A garbage disposal serves the function of breaking down food particles or waste into tiny pieces so that they pass through the plumbing system. Obviously, that doesn’t mean that you can put any kind of food material to pass through it. Certain kinds of food material are not suitable to be passed through the machine as they are too big or very hard. So, what food can go in garbage disposal?
As a general rule, we can safely throw into garbage disposal all kinds of soft organic materials that can be easily ground into small parts and rinsed into the sewage system. Some of these food items include:
– ice cubes
– aerated drinks or any kind of liquid material
– coffee grounds
– citrus rinds
– fruit and vegetable scraps
– smaller-sized bones
– cooked meat scraps
– dish soap
What can you throw in the garbage disposal?
Many food items are suitable to be put down in a garbage disposal unit. Some food items like citrus rinds prove to be beneficial for the garbage disposal unit as they help in naturally cleansing the unit. Apart from cleaning your garbage disposal unit, citrus rinds also help in making it smell fresh and pleasant.
Leftover meat scraps are also safe to be put through a garbage disposal unit. Just make sure they are not too big and you do not put a large amount at one go. While large animal bones could prove to be harmful to the disposal unit, they can process smaller-sized bones. Ideally, you should not throw away animal bones in the garbage disposable unit but if a small bone went through it unknowingly, you shouldn’t be too worried about it.
Here’s a list of things you can safely put in a garbage disposal unit:
Ice cubes are no problem for garbage disposals. They can be thrown there without a problem.
Aerated drinks or any kind of liquid material
Any kind of liquid material would help in cleansing the garbage disposal unit. The only thing you need to make sure of is that you don’t throw in the box in which the liquid material comes in.
Putting a very small amount of coffee grounds inside the disposal unit should be fine. If you put in a large amount though, it will create a lump inside the machine and result in getting jammed.
Citrus rinds are not very thick in size and putting them through a garbage disposal unit helps in cleaning it up and adding a refreshing smell to it.
Fruit and vegetable scraps
The scraps of many varieties of fruits and vegetables are fine to be put through a garbage disposal unit. However, the outer layers of a few of them are not recommended to be put in. Onion skins and potato peels are not made for garbage disposals.
Smaller-sized bones, if not too hard, can be put through a garbage disposal unit without any concern.
Cooked meat scraps
Cooked meat scraps, which have been left over after finishing up the plates, could be put in the garbage disposal unit. However, you should not throw a large number of meat scraps together. Also, make sure the pieces that you are about to put in the garbage disposal unit are very small in size.
You can use dish soap to clean the garbage disposal unit the same way you use it to wash any other kitchen utensil. However, if you are thinking about throwing the dish soap away, get a garbage can.
Can you throw food down the garbage disposal?
You can throw food down the garbage disposal. Just be a little mindful about the kind of food you are putting down in the garbage disposal system. Food waste that are easy to be broken down into multiple pieces such as citrus rinds, ice cubes, fruit scraps, small bones, etc. could be thrown down the garbage disposal system without any worry.(Recommended article: “The Best Garbage Disposals on the Market In 2021“)
What should not be put in a disposal?
Waste material that is either very large or extremely hard on the surface shouldn’t be put down through garbage disposal. When I had newly installed a garbage disposal unit at home, I ended up putting shrimp shells in it and that caused a lot of damage to the machine. I called up a technician and managed to get the machine repaired but had to go through a lot of hassle because of it.
Some of the other food materials that should be kept away from the garbage system include potato peels, asparagus, onion skins, grease, nuts, pasta, rice, corn husks and large bones. These items should be put in a trash bin. To know more about what should not be put in the garbage disposal, refer to the article on ‘Things you should never put down a modern garbage disposal’. (Recommended article: “What Should Not Be Put in a Garbage Disposal?“)
Is it better to throw food away or use garbage disposal?
In my opinion, the garbage can is a much better option for disposing waste when compared to the garbage disposal unit. However, it also depends on the kind of waste material you intend to put through the disposal unit. Food is fine-grained and liquefied in the disposal machine and then sent to the water treatment plant through the drainage pipes and the septic system. Water treatment plants use fine-grained food scraps as fertilizer. So, using a garbage disposal is the most sustainable method of disposing wasted food material.
However, there is an important thing that you must remember here. The garbage disposable machine is not suitable for disposing all kinds of food material. Food material that is hard or coarse and cannot be easily shredded should not be put through a garbage disposal unit as it could result in clogging or worse, damaging the machine. For such waste material, it would be advisable to use a conventional garbage can.
What happens to food put down the garbage disposal?
Once you put food down the garbage disposal, it gets shredded into very fine pieces, passes through a drainage pipe system and finally lands up in a local wastewater treatment plant. The plant then converts the waste matter into fertilizer or some other form which can prove to be beneficial for some industry. I prefer using the garbage disposal unit for most food-related items as I feel happy that the waste is getting recycled and not adding to the waste in our surroundings.
Is it bad to put food in the garbage disposal?
It’s not bad to put food in the garbage disposal but there are a few things you have to be cautious about. Don’t put large chunks of food material in the garbage disposal unit. Keep the cold water running and put food into the garbage disposal in small quantities. This will ensure that the food scraps run down smoothly across the drain pipes and the plumbing system. Don’t put expandable food items like rice and pasta through the garbage disposal. Putting hard material like shrimp shells can cause damage to the pipes and the blades.
Can you put orange peels in the garbage disposal?
Orange peels can be put in the garbage disposal as long as they have been chopped into very fine pieces. Putting orange peels through the garbage disposal system also helps in cleaning the machine well. Orange peels also contribute towards reducing the grease and fat build-up on the various parts of the machine and can produce a fresh and pleasant smell.
Can you put bread in a garbage disposal?
Bread is known to break up into several pieces easily and it also manages to dissolve in the water pretty fast. Because of these reasons, it is considered quite safe to put bread in a garbage disposal. However, you have to make sure that you run a large amount of water while putting the bread in a garbage disposal so that there is no chance of it fermenting into a paste and clogging the machine. I eat bread often but largely use the trash bin to dispose the waste resulting out of it.
Can I put watermelon rinds in a garbage disposal?
It would be advisable to put watermelon rinds in a trash can. The rind of a watermelon is its green-colored skin which, as you would know, is quite hard. Once you put it down a garbage disposal, it would be difficult to shred it into smaller pieces. It will end up jamming the machine and that is something you would like to avoid. When you eat watermelon, you are bound to collect a lot of rinds. You must put them in the dustbin and not in the garbage disposal machine.
Can you put tangerine peels in garbage disposal?
You can put tangerine peels in garbage disposal but before that, cut them into very small pieces so that they don’t get clogged or jammed in the machine.
Can you put lemon rinds in garbage disposal?
Though not as large as watermelon rinds, lemon rinds are quite hard too and the kind that the disposal unit will find it difficult to break down into smaller pieces. By putting them in garbage disposal, you would end up creating the risk of your machine getting damaged. A garbage disposal machine is not the right place to throw these items in.
Can I pour yogurt down a garbage disposal?
Yes, you can. It is a liquid substance and is safe to be poured down a garbage disposal system. In fact, if you are facing a blockage or a clog in your garbage disposal system, pouring yogurt through it would be a very good idea as it would help in cleaning the system and getting rid of the waste that is creating the jam inside it.
Is it OK to pour boiling water down a garbage disposal?
It is not okay to pour boiling water down a garbage disposal machine while the grinding process is going on. However, there is no harm in running hot water through it after you have finished using the disposal system. If you want to run water during the grinding process, then make sure the water is cold and not warm.
Do you have to empty a garbage disposal?
If you want to ensure that your garbage disposal doesn’t let out any kind of offensive odor, then you must empty your garbage disposal. This is why it has been recommended to keep the disposal unit clean at all times. I make it a point to empty my garbage disposal after every single use. Even if a very little amount of garbage remains inside the garbage disposal for a long period, there is a high chance of you having to suffer from a stinking smell.
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