Garbage disposal is today a must have tool in the house. It makes cleaning in the kitchen a lot easier. Also it reduces the cleaning time because you don’t have to think of getting rid of the left overs in the plate.
It is a powered electrically device, placed just below the kitchen sink; the disposal unit is used to scrap kitchen refuse into smaller pieces (less than 2mm) to pass through the plumbing and prevent the waste from blocking it.
What not to put in a garbage disposal
Garbage disposal, also known as food waste disposer, needs to be appropriately maintained to attain its full purpose.
It would help if you did not put large amounts of food into the disposer due to overloading the machine; however, some are not advisable because they cause mechanical damage to the device.
Here are some of the foods that should not go into the drain;
They are naturally hard substances, and when thrown into the garbage disposal, they cause breakage of the blades; they also stick on the edges of the knives, which will prevent the blades from rotating. If they manage to go through the drain by chance, they will stick on the pipes, thereby causing a blockage; the result would be to throw the bones to bins and not into the disposer.
- Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds produce a delicious scent in the disposal; when used in small amounts, there is no significant damage. The smell of coffee grounds can be deceiving, and you may want to use it every moment.
The problem is that the accumulation of these coffee grounds is swift and causes massive damage down the drain. It is challenging to get rid of it since it forms huge masses of sediments; as sweet as the smell is, it is better to take them into the compost heaps, or they can be spread into the gardens to keep away insects and stimulate the growth of plants in the farm.
- Grease and fats
If you can avoid draining them into the garbage disposal, please do it at all costs. They usually get stuck around the blades making it very difficult for grinding to take place. Other than that, they accumulate over time and harden in between the pipes, causing unpleasant clogs.
Disposing grease and fats can be done by putting them into an unused jar or can, then putting the can in the refrigerator for it to solidify, after which you throw it away into the trash bin.
- Fruit pits
These should go directly into the trash bin or the kitchen gardens; they include avocado seeds, plums, cherry pits, and peach. Fruit pits are hard substances. They break the blades of the garbage disposal, preventing the blades from spinning.
If the kitchen knife cannot cut through these pits, then the edges of the knives won’t grind them too. The garbage disposal’s objective is to shred the food into small pieces; with fruit pits, it is better to toss them into your trash; you can also use the pits in raising seedlings.
- Seafood shells
The casings of these kinds of seafood are always so hard, oysters, lobster, crab, prawn, the shells can cause jamming of the blades’ grinder and breakage. There is a theory in which it says the shells helps in sharpening the knives.
The tiny casings might be successful in being shredded, but the large covers should not go inside; in any case, they go in the disposer. It should be switched off immediately and removed manually using a pliers.
Paints may seem not harmful because they are in liquid form, but latex and oil paints cannot be washed away with water easily. They stick onto the drain pipes, harden and cause clogging. The leftover paints should be left out to dry by removing the covers of the buckets.
They should be left out to dry and solidify in an open place where there is free airflow. Once the paint is dry, you can throw it into the trash.
- Pasta and rice
Rice and pasta tend to expand while boiled in water; when flushed into the garbage disposal, they will expand, causing heavy clogging. The blades can shred them, but they form a starchy paste that amasses in the drain pipes. Alternatively, they can be thrown in the trash or better used as a snack for a later day.
- Fibrous vegetables
You should not put fibrous vegetables like rhubarbs, kales, celery, and lettuce in the garbage disposal at all. They intertwine around the blades and force the motor to stop, and thus no grinding will occur. The fibrous vegetables should be tossed into the compost pit or thrown into the garbage trash.
- Bread dough
Bread dough contains high gluten content. It is very sticky as it forms a gluey paste when forced into the disposal. The glue paste is likely to harden as it goes down the drain, clogging the pipes. The extra dough can be taken into the compost bin or soaked into hot water to dissolve.
- Potato peels
Potato peels are starchy and sticky; they stick on the drain pipes over time, after which they form a white and thick paste that causes clogging. The peels also prevent the motor from spinning.
This means that the blades will not be able to shred them; high starch food such as potato may not seem harmful from a glimpse, but they have a long term effect on the disposer. They should go straight to the trash or taken to the compost heap
- Broken Glass
If you break a glass material or metal and find its way into the disposer, you should immediately turn the disposer off. Glass causes traffic jams in the disposal, and when turned on to shred food, it will produce a humming sound.
The visible Glass should be removed using a fork, the remaining invisible pieces can be forced to break by the blades, but you should be very careful since the spinning knives might throw them out of the disposer. The disposer should always be off when trying to reclaim the shards.
Eggshells do not have drastic effects on the garbage disposal; the egg membrane is a serious issue here. The egg membranes are the ones that stick onto the pipes causing massive jams.
Over time the egg membranes clog the pipe drains, the shells can easily be shredded by the blades but the membranes stick onto the pipe. There is a controversy on whether the covers should go inside the disposer.
The best is putting the shells in the compost or flushing into the disposer; cold water should then run into the disposal and flush them out.
- Onion layers
The skin or outer layers of onions can prevent the blades from rotating; if they manage to pass through to the pipes, they act as nets. The inner membrane of the chopped onions can easily pass through because they can easily be ground.
The layers wrap themselves around the blades such that it traps other foods passing through the drains. Rather than have to spend on plumbing, it’s better to dump on the trash.
- Banana peels
Banana peels are powerful and can damage the grinder; there is an argument from experts that say the peels can be cut into small pieces, after which you can throw them in the disposer. The toughness of the fibrous banana peels can break up the blades. It also interferes with the motor by wrapping around it.
They also cause heavy jamming of the pipes because of the strands of peels should it be shredded, the best is to throw it off to the trash or compost for full decomposition.
- Nonfood materials
Anything that is non-biodegradable should never go into the garbage disposer. The impellers in the disposer cannot shred metal and plastic objects. Substances like metal prevent the motor from spinning; because the impeller is not spinning, the food won’t be shredded.
Nonfood materials should therefore be recycled for future use and not taken down the drain.
What should go into the garbage disposal
The clean-up done by a garbage disposal is essential and environmentally friendly. The disposal minimizes the amount of kitchen waste food dumped on the land. The foodstuff that passes through the pipes is well shredded; in the sewer, the water is treated and recycled.
Here are some of the foodstuff that goes down the disposal without causing any breakdown and damages to the food waster
- Ice cubes
Ice cubes remove buildup food debris that may have gotten stuck on the disposal walls by knocking them off. The blades of the disposal also get to be sharpened by the ice’s moving inside the food waster.
You can freshen up the sink by using ice cubes that contain vinegar or citrus fruits. It will eliminate the foul smell of decaying food in the disposer.
Coldwater hardens the food that goes into the drain. Hot water, on the other hand, melts away foodstuff that needs to be ground. The use of cold water frequently will ensure complete grinding of any hardened leftover foodstuff.
Running of cold water for about 20-30 seconds after use will flush away any food debris that may have is left behind.
- Citrus fruits
The rugged nature of citrus peels helps in removing food debris on the blades of the disposer. It sharpens the edges of the knives too. They leave the kitchen free from the foul smell that emanate from decaying foods in the drain.
The disposer should be running with cold water before throwing the peels in the drain; the fresh fragrance from citrus oils will replace any foul smell.
- Almost all vegetables
Almost all vegetables can go in the drain, but not all of them. Vegetables like asparagus, lettuce, and celery are not suitable for your garbage disposal. They contain high amounts of fiber that tangle around the impeller.
But others like cabbage, tomatoes are good for the disposer since they cannot intertwine around the blades in the disposer.
- Chopped foods
The food going down the drain should not be in huge chunks to avoid overloading. Chopping into relatively small pieces would make shredding of the foodstuff easier. For long-lasting service, chopping the food will prevent repairing of the blades and the motor.
- Dishwashing cleaner
You can use the dish soap in cleaning the disposal. The dish soap helps in eliminating foul smells that emanate from the disposer. Just pour in some soap and let the water run in for a few seconds.
- Yogurt and soft liquids
As long as the liquids going down do not have high acidity levels, some might contain fats and oils. If it’s regulated and the amount going in the drain is not too much, the disposal will shred them when they harden.
- Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds can go into the drain but in much-regulated amounts. Too much accumulation of coffee grounds will lead to clogging. The scent of coffee is deceiving such that you might want to put in more coffee grounds.
In small amounts, it will leave your kitchen with a pleasant freshening fragrance.
Should you spend on garbage disposal?
Many people ask themselves if they should spend money on the garbage disposal. Dealing with kitchen waste is more comfortable when using a garbage disposal.
Leftover foodstuff drained into the sewer can be treated at the water plant then used for recycling. It regulates the amount of kitchen waste food that goes into the land. Kitchen waste produces methane gas while decaying, which is a harmful gas.
Though garbage disposals are cost-effective and save a lot of time, they should nevertheless not replace the recycling bins since not everything can go into the drain. Tossing non-biodegradable stuff inside the disposal will have significant repercussions. Kitchen odors are eliminated because the food in the drain cannot be left to rot.
Spending money on a garbage disposal is the cheapest to do away with kitchen waste. Is it worth spending your money? Of course, it is worth it.