Management here at Pebble Creek at Lake Mary has asked us to kindly be kind to our garbage disposals. When you put things down the disposal that you shouldn’t, maintenance has to fix it. What a mess.
Things that you SHOULD NOT put down the disposal include:
- Non-food items. It’s easy to lose sight of a fork or two when dishes pile up in the sink. Always clear everything out of the sink and make sure nothing has fallen in before turning on the disposal.
- Grease. When it cools, it solidifies and clogs the drain. Yuck.
- Fibrous foods. Do not put celery, asparagus, artichokes, chard, kale, lettuce, potato peelings or onion skins in the disposal. They can entangle the blades and cause the unit to jam.
- Pasta and rice. Uncooked pasta and rice expand when exposed to water. If you put a sizable amount of either one into the disposal, you’ll have a backed-up drain in no time.
- Coffee grounds. They get caught in the drain trap.
- Fruit pits or seeds or apple cores. They are too solid for the unit to process and tend to get caught in the drain trap. Need to toss these in the trash can.
- Eggshells. The membrane inside the shell can wrap around the blades of the grinder. Put them in the trash instead.
- Bones. Fish bones may be an exception, but other types of bones can be a challenge for even industrial-strength disposals. As with fruit pits and eggshells, bones belong in the garbage can.
Things you CAN put in the disposal include:
- Cold water. Always run cold water through the unit for 20 to 30 seconds before and after you put stuff down the disposal. This ensures that everything is ground up and flushed down the drain. Decaying scraps in the bottom of the unit can stink up the sink.
- Liquids and soft foods. If a baby can eat it, the disposal can generally handle it. For more solid foods, be sure to chop them up first before putting them into the unit.
- Dish soap. This helps clean your disposal.
- Ice cubes. Throw a few in occasionally to help knock built-up food residue off the blades. You could freeze some ice cubes with lemon or vinegar in water to help freshen up the disposal. Or you could make these easy DIY disposal cleaner tables that we found on this great website, Mom4Real.com.
The recipe involves baking soda, salt, distilled water, Castile soap and some lemon essential oil. Oh, and an ice cube tray or silicone mold.
For step-by-step instructions – with pictures – visit the Mom4Real website.
And just to make things easy to remember, we found this super informational chart at PlumbingSupply.com (too bad they’re in California. But thanks for letting us borrow your chart!).