We've all had that wonderful moment where we realize we've pushed our garbage disposal too far.  It's not working... it's not going to start working... and sometimes we think maybe it'll never work again.  You can shove a lot down a disposal but there are a few items that land on The Family Handy Man's hit list that we've all had an issue with here in Idaho.


COFFEE GROUNDS

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The story surrounding coffee grounds getting chopped up in your garbage disposal is that it creates a soothing, relaxing, nice smell in your home.  It actually can reduce odors for the short term but the long term damage you're causing is not worth it.  Coffee grounds turn into a dense, thick, pasty wad which is exactly what you do not want going through your disposal lines.

 


BONES

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Lord knows we love some chicken wings here in Idaho.  My favorite is hitting up Buffalo Wild Wings in the Fall when BSU's got a game going on.  Make sure you toss your bones in the trash not the disposal because as good as your disposal is at grinding up waste and sending it into the abyss, it is not designed to grind up hard items and bones land in this hard item category.

An occasional chicken or fish bone should b fine but if you're shoving a rack of ribs down the pipeline... you're in for trouble.

 


TRASH

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I know what you're thinking.  Really?  Someone dumps their entire trash down the disposal.  Crazy enough but yes, people do.  And dumping your trash in there is a no win situation.  Even if you know exactly what's in your trash you don't know exactly what's in your trash.  Does that make sense?  You're thinking it was just bananas, some veggies and a few potato chips but your mind forgets about that one paper towel or candy wrapper or who knows what else.  Yes, it's called a garbage disposal but please stop putting your garbage in there.

 


POTATO PEELS

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You knew this one would land on the list.  It's surprisingly not #1 but it's right up there.  I have personal experience with this one when I was at my sister's house for Thanksgiving and someone had the bright idea of shoving pounds and pounds of potato peels down the disposal.  Not only did the garbage disposal seize up but nasty water started bubbling up through the bathtubs and other areas in the house.  Took four of us guys about five hours to fix the problem.

Potato peels are thin enough to slip by the disposal and then catching in the drain.  As other items come down they get caught up on the potato and it's a chain reaction effect that ends up with nothing able to get through.  A few potato peels should be o.k. but more than that, you're playing with fire.

 


PASTA

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Past expands when you put it into water.  When you shove it into your disposal it does the same thing because... here's the shocker... you run water through the disposal when turning it on.  This means the past will expand and keep expanding so parts of it may make it through small areas that would usually catch the pasta in and then it expands clogging up your system so nothing else can get through.

Like most items a small amount of pasta should be fine but if you're shoving the entire casserole nobody ate down the drain, look out.  Trouble's coming.