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What can i put down my garbage disposal?

Posted on: June 27, 2013

Contrary to very popular belief—and we promise, it’s very, very popular—not everything can go down your garbage disposal. We can’t tell you how many times we get called out for a garbage disposal repair because someone put something down the drain that just can’t be grinded down by their disposal. So here is our definitive list of what you can and can’t put down your garbage disposal.

If this list is coming a little too late for you and you’re already in need of service, call James A. Wheat & Sons for garbage disposal repair in Gaithersburg, MD and the surrounding areas—our number is 240-399-5051240-399-5051.

What You Can’t Put Down the Garbage Disposal

It’s probably more important to let you know what you can’t put down your garbage disposal before we get started on what you can. Your disposal has a powerful motor, but that doesn’t mean everything should be tossed down there. In general, you don’t want to put anything down your garbage disposal that could cause it to jam or catch—such as stringy or fibrous vegetables.

Here’s a list of what you shouldn’t put down the disposal:

  • Grease, oil, or fat
  • Large food items – remember, anything that goes into your disposal also needs to travel through your pipes without causing a clog
  • Pasta and rice – large amounts of pasta or rice will expand while in your pipes and can cause a huge problem
  • Fibrous materials – these stringy vegetables can wrap themselves around the blades of your garbage disposal and cause it to malfunction
    • Celery
    • Asparagus
    • Corn husks
    • Artichokes
  • Anything larger than fish bones – chicken bones, turkey bones, etc.

What You Can Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

There are a lot of things people will tell you that you shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal, but with adequate amounts of water, you can put virtually any non-fibrous food down your disposal. However, it’s incredibly important that you use enough water to carry your ground up food scraps away from your disposal and out of your pipes. Sometimes, this means allowing the water to run for a minute after disposing of a food product, such as meat.

Here’s a list of things you can put down your disposal—as long as there’s an adequate amount of water running:

  • Meat scraps – you can only dispose of small amounts of meat, and it’s important that you leave the water running long enough that it will wash away all the scraps so they don’t get trapped and rot
  • Eggs and egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruits – citrus fruits can actually help freshen up your garbage disposal if it’s starting to stink
  • Non-fibrous vegetables

Who to Call When Your Disposal Is Stopped Up

At James A. Wheat & Sons, we understand that accidents happen. If something on the disposal black list gets in your sink and causes a back-up, just give us a call! We can help with all your garbage disposal repair needs in the Gaithersburg, MD area. Contact us today to learn more.