The Most Common Foods That Can Damage Your Garbage Disposal

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A garbage disposal can make kitchen cleanup pretty easy. Unfortunately, people sometimes get too comfortable with their garbage disposal and try to dispose of things they shouldn't. Putting the wrong foods in your disposal can cause foul smells to linger in your kitchen, can clog your pipes, and can even damage the unit itself. Here's a look at some of the most common foods that can mean trouble for your garbage disposal.

Onions -  The problem here isn't so much the onion but the onion skin. Onion skins can become stuck to the sides of your unit and can easily become wrapped around the blades. If your blades try to spin and have debris wrapped around them, the disposal's motor can burn out.  Since onion and onion skin can be tough to fully separate, it's best to avoid disposing of onions in general.

Eggs and egg shells - Like onions, egg shell membranes can easily gum up the inner workings of a garbage disposal. On top of that, if you have a septic tank, egg shells can not be dissolved and will sit in the tank forever, eventually leading to clogs. Eggs can be messy to cook with, but toss them in your regular garbage can.

Pasta or rice - Both pasta and rice can easily become stuck to the sides and blades of your garbage disposal. This alone isn't necessarily a large problem, but what pasta and rice get wet, they expand. The more they expand, the more other debris they'll trap, and the bigger the clog becomes. 

Coffee grounds - Some people have actually been encouraged to put coffee grounds down a garbage disposal to help with smells. While it may provide a nice scent, coffee grounds can become caught in the disposal's drainage trap and eventually lead to a major clog. Instead of using coffee grounds, throw in some citrus peels like orange or lemon. Your garbage disposal may seem like a grizzled, food chomping monster, but it's actually a fairly sensitive piece of equipment and needs to be handled with care. Of course, even if you do make a point to avoid these foods, things do still break down over time. Repairing a garbage disposal can be a tricky task for an amateur, so it's probably best to trust  professionals with this one. Let pros like Aumenta Plumbing & Heating Co. handle the job, and you'll make sure it's done right the first time.

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