Foods to Keep Out of Your Garbage Disposal This 4th of July

4th of July barbecue

Greasy and Oily Foods

Grease and oil might seem harmless when they're hot and liquid, but once they cool down, they can solidify and create a nightmare for your plumbing system. When fats, oils, and grease (often referred to as FOG) are poured down the drain, they can congeal and form a sticky residue inside your pipes. Over time, this residue builds up, leading to clogs and blockages that can be difficult and costly to remove. The science behind this involves the cooling and solidifying of fats, which then combine with other debris in your pipes to form stubborn clogs. This is particularly problematic for garbage disposals, as the blades are not designed to handle the thick, sticky mess that grease and oil create.

Common Greasy Foods to Avoid

During your 4th of July celebrations, it's tempting to dispose of greasy remnants like bacon, sausage, and fried foods down the garbage disposal. However, these items are high in grease and oil, which can wreak havoc on your plumbing system. Bacon grease, for example, is notorious for solidifying quickly and creating tough blockages. Sausages and fried items also contain fats that can coat the inside of your pipes, leading to reduced water flow and potential backups. Instead of using your garbage disposal, consider disposing of greasy foods in a sealed container and throwing them in the trash to prevent plumbing issues.

The Problem with Fibrous Vegetables

Fibrous vegetables such as celery, asparagus, and corn husks are healthy for you, but they can be a nightmare for your garbage disposal. These vegetables have long, stringy fibers that can wrap around the blades of your disposal unit, causing it to jam and malfunction. The mechanics of a garbage disposal involve sharp blades that chop food into small particles, but fibrous materials can tangle around these blades, reducing their efficiency and potentially burning out the motor. This can lead to costly repairs or even the need for a complete replacement of your disposal unit.

Specific Vegetables to Keep Out

For your 4th of July feast, you might be preparing dishes that include corn on the cob, artichokes, and celery. While these vegetables are delicious, they should never be put down the garbage disposal. Corn husks and cobs are particularly problematic due to their tough, fibrous nature. Artichoke leaves and celery stalks can also cause jams and clogs. Instead of using your disposal, consider composting these vegetable scraps or disposing of them in the trash. This will help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and prevent any unexpected plumbing issues during your holiday celebrations.

How Starches Cause Blockages

Starchy foods like pasta, rice, and potatoes can be a hidden danger for your garbage disposal. When these foods come into contact with water, they expand and become sticky, which can lead to significant blockages in your pipes. The chemical process involves the starches absorbing water and swelling, creating a glue-like substance that can adhere to the walls of your plumbing. This sticky residue can trap other food particles, leading to severe clogs that can be difficult to clear. Understanding this process can help you make better decisions about what to put down your disposal.

Examples of Starchy Foods to Avoid

Popular 4th of July dishes like potato salad, macaroni salad, and mashed potatoes should be kept out of your garbage disposal. These foods are rich in starches that can expand and create blockages in your plumbing system. Potato peels, in particular, can form a thick paste that clogs your pipes. Similarly, pasta and rice can swell and stick together, causing significant issues. Instead of using your disposal, scrape these starchy foods into the trash or compost bin. This simple step can save you from the headache of dealing with a clogged disposal and keep your plumbing in top shape.

Why Hard Items Are Dangerous

Hard items can cause serious damage to the blades and motor of your garbage disposal. The disposal unit is designed to handle soft food waste, but hard objects can dull the blades, crack the unit, or even burn out the motor. This type of damage can lead to expensive repairs or the need for a complete replacement. Understanding the types of damage that can occur will help you avoid putting hard items down your disposal and keep it functioning properly.

Specific Items to Keep Out

During your 4th of July celebrations, you might be tempted to dispose of items like bones, fruit pits, and corn cobs in your garbage disposal. However, these hard items should never be put down the disposal. Bones can splinter and damage the blades, while fruit pits and corn cobs are too tough for the disposal to handle. Instead, dispose of these items in the trash or compost bin. By keeping hard items out of your disposal, you can prevent damage and ensure that your unit continues to work efficiently.

Eggshells and Coffee Grounds

Eggshells and coffee grounds are often mistakenly thought to be safe for garbage disposals, but they can actually cause harm. Eggshells can create granular waste that clogs pipes, while coffee grounds can form a thick, sludge-like substance that can block your plumbing. Instead of using your disposal, consider composting these items. This will not only prevent clogs but also provide valuable nutrients for your garden.

Citrus Peels and Onion Skins

Citrus peels and onion skins, while biodegradable, can cause issues for your garbage disposal due to their fibrous nature and acidity. Citrus peels can create a sticky residue, while onion skins can wrap around the blades and cause jams. Instead of using your disposal, consider composting these items. This will help keep your disposal running smoothly and provide a natural way to dispose of kitchen waste.

Enjoy a Worry-Free 4th with Mayes and Sons Plumbing

As you prepare for your 4th of July celebrations, keep these tips in mind to protect your garbage disposal and plumbing system. By avoiding greasy, fibrous, starchy, hard, and miscellaneous items, you can prevent clogs and damage. If you do encounter any garbage disposal issues, Mayes & Sons Plumbing Co. is here to help. Our experienced team can handle any plumbing problem, big or small. Reach out today to schedule a service and keep your plumbing in top shape. Enjoy a worry-free holiday with the peace of mind that your plumbing is in good hands.

Call Mayes and Sons Plumbing now at (330) 366-8653 or send us a message online

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