can squeeze leftover juice from your fruit pieces into the trays for some extra freshness.

 3) Freeze Until Solid –Next, freeze the cubes until they are solid.

 4) Store Extra Cubes for Later –Lastly, store extra cubes in a freezer bag or other storage container for future use.

7. Cleaning Chemicals

Although everyday cleaners like dish soap are perfectly safe, you should keep harsh drain busters and industrial-grade cleaners out of your disposal. Avoid chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners. Instead, you can opt for Borax, which is a natural sink cleaner and sanitizer.

Maintain Your Appliances Like a Pro!

Now that you know the 7 worst things to put down your disposal, you can avoid expensive damage later on. Looking for professional help to keep all your household plumbing and appliances running smoothly? Let the knowledgeable team at Mattioni help! Tackle any of your plumbing problems with our pros by calling us at 610-400-8510 or sending us a message on our website!

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