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5 Things You Should NOT Put Down Your Garbage Disposal this Holiday Season


The holiday season is usually the time when your plumbing system gets an actual workout. All the holiday parties to meal prep means your garbage disposal will go through endless plate scrapings, vegetable peels, and (supposedly) small leftovers—which will consequently leave the poor thing overworked.

As such, stuffing everything but the kitchen sink down the kitchen sink isn’t a good practice. In fact, certain food items can cause major damage to your garbage disposal. Although a majority of food generally goes down the disposal smoothly, there is a percentage that could actually end up clogging your pipes.

Before you start prepping your next holiday meal, it’s important to know what can and can’t be thrown in the disposal. Food items that should NEVER reach your plumbing system include:

1. Seeds & Pits

7 Things to Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal This Holiday Season1Stones from fruits like avocado or peaches should never be thrown into the garbage disposal. Think of them like wood – their tough exterior could end up damaging your appliance. Seeds should not go down as well, including kernels from popcorn. They are far too solid to make it through your disposal without causing any harm to your plumbing system.

2. Oil & Fat

You might not have any trouble shoving fat into your disposal, but your pipes will definitely have some complaints. Oil and grease build up inside pipes can cause massive clogs. What’s worse is that fat that manage to pass through your pipes can affect the public sewer system. You can dispose of oil and fat properly by freezing it and throwing it in the trash or using it for compost.

3. Onion

Onion has a papery outer skin that can be put in the disposal. Most of the inside of this vegetable is fine as well. However, there is a layer under the papery outer skin that you should avoid throwing into the disposal. It’s a membrane that is thin enough to slip through the appliance without problem, but it has the tendency of getting wedged in the drain, trapping any food that comes after it.

4. Bones

Similar to fruit pits and seeds, large bones have no place in the garbage disposal. Very small bones like fish bones may be fine, but bigger bones are out of the question. The bigger they are, the harder it is to grind them. End even when they are successfully ground up, they can still end up in the bottom of your pipes and potentially lead to clogging.

5. Fibrous Food

Examples of fibrous food are asparagus, corn husks, pumpkin, celery, and so on. These foods have fibers that wrap around the garbage disposal blades, making it harder for them to spin. To prevent disposal problems, fibrous food should be thrown in the trash or used as compost.

The garbage disposal is one of the most hard-working appliances in your home, so think before you flip that disposal switch. It’s meant to get rid of garbage—but not all of it. Certain items are better off thrown away or turned into compost. Avoid putting the above food items inside your disposal for a happy, worry-free holiday season.

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