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What You Should Never Put Down the Garbage Disposal

family-cookingThere are components in your plumbing system that simply cannot be removed from the equation if you want to, well, use a plumbing system. Think of your water line, or the sewer/drainage system. Other parts of the system are options, such as a pot-filler arm at the kitchen or, as we’ll be discussing today, a garbage disposal. While a garbage disposal may not be integral to the overall operation of your plumbing system, it is something that many homeowners would not choose to do without.

Unfortunately, some homeowners that have garbage disposals in place wind up going without them due to misuse. The garbage disposal is a great tool, but it cannot handle anything that you can throw at it. Today we’re going to talk about some of those materials that you should never put down your garbage disposal. Protect your plumbing in Pomona by keeping these tips in mind, and remember to contact The Sunny Plumber SoCal with any questions that you may have.

Fibrous Foodstuffs

When you think of items that may damage your garbage disposal, you may think of very hard items like fruit pits or even a stray utensil that you did not notice fall down the drain. While these items can do damage, you probably don’t equate something like celery stalks with garbage disposal problems. You should, though.

Very fibrous materials, such as celery stalks or corn husks, won’t do damage due to their hardness. However, their fibers can get all wrapped up in the moving mechanism of the garbage disposal. That can strain the system, and continuing to run it with such an obstruction can lead to serious damage. Stick to the compost bin with this type of refuse.

Grains and Starches

Surely your garbage disposal can handle something like cooked rice or pasta, right? Well, you’re partially correct. Your garbage disposal is not going to have a tough time working these materials through the system. Just because your garbage disposal itself is not at risk, though, doesn’t mean you should put them down it.

Such foods are very absorbent, hence the reason for cooking them in water. That means that they can absorb water in your drains, and they will swell up when they do. That can lead to some pretty serious clogs that are best avoided altogether. Again, the compost pile is a much safer destination for such foods.


We give this bit of advice very frequently, but certain things really do bear repeating. Do not let grease, fats, or oil (collectively known as FOG) go down your drains. Don’t pour liquid fats out of pans into the drain. Don’t soak greasy pots without a preliminary wipedown. The less that winds up in the system, the better.

Have you ever stuck a beverage in the freezer to cool it down a bit quicker, only to forget about it and discover the mess later on? Water expands when it freezes, and greases congeal when they cool. If you keep putting liquid fats down your drain, they will eventually lead to a potentially serious clog.

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