When it comes to your kitchen plumbing, one of the most troublesome components for many homeowners is the garbage disposal. While the name of this handy tool might lead one to believe that it can dispose of anything, the reality is that garbage disposals have their limits. Not all garbage disposals are the same, with some models offering better power than others. Additionally, the age of your garbage disposal and the condition of the blades will play a role in how well it can dispose of unwanted scraps.

While garbage disposals do vary in their strength, there are some key items you should never throw down your disposal. Read on to learn more about how to properly care for your garbage disposal and reach out to our team if you need help repairing yours. We specialize in all things plumbing in Kankakee and surrounding locations, so call us with any questions you might have about your kitchen plumbing.

Rice Won’t Play Nice

If you recently made yourself a wonderful curry dish with a side of rice and you find yourself cleaning out the leftover rice, be sure you dump the leftovers into the garbage can, not the disposal. Rice is an excellent absorbent, which means that as it settles into your garbage disposal it will suck up water and expand in size. When you first flush the rice down the disposal, it will be small and sneak through easily. However, once it is past your disposal, it will slowly grow in size, creating a caked on mass inside your plumbing lines.

Envision how hard it is to clean off rice that was left in a dish overnight and you will get a better idea of why rice is a no for garbage disposals. The same is true for other highly absorbent foods, such as pasta and oatmeal.

Egg Shells Are More Than What You Think

Egg shells are crunchy and crumble down into nothingness easily. Due to their texture and crackability, it might be logical to assume they can make their way into your garbage disposal with no issue. However, there is more to an eggshell than you might first think. If you notice, the inside of an eggshell has a thin membrane. This membrane will easily slip through your garbage disposal and make its way into your pipes.

Once there, the membrane can attach itself to the walls, creating a perfect catcher’s mitt for future food particles. Over time, you will wind up with a hardened mass of grime that is perfectly glued to your plumbing.

Grease Won’t Smooth Out The Lines

While grease might be a great lubricant for the gears on your bike, it won’t act the same way in your drains. Grease should never be poured down any sort of drain, garbage disposal or not. While grease is liquid and easy to dispose of when it is hot, as soon as it cools, it will turn into a solid mass in your plumbing lines. Not only will the grease lodge itself solidly in your lines, it will catch other food particles and create an even bigger issue.

Instead of pouring hot grease down your drain, use an old can or another solid container to pour your grease into. Once it has cooled, you can dispose of the entire container safely. Never pour hot grease into anything plastic, including your garbage bag, as it will easily melt through, leaving you with a grimy mess.

Bones Will Keep On Rattling

Unless you have an extremely durable and powerful garbage disposal, the motor will not be strong enough to break apart bones. If you throw bones down the disposal, they will most likely keep rattling around in your garbage disposal. This not only creates a noise nuisance, it will also render your garbage disposal ineffective.

Make sure you always throw bones away, including softer bones, such as fish bones.

Pits And Seeds Are Better Planted

If you enjoy delightful fresh fruits on a frequent basis, it can be tempting to chuck the seeds and pits right into your garbage disposal. However, seeds and pits are extremely tough and will be difficult for the blades on your disposal to break down or even to catch properly. In fact, most of the time, a pit will simply lodge itself firmly in between the disposal’s blades, leading to a jammed garbage disposal.

If this happens, turn off the garbage disposal, unplug it, and try to remove the pit or seed. Often part of the blade will slice into the pit but will then get stuck. This can make removing the pit or seed difficult. Use a paper towel or other item to hold on to the pit or seed, as it might be slimy and difficult to grasp.

Paint Belongs On Your Walls Not In Your Pipes

If you recently took on a painting project or perhaps you enjoy the crafty side of life, make sure you never pour your extra paint down the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. Small amounts of paint can be safely washed off the end of a brush if the paint is diluted with large quantities of water. However, any more than that and the paint will soon be lining your kitchen pipes.

What To Do If You Clogged Your Garbage Disposal

If you are reading this list and it is already too late, the damage has been done, have no fear. Here at Home Furniture, Plumbing & Heating, we have years of experience helping our clients with emergency plumbing services in Kankakee and surrounding locations. We can quickly get to the root of the problem and ensure your garbage disposal is working again in no time at all. Whether it simply needs to be unclogged or it needs a whole new motor, we are here to help. Reach out today.