What Can I Put in My Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposal units are one of the most useful appliances in the kitchen, yet often taken for granted and treated thoughtlessly. With a small amount of care and consideration, any garbage disposal will work well for years. Regular prudent use also actually helps to keep corrosion at bay and prevents accumulation of sticky problems.

Smaller is Better

Garbage disposals are designed for elimination of biodegradable FOOD scraps only and nothing else. However, some foods are not suitable and should be disposed of by other methods. Garbage disposals work by grinding scraps down to a size that can be easily washed down normal plumbing pipes. If the disposal cannot do its job properly, there is a risk of blockages and expensive plumbing issues.

Always ensure the cold water faucet is running during operation and for approximately one minute after the last input. Never use hot water which melts oils and fats into liquids which can solidify once in the drains.

Smaller is better to ensure food scraps are cut into manageable sizes rather than forcing it into the unit. This is especially the case for firmer items like melon and citrus rinds. An advantage of the latter is that citrus peels contain some cleaning properties and leave a pleasant odor. Egg shells, finer chicken or fish bones and small fruit pips are OK, as they can act as natural cleaning scourers, but error on the side of caution. Disperse large amounts of high starch foods such as potato peels, pasta and rice, with other items to reduce the possibility of sticky starch causing problems.

Stay Away from Fibrous or Hard Scraps

Fibrous scraps are not suitable for disposal – these include banana peels, celery, coffee grinds, corn cobs, globe artichokes, and outer onion skins.

Definitely do not attempt to put hard items through, even though they may be associated with food – for example, large bones of any description, large fruit stones, and seafood shells. Other forbidden items include cigarette butts, plastic, metal, glass, and paper.

Keep the unit operating efficiently by following simple maintenance routines. Before doing anything manually ensure the unit power is switched off. Keep the rubber lining clean by wiping, after operation, with a suitable cloth or paper towel. Freeze vinegar in ice cube trays and add these at the end of the operation to help clean off any internal residue.

Be Safe

Should anything accidentally fall into the unit, switch off before attempting retrieval. Never, under any circumstances, attempt this with the unit in operation. Use a flashlight to try to locate the object and remove it with pliers, tongs, or a suitable hooked utensil. If you must put your hand inside, wear protective gloves.

If the unit has jammed, refer to the unit instructions which may suggest manually turning the motor with a wrench to dislodge the blockage. After doing this a few times, it will hopefully be again running efficiently. If this doesn’t work, you can press the reset button/circuit breaker on the bottom of the unit and ultimately contact us to remedy the problem.