It is true that garbage disposals are convenient when cleaning up and getting rid of food waste, but they are not designed to dispose of every possible piece of scrap generated in a typical kitchen. The following lists provide information on what is safe to put down a garbage disposal and what you should get rid of another way.
Safe for Disposal
- Small meat scraps: Cooked meat scraps and similar leftovers can be easily handled by a disposal.
- Small bones and egg shells: These can be easily broken up by most household garbage disposals.
- Fruit and vegetable scraps: Extra pieces of most fruits and vegetables are ok for putting down a disposal.
- Citrus peels: Orange peels and other citrus rinds can help clean and deodorize the disposal.
- Coffee grounds: As long as you don’t put a lot of coffee grounds down the disposal at once, they should go through the machinery with no problem.
Not Safe for Disposal
- Fibrous fruit and vegetable waste: Fibrous waste from certain types of fruits and vegetables can get tangled in the disposals blades and cause damage. This type of waste includes banana peels, celery, corn husks, and onion skins.
- Large bones or fragments: Garbage disposals can’t break up large pieces of bone. They are likely to cause damage to the blades instead.
- Nuts: Nuts, such as peanuts, will be ground up by the garbage disposal blades, but they may turn into a peanut-buttery clog instead of being sent down the drain.
- Grease: Grease down the garbage disposal drain will accumulate over time and turn into a thick, unpleasant clog that’s hard to break up.
- Fruit and vegetable rinds: Some types of fruit and vegetable rinds, such as artichoke leaves and watermelon rinds, are too tough to be broken up by the disposal’s blades.
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