There are few things more enjoyable than getting the family together and cooking a delicious meal. Everybody has their own role; someone peels the carrots while another preps the meat, but one thing is for certain: you're going to toss things in the disposal.
Before you do so, remember that there are some things that could do a lot of damage to your disposal. To save you from a kitchen disaster, here are the main things you should avoid putting in the disposal.
What Not to Put Down the Disposal
Fibrous foods: Many foods don't belong down the disposal. Fibrous foods are one of them and include celery, corn husks, carrots, onion skins, potato peels, asparagus and artichokes. These tend to wrap around the disposal blades, potentially damaging the motor. Toss them in the trash instead of down the sink.
Starchy foods: You know what happens when you overcook pasta, rice, potatoes or beans? They turn into a pasty substance capable of clogging the kitchen drain if you dispose of them there. Throw them in the trash instead of sweeping them down the drain to avoid a clog.
Grease and oil: The extra grease from making turkey gravy, bacon, ground beef, etc. don't belong down the garbage disposal. This substance may be liquid when it's hot, but as it cools it solidifies into a gelatinous glob. As you can imagine, this is bad news for your plumbing. To properly dispose of grease and oil, pour it into an old can or jar and throw it in the trash.
Egg shells: There's a longstanding rumor that egg shells are good for disposals because they sharpen the blades. This rumor is false! The membrane layers of egg shells can wrap around the shredder ring, potentially damaging the disposal, not to mention the sand-like consistency of egg shells can cause pipes to clog.
Hard materials: Some things are too hard for the disposal blades to handle, including turkey bones and fruit pits. Feel free to pull apart the wishbone with a family member; just dispose of it in the trash afterward.
Non-food items: Never put anything you wouldn't eat down the drain. This includes twist ties, rubber bands, string, cigarette butts, bottle caps and plant clippings. These items don't break down in the disposal, allowing them to clog the sink.
Cleaning chemicals: Drain opener, lye and other chemical cleaners are not appropriate for the kitchen sink. If the drain becomes clogged and the disposal isn't helping, call a plumber for professional assistance.
Other Disposal Tips
Just about any food item other than those listed above is okay to put down the disposal in reasonable amounts. When disposing of food, run cold water at the same time to help flush debris down the drain. To keep your drain fresh, run a handful of ice cubes and a few strips of lemon, lime or orange peel through the disposal. The ice helps freeze and remove items stuck to the blades and the citrus leaves a fresh scent behind.
Cooking and cleaning up is demanding enough without a clogged kitchen sink to worry about. Follow these tips and you should be all set to cook free from plumbing trouble! However, if an emergency does strike, don't hesitate to contact Clear Drain.