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Don’t Put These Backyard BBQ Foods Down Your Garbage Disposal!

Don’t Put These Backyard BBQ Foods Down Your Garbage Disposal!

Backyard barbeque season has arrived, and you’re ready to get the grill going! It’s important to remember, though, that with barbeques come a lot of foods that are terrible to put down the garbage disposal for a variety of reasons. When cleaning up after your at-home get-together, make sure these foods and food remnants skip the garbage disposal and go directly into the trash or compost pile.

1. Ribs

Bones and garbage disposals do NOT mix. Even though garbage disposals are able to grind a variety of food remnants, hard objects (such as bones or fruit pits) can cause jams or even break your garbage disposal’s components.

Please note: Bones take an extremely long time to break down in compost (literally centuries), so it’s better to dispose of them directly into the trash or through your city’s green waste disposal program.

2. Corn Husks, Silk, and Cobs

While the cooked kernels themselves pose no risk to your garbage disposal, corn husks, corn silk, and corn cobs can cause quite a bit of trouble. The stringiness of corn silk and the fibrous nature of corn husks caused them to get tangled and caught in your garbage disposal’s moving parts. The cob itself is too hard for your garbage disposal to grind and could cause damage to it if forced down.

A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t eat that part of the corn plant, then neither should your garbage disposal.

3. Onion Skins

Onions are tasty when barbequed on a shishkebab, and when chopped or diced, they can be put down your garbage disposal with no worries. However, the outer, unappetizing skins that you peel off of an onion can end up clogging the drain below your garbage disposal’s impellers and trapping other food remnants in the drain along with it.

4. Potatoes

While you’re busy preparing potato salad, your garbage disposal may seem like a handy place to toss the skins. While a few small pieces won’t harm your garbage disposal, a whole potato salad’s worth of skins can cause major problems. Similarly to onion skins, potato skins can slip below the grinding impellers in a garbage disposal and make it to the drain line, where they start to collect the food remnants that come down and form a clog.

Even skinned potatoes can cause issues as well. Potatoes are extremely starchy, which can cause them to form a paste inside your garbage disposal that makes the impellers stick. If you have a lot of leftover potato salad that you don’t want after everyone has gone home, a neighbor will appreciate it much more than your garbage disposal!

5. Celery Stalks

Celery is a stringy, fibrous vegetable. When chopped up, your garbage disposal can gobble it up just fine, but if you try to feed a stalk or long stick of celery to your garbage disposal, your poor appliance may experience a little “indigestion.” Celery’s stringiness can cause it to get caught around the rotating impellers, making them jam.

6. Grease

Grease that is used for cooking or that is produced from cooking should never be put down a garbage disposal or any drain. Grease cools off as it travels down your drain, where it then solidifies and can cause clogs. Washing grease down with hot water may seem to help, but in reality, you might only help the grease make it even further into your plumbing system and cause a clog where it’s harder to reach.

Don’t let a broken garbage disposal disrupt your game plan! Contact MVP Plumbing for repair service if your garbage disposal is:

  • Emitting a bad smell

  • Leaking

  • Draining slowly

  • Jammed

  • Emitting a bad smell


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