The Holiday Grind — Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Whirling

Perhaps the humblest of kitchen appliances, the garbage disposal is also the biggest workhorse. Especially after a big, holiday meal, when your disposal is expected to churn the remnants from a multitude of greasy pans and scraped plates. 

But not everything is meant to go into the garbage disposal. Fibrous items may shred, but they may also cause your drain to back up. And when you have a house full of family, the last thing you want is a smelly, backed up drain.

Remember the following and prevent garbage disposal drain clogs:

Your disposal is not a potato masher. Are you sure you want to make mashed potatoes in your disposal? Because when you put peelings in there, they turn into a starchy paste that’s sure to clog your drain. 

Orange you glad you didn’t grind a banana? The correct answer is “yes.” Banana peels create a mess similar to potato peels, with stringy fibers for extra clogging capacity.

Your disposal is not a coffee grinder. Coffee grounds stick to the sludge in your drain pipe and create clogs. However, coffee grounds are a great source of nitrogen, making them an excellent plant fertilizer, so dump them in the garden. The same rules apply for egg shells: bad for the disposal, great for your plants. 

And another thing: Putting ground glass in your disposal will not clean it, will not sharpen your disposer’s cutting blades and will not clean your drain pipes. This is an urban legend. 

Flushing your disposal with water is the best way to avoid clogs. Make sure you flush the disposal with plenty of water when it is grinding up food waste and then for 30 seconds afterward.

Freshen your disposal without using harsh chemicals:

Did you ever make an erupting volcano in science class? You can use the same science to keep your disposal smelling fresh. 

  1. Dump a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar into your disposal. 
  2. Allow it to sit with the unit turned off. 
  3. After it stops foaming, flush with hot water.

You can also grind pieces of lemon or orange peel with ice cubes.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea to use bleach and water to clean your disposal. Bleach will harden grease in your drain and is very corrosive. If you have a septic system, it will kill the bacteria and make your system less effective.

Follow these tips to ensure that your disposal works at peak efficiency and your drains remain clear. But if the worst happens, your friends at 20/20 Plumbing & Heating will save the day! Call us at: (844) 676-2020.

We at 20/20 wish you a safe and happy holiday, and a prosperous 2021!