What Not To Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are a great addition to any kitchen. They are a great way to reduce food waste without adding to landfills, but not all items should go down your disposal if you want to keep it running smooth and your drains clear. Here is a list of items that should never make their way into your disposal. 

  • Used coffee grounds (will cause clogs)
  • Large amounts of pasta (will cause clogs)
  • Large bones (an occasional small chicken or fish bone will not cause damage to the blades)
  • Cooked or raw oatmeal (a little bit is ok, but too much will cause a clog)
  • Nuts (can create clogs)
  • Onion Skins (can create clogs in the drain)
  • Egg & Seafood Shells (does NOT help sharpen blades and WILL cause clogs)
  • Pumpkin, Fibrous Vegetables & Corn husks (add to your garden instead of your disposal)
  • Potato Peels (these will cause clogs in your drain, throw them away or add to your compost)
  • Seeds and Pits (these can damage your disposal)
  • Harsh drain cleaning chemicals (those used to “treat” clogs can actually cause damage to your pipes. If you have a stubborn clog, call your Baltimore plumber!)
  • Latex or Oil based paint (these can build up and clog your drains and pipes) 

All of these items can cause detrimental effects to your disposal. While some items, such as the occasional small chicken or fishbone, a few pieces of pasta scraps from your plate, a piece of eggshell or a few potato peels, can usually go down without much issue if they find their way down the disposal, there are other items that are a sure fire way to cause a drain clog or break your garbage disposal. Coffee grounds would be better off finding their way into the trash or in your garden to repel pests and add much needed nitrogen to the soil. Onion skins should be tossed into the trash to avoid getting caught up in the blades or creating a clog in your drain. Another great addition to your garden and NOT your drain are eggshells. They are a GREAT resource to add calcium to your soil for vibrant plants!

Other items that should NEVER make it down your drains or disposal are harsh drain cleaners, industrial-grade cleaners, and oil or latex paints. After painting, any brushes, rollers, and leftover paint should be cleaned and disposed of away from your indoor plumbing. As for cleaners, we all too often see the effects of chemical drain cleaners used innocently by homeowners to help break up clogs. Though they may work for small clogs, in reality, they can actually cause expensive damage to your plumbing system so they really should be avoided at all costs. 

It is important to take care of your disposal and pipes to maximize the life of your plumbing system. If you have questions or notice any issues, give us a call today at (410) 265-8833 to investigate. We will get things flowing in the right direction again. 

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