When your garbage disposal wasn’t invented the problem of wasted food was, and still is, a huge issue in homes across the globe. Nowadays a lot of food just doesn’t get eaten before it goes bad which equals money down the drain. This post was inspired by my friend, who always has tons of food left from her dinner parties. Her reasoning? “What most people don’t know is that your garbage disposal is not meant to break down as much food as people think it does,” I told my friend. “And frankly what happens when you put too much garlic in there?”
If your garbage disposal is a bit full, there are a few things you probably aren’t putting in there that you can. It might surprise you to hear this, but there are things your garbage disposal can’t process.
1. Grease in the Garbage Disposal
Grease is one of the most common things that people put in their garbage disposals. Grease is a liquid-like substance that forms as food is processed, and it’s made up of fats and oils. You probably have grease in your kitchen, but it’s not something you want to put down your drain.
Grease can clog pipes and cause problems with your disposal unit. The grease gets caught up in the blades and can’t break down like other food items will. This causes the grease to build up inside the unit and eventually clog it completely.
To avoid this problem, don’t put any type of grease down your drain. If you want to get rid of some excess grease, place it into an empty container and throw it away with regular trash.
2. Wet or Sticky Materials in the Garbage Disposal
Food scraps that are wet or sticky — such as meat and vegetable oil — will cause clogs in your disposal unit. This can cause heat buildup in the unit as well as damage to the motor. Avoid these items altogether by using a strainer when cooking with these items or scraping off excess fat from dishes before you wash them.
3. Paper or Cardboard in the Garbage Disposal
Paper or cardboard can’t be processed by your garbage disposal. The blades of a garbage disposal are designed to cut through hard food scraps, not paper products. If you want to use the disposal for these items, tear them up first into smaller pieces.
If you’ve ever put paper or cardboard in your garbage disposal, you know that it doesn’t work too well. The blades can’t break down the fibers, and they become stuck in the drain.
The good news is that you can use a plumbing snake to get rid of the clog (or at least loosen it up). The bad news is that if you have a lot of paper or cardboard in your drain, it may take some time and effort to get rid of it.
The best way to avoid this problem is to never put paper or cardboard in your garbage disposal in the first place.
4. Artificial Items in the Garbage Disposal
Some people put artificial flowers and other decorative items down the drain. This is not only bad for the environment, but it can also clog up your garbage disposal. If you have items that are made from plastic or rubber (like fake flowers), toss them in the trash instead of putting them down the drain.