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A homeowner peeling vegetables in the sink.

Holidays Foods That Should Be Kept Away From Your Garbage Disposal

The holiday season is approaching! Time is truly flying by and before you know it, the heavy traffic in your kitchen to prepare the holiday meals will be here. The holiday season comes with cooking, baking, family gatherings, and the aesthetically pleasing holiday-themed table settings, but it also comes with a lot of post-meal chores, like doing the dishes.

After you and your guests are happily stuffed with the excellent holiday meal prepared by yours truly, it’s time for the cleanup, which many of us dread. Before you start dumping all of the leftovers down the garbage disposal, here’s a list of holiday foods that should be kept away from the drain and are better off thrown in the trash can.

Turkey Bones

This might be obvious, but you should never put any type of meat bone down the garbage disposal. So, for turkey day, make sure you throw those bones in the trash. You might think smaller bones are fine to go down the disposal, but think again. Smaller bones can get stuck further down your drain, while larger bones are the perfect way to ruin your disposal’s impeller blades.

Pasta and Rice

Did you know starches expand when they are met with water? Hence why rice and pasta always come out in larger portions after they are boiled. If you throw any type of starch, like pasta, rice, or other grains, down the garbage disposal, they will expand and cause a clog in your drains. You’re better off throwing the corn, rice, and both the sweet and mashed potatoes in tupperware or the trash can.

Egg Shells

Again, this one might be obvious, but egg shells should never go down your disposal. A lot of holiday dishes, specifically the desserts, have recipes that require eggs, but just toss those shells in the trash. The tiny shells can end up clogging your drain and will be very difficult to wash down.

Grease and Oil

What’s turkey without gravy? While this combination is great for the holidays, the grease leftover from the turkey or even your Christmas ham should never be washed down your drain. The same goes for the gravy and any melted butter that was used for cooking. Grease, fats, and cooking oils harden when they cool down, meaning they will harden inside your pipes and create a blockage if put down the disposal.

Pro tip: Allow the oils to cool down and then pour them into a non-recyclable bottle. Toss the bottle in the garbage can.

Stringy Vegetables

Have you ever bitten into a piece of asparagus or a green bean and the stringy nature of the vegetable got stuck in your teeth? The same goes for your garbage disposal when you wash these foods down it. The vegetables will wrap around your disposal’s blades, preventing it from doing its job correctly. These are some common stringy veggies that should keep away from your disposal:

  • Green beans
  • Celery
  • Asparagus
  • Artichokes
  • Kale
  • Onions

Pits and Seeds

The holiday season is the season of pumpkins and peach cobbler, but keep those seeds and peach pits away from your disposal. Although pumpkin seeds are small, they can cause a clog further down your drain line, while peach pits will immediately destroy your disposal’s blades.

Potato Peels

Homemade mashed potatoes are a great side dish for holiday dinners, but once you’re done peeling the potatoes, throw the peels away. Yes, they will clog your drain, but they will also twist around your garbage disposal’s blades. The same goes for other vegetable peels. If you’re baking homemade banana bread for dessert, think twice before you go to grind up the banana peels in your disposal.

At Bobby's Plumbing, Inc., we know how much of a luxury your home’s garbage disposal is, so it’s important you’re taking proper care of it. If you’ve accidentally put one of the above foods down your disposal and it stopped working, don’t worry! Just give us a call at (772) 248-0476 and we’ll be right out to repair it.