Last month, we wrote a post about general tips to help you receive the longest possible use out of your garbage disposal. In this post, we want to focus on some specific issues for the holiday season, when you’ll probably be entertaining guests and family members at your home and doing a great deal more cooking than usual. This is the time of the year when your garbage disposal will be under an immense deal of stress, and we’d like you to help avoid emergency plumbing calls because of a busted unit. Below is a list of food items to keep out of the disposal:
Fats, oils, and grease
We mentioned this last time, but it bears repeating because these cooking liquids are a common part of holiday feasts. Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) look deceptively harmless in liquid form, but they turn to obstinate solids when they cool, and this can cause extensive damage to the disposal’s mechanical parts.
Any sort of animal bone
Turkey bones, chicken bones, rib bones… none of them should go into the disposal because the grinder cannot handle them. A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t chew it, the disposal can’t either, so place it in the trash instead.
Rice and pasta
These seem innocent, don’t they? The problem with rice and pasta is that both absorb water. If they get stuck in parts of the disposal, they will continue to swell from water absorption and cause serious problems.
Onion skins and fibrous fruits and vegetables
Onion skins can easily stick to the sides of the disposal and then can wrap around the grind ring. Fibrous vegetables (which include corn husks, asparagus, and celery) are stringy and also likely to wrap around the grind ring.
Large amounts of any food
Don’t treat your garbage disposal as if it were an indestructible maw that can handle any amount of food sent into it at once. Nothing will cause disposal to break faster than getting overstuffed with too much food.