Appliance Repair Service in Southeast Michigan
What Not to Put in a Garbage Disposal
Regardless if this is your first in-sink garbage disposal or you’ve had it for years, there are a few simple rules that you need to follow regarding what and what not to put down the garbage disposal. Following these rules will ensure that your purchase enjoys a long operating life and requires the least amount of maintenance possible.
Unfortunately, many people look at the term “garbage disposal” and think it literally means “any garbage.” Perhaps this is the industry’s fault for giving the product a misleading name (or perhaps they named it that so you would break yours and have to buy a new one!), but don’t be fooled—a garbage disposal is not for all garbage. It’s even worse when people call it a dispose-all!
Things that Should Never go in the Garbage Disposal
Perhaps a better term might have been food disposal, but even that doesn’t hold weight since there are many foods that you shouldn’t place in there as well. Here’s a list of common household items that should never be disposed of in your sink’s disposal mechanism:
Bones, gristle and cartilage: No matter how small or flimsy you think the bones, gristle and cartilage are, don’t risk putting them down the garbage disposal. Despite what you might think about the strength of the appliance, it is just not strong enough to break the components down into small enough pieces on a consistent matter. In fact, animal bones are the number one cause of disposal jams. Even if you got them through the disposal on a previous occasion, every time you try, you’re tempting fate and sooner or later, it will catch up to you.
Egg shells: We wanted to get this one out of the way fairly early because there’s an urban legend going around that says egg shells sharpen the blades of garbage disposals; they absolutely do not. We’re not even sure how this rumor started—it makes zero sense. What they do is actually clog up the line so instead of having a more efficient disposal, you’ll have a clogged one that is completely inoperable.
Rice and pasta: Similarly, other foods that might seem innocent enough to toss down the disposal like rice and pasta, aren’t. No matter how long you run the appliance, it cannot break down the starchy components in rice and pasta because they swell when they come into contact with water. Even if you get it through the disposal, the pieces won’t be small enough to run through the line and will instead swell up to clog your appliance, causing a flood.
Starchy or stringy vegetables: In the same vein as the starchiness of pasta and rice, stay away from potatoes or hard-peeled veggies like lettuce or watermelon rinds.
Grease, oil or fat: Grease has a similar solidifying and clogging nature, but is much worse. Don’t pour grease down the disposal unless you want a backup and flood to occur.
Coffee grounds: These can get stuck in the gears and cause unwanted damage that will shorten the lifespan of your appliance. Better to just toss them in the compost pile or chuck them the old-fashioned way.
General Garbage Disposal Rules/td>
To sum up, refrain from placing anything down your in-sink garbage disposal that is grainy, expandable, stretchy, hard , fibrous or greasy. Stick to general table scraps and other similar objects. Typically speaking, if you’re in doubt, throw it out. Anything questionable is better off just going in the garbage the old-fashioned way. It’s just not worth it to risk having expensive garbage disposal repair or replacement costs for one risky item. Of course, always keep your hands and fingers away from the disposal during operation and always run water before, during and after using the disposal.
If you do experience a disposal clog, flood or loss of operational power, call us at 800-367-7199. Trying to fix a garbage disposal on your own can be dangerous and very, very costly.
Call 800 367-7199
Serving Wayne,  Washtenaw & Monroe Counties
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Harrison Appliance
Clothes Dryers
Monroe County
3030 S. Wayne Road
Washtenaw County
Wayne, MI 48184
Wayne County
Phone 1-800-367-7199
Garbage Disposals
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Harrison Appliance is an appliance repair company located in Wayne, Michigan. We service Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe and Oakland Counties.