Garbage disposals are great inventions. They make cleanup after cooking a lot more convenient, and generally make things easier around the kitchen in a number of ways. They’re not invincible, though, and that’s an important thing to realize for homeowners who often take them for granted.
If you expose your garbage disposal to the wrong materials, you’ll be surprised at how quickly it starts to develop some serious issues. Have a look at the following things that you should never put in your garbage disposal if you want it to last as long as possible.
By far the most widely damaging thing over time for your garbage disposal is exposure to FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease.) These are all common materials used in kitchens, and are often poured down the drain after use. The problem with this is that those materials congeal into a sort of slimy, sticky substance when they cool down. This causes FOG to stick to the walls of the disposal, gumming up the impeller blades, as well as restricting the flow of water through the drain line. You should try to dispose of these materials some other way if you want to keep your disposal in good shape.
Ice, Bones, Fruit Pits
Garbage disposals can deal with a lot of different kinds of food waste, but they don’t do well with ultra-hard things like ice, bones, and fruit pits. These materials are all hard enough to actually break the blades of the impeller, reducing the effectiveness of the garbage disposal. Even if something like a fish bone or smaller fruit pit makes it through the garbage disposal, there is a possibility that it will cause a clog in the drain line that will have to be professionally removed. It’s much better to just throw these materials in the garbage when you’re done with them. In the case of ice, running some hot water down the disposal before using it should be enough to solve the issue.
The impeller blades in the garbage disposal aren’t actually sharp. They don’t cut whatever they come into contact with. Rather, they’re blunt metal instruments that chop up waste similar to the way a blender works. Putting celery, corn husks, or any other really fibrous material into the garbage disposal can actually tangle up the impeller blades, which can lead to the motor overheating and burning out. It’s a good idea to avoid putting these kinds of materials in the disposal, just to be safe.
Another way to make sure that your disposal lasts as long as possible is to make sure that you have a professional inspect it at least once every couple of years. Your plumber will be able to deal with any potential problems with the system before they get any worse, and keep it functioning as efficiently as possible.