The holiday season is just around the corner. Everybody will soon be busy celebrating with their loved ones; opening presents, making merry, and—you guessed it—cooking (and eating) delicious food. During this joyous time, the last thing you want is a plumbing disaster. However, if you don’t watch what you’re shoving down your garbage disposal while you’re busy roasting the turkey or mixing the dip, a plumbing disaster is exactly what you’re going to get.
Whether you’re in charge of preparing a huge Thanksgiving feast or a simple holiday dinner, you need to make sure all your appliances are in tip-top shape—especially the ones in the kitchen. It’s important to remember, amidst all the preparation and flurry of Christmas lights, that this time of year can take a toll on your pipes, drainage system, and garbage disposal.
To avoid any embarrassing mishaps, here are seven items that should never be dumped to your garbage disposal.
1. Coffee Grounds.
Coffee grounds might help mask garbage disposal odors, and they might appear to slip down the pipes easily, but don’t be fooled. These seemingly harmless little bean bits can end up piling inside your pipes, making a sludgy mess in your drain that will eventually cause problems in the long run.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Oil and grease often cause pipe build-up. Grease especially, because it can slowly accumulate inside the drain and lead to eventual clogging. It can also interfere with your garbage disposal performance—and if you want a hassle-free holiday, you need your garbage disposal performing seamlessly.
Good for your body, bad for your garbage disposal. Celery has fibrous strands that have the tendency to tangle around the blades in your disposal unit. Instead of potentially damaging your garbage disposal (and subsequent plumbing), make sure to throw veggies with stringy stalks and strands in the trash instead.
4. Potato Peels.
Although potato peels are thin enough to slip past the garbage disposal, they can still actually make a soupy mess in your plumbing. When enough of them gather, they act like a small catcher’s mitt inside the pipes, consequently holding up other waste materials and causing extreme clogging. The same goes for other starchy beans and vegetables.
Garbage disposals work by grinding up and disposing of different types of food waste. But it doesn’t mean it can grind everything. Bones, for example, are extremely hard materials that should go in the trash bin, not the garbage disposal.
Pasta expands when it’s soaked in water, which means you don’t want to drop too much of it in your garbage disposal. A few scraps from plates won’t hurt, but never try to dump large amounts of it as that can have disastrous consequences.
Eggshells have thin membranes inside that resemble an onion skin. They can get loose and lodge in the drain or get stuck around the impeller. Instead of throwing them into the trash can, you can grind up those eggshells and use them as fertilizer for your plants.
With all the cooking you’ll be doing this holiday season, it would be best if you could try to produce less trash. Even certain food items that are typically believed to be “okay” for your garbage disposal could lead to problems if you put too much of it. As you celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, do yourself and your plumbing a favor by taking it easy on your disposal unit.