The holiday cooking season has begun, and that undoubtedly means your garbage disposal is going to get a workout. The thing is, not everything can go down the drain. The trick to not ruining pre-holiday meal preparations is knowing what you can safely feed the garbage disposal and what should not go down the drain.
At Triple T, we know how tempting it is to throw everything into the disposal and flip the switch during cooking, or after a meal, but we urge you to avoid this path. Big Utah holiday parties can lead to lots of leftovers. The wrong items can create problems for your plumbing.
These Items Should Not Go Down the Disposal
- Fats, oils, or grease: These materials seem harmless, because they’re often liquid, or soft, and don’t harm the blades, but they can build up in the drain and in the pipes. The collection and hardening of these materials can make it almost impossible for water and other disposal-safe items) to pass through the drain. This includes gravy.
- Bulky food waste: If you have larger pieces of leftovers from meal prep or the meal itself, it’s best to throw that into the garbage can, not in your disposal. This is because the refuse from the disposal has to pass through the pipes to the drainage system, and if it’s too large, the stuff won’t go through the pipes.
- Starchy, fibrous vegetables and peels: Celery, potato peels, lettuces, and kale fall into this category. The stringy, starchy pieces can get tangled around the disposal blades, which make it difficult to use without causing a clog.
- Eggshells: Depending on who you ask, this might fall into either category. But, we think it’s a great item to compost and leave out of the disposal. That’s because, like starchy, fibrous vegetables, the membranes inside the shell can tangle in the blades of the disposal.
- Coffee grounds: Like eggshells, this one may fall into either category. While coffee grounds mighty look small and fine, the problem is that they can clog the trap of the disposal, if they don’t cause problems accumulating in the plumbing.
- Bones: This should be common sense. These are a no-no because they are often too big, and the blades can’t adequately break them down.
- Fruit seeds, pits, or apple cores: The disposal cannot break down pits and seeds, or apple cores. Trying to force it only wears on the motor and blades of your disposal.
These Items Can Go Down the Disposal
- Ice cubes: These can be helpful if you want to clear blades of anything that might stick to them. Some suggest making cubes with lemon juice or vinegar to freshen the disposal.
- Liquids and soft foods: This does not include gravy. Other liquids and soft textured foods can easily go down the disposal. Soft foods like sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes are safe.
- Chopped solid foods: If you’re going to use the disposal to get rid of leftover holiday food, make sure it’s chopped up and small. This ensures that the blades can break up what you put in.
- Meat scraps: It’s best not to put a lot of meat through the disposal. But, small amounts of cooked meat can go down the disposal with plenty of water running.
We understand how easily people become distracted when there’s a lot going on, particularly during the holidays. We’ll be available to help with drain cleanings and garbage disposal service before the holiday if necessary.
Call 801-798-7711 in Utah County to connect with us and schedule a consultation.