Before you swipe all those eggshells or potato skins off your cutting board and into your kitchen sink, assuming that your garbage disposal will take care of it, we encourage you to read this blog post!
Although the garbage disposal system in your kitchen sink is really convenient and easy to use, it does have its limitations, which are often found during the holidays. In fact, the holiday season is the busiest time of year for us plumbers! We get more plumbing repair calls–specifically, clogged drain repair or garbage disposal repair calls–in November and December than any other time of the year.
Before you start prepping for that holiday meal, let’s uncover some different kinds of prep work that doesn’t get enough attention–learning what should not go down your kitchen sink this holiday season.
Don’t Invite These Items Into Your Sink and Have a Happier Holiday!
Let’s discuss FOG first. FOG stands for fats, oils, and grease. The problem with these common cooking byproducts that seem harmless enough is that they harden as they cool down. This means that if you pour FOG from a pan or cooking appliance, it’s going to cool as it’s going down the drain, harden up, and stick to the lining of your drain pipe. So anything else that goes down your drain is just going to start building up until you have a really stubborn clog, and you need to call a plumber.
Next, let’s talk food items that shouldn’t go down your sink drain. At this point, you might be scratching your head and wondering why on earth you can’t put any food items down your kitchen sink drain. Isn’t that what the garbage disposal system is designed to handle?
Your garbage disposal is good for many things–non-fibrous veggie or fruits scraps leftover from cooking a dish for a small family, citrus peels, soft foods. These are all okay. What your garbage disposal cannot help you with is:
Meat Bones or Fruit Pits
Garbage disposal systems are pretty powerful, but there’s a bit of a misconception about the blades. These impeller blades aren’t sharp, and they aren’t powerful enough to actually cut through things like meat bones or the pit from fruits.
If these items do make it through the garbage disposal system and into your kitchen sink drain, you then risk them getting lodged into the kitchen sink drainpipe, where they’ll cause problems still.
Rice, Coffee Grounds, or Pasta
Wondering what these all have in common? They all expand with water. They may seem like really benign food items, and they will not damage your garbage disposal. But your garbage disposal can’t help you much if too much of this is going down the drain at once. Like with FOG, you can be left with a stubborn clog that just keeps building up.
Excessive Potato Skins or Eggshells
We mention these food byproducts because even beyond the holiday season, they are very common culprits of drain clogs. Homeowners assume their garbage disposals will break everything up, but if there is enough it can actually jam up the garbage disposal system and damage it, plus clog up your kitchen sink drain.