Garbage disposals are a great convenience, but they are not designed to handle every kitchen scrap.
The blades and motors in garbage disposals are intended to grind up small quantities of food into particles so they can be flushed through the drain. Clogged or damaged garbage disposals are among the top reasons for maintenance calls in Chicago apartments, and knowing what not to put down the garbage disposal can save time, stress and money.
Garbage Disposal No-Nos
In addition to obvious things like utensils and fingers, the following items should not be placed in your garbage disposal:
Bones: Disposal blades and motors are not strong enough to effectively break down bones from beef, chicken, pork and lamb; bones can get caught in the garbage disposal and damage the blade or burn out the motor
Coffee grounds: Grounds are often unable to pass through the garbage disposal and drainage pipe and end up stuck in the disposal trap, where they can clog the drain
Egg shells: The membranes on the interior of egg shells can wrap around the disposal blade, damaging the blade or causing the drain to clog
Fruit pits and seeds: Large pits and seeds from fruits like apricots, peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, avocados and mangoes can harm the disposal blade and lead to a clogged drain
Fruit and vegetable peels: Banana peels, corn husks and potato peels can become tangled around disposal blades, clog the drain and cause damage to the disposal
Grease, oil and fat: As they cool, grease, oils and fats can solidify around the disposal blades and block the drain; there are easy and environmentally friendly ways to dispose of used cooking grease
Pasta and rice: Starchy foods like rice and pasta can expand with water, making them difficult for the disposal to grind up and leading to the disposal trap clogging
Proper Garbage Disposal Use
Keeping your garbage disposal cleanand functional is easy if you keep a few additional tips in mind:
Use cold water when running your disposal; cold water helps food break apart more easily and prevents accumulation of food buildup on the blades
Add small quantities of scraps at a time and let the food clear before you add more
Leave the disposal running until you hear the food clear
Let the water run for an additional 15 or 20 seconds after you turn off the disposal
If you see clogging or something sounds lodged in the garbage disposal, turn it off immediately
If you’re looking for a great Chicago apartment in the desirable Gold Coast, Lakeview, Lincoln Park or Wrigleyville communities, please contact Planned Property Management today. We are devoted to improving the experience of finding, living and renting in Chicago’s best neighborhoods, and we offer 24-hour, live-in maintenance among other amenities.