Don’t Put Anything Down Your Garbage Disposal: Unpacking Our Viral TikTok
Why did a Prime Plumbing TikTok and Instagram Reel about garbage disposals go viral? Because people were shocked to learn that their garbage disposal is not an alternative to their trash can. If you’re like most people, you regularly stuff leftover foods into the disposal and grind away. Those leftovers may include chunks of meat, vegetables, fruit peels, pasta, and more. So, isn’t grinding up unwanted food waste the whole purpose of a garbage disposal? Our plumbers resoundingly say “NO”! When the social team asked our plumbers, “What is one thing you should never put down your garbage disposal?” their answers — which included surprising choices like rice, eggshells, starchy foods, and the sweeping declaration of “everything” — sparked some hilariously heated debates. And we got a kick out of it.
The Number One Question: Why Even Have One?Thousands of people and several news outlets, including the Today show, reacted to our TikTok. To help satisfy the curiosity of their audience, TODAY.com contributor Joseph Lamour asked Adam Hauf, Prime Plumbing’s operations manager, to clarify the purpose of a garbage disposal. Hauf explained your garbage disposal is meant to handle the small bits of food residue left on a dish AFTER it’s been scraped into a trash receptacle. Once the dish is scraped, the garbage disposal — and the pipes — can easily handle the remaining bits you wash from it.
Why Not Starches?Starchy debris like rice and grease tend to clump together when they’re cold. Even after you run the scraps through the garbage disposal, pieces stick together and adhere to your pipes as they move through the drainage system. As the buildup continues, the drainage opening becomes smaller and smaller, leading to a slow and eventually clogged drain.
Common Garbage Disposal MisconceptionsA false misconception about cleaning disposals is using eggshells to sharpen the blades. Not egg-actly! Rotten eggs stink, and the egg membranes can dry and clog the impeller/rotor. Another myth is adding lemon peels to remove foul odors. While the skin smells fresh briefly, it can stick to the sides and cause drain clogs. Other misconceptions include:
Chopped OnionsNo, the thin outer layer can miss the disposal blades and wedge in the drain. Instead, throw the excess waste in the trash.
Potato PeelsNo, peels can stack in your disposal, block other food waste, and create unpleasant clogs. Next time, dump the peels in the trash or use them as compost.
Chemical CleanersYes and no. Pouring industrial cleaners in your sink can temporarily unclog it but can corrode your pipes and lead to costly repair work. An alternative is a natural baking soda and vinegar mixture – and it’s chemical-free!
The Bottom LineEven though your garbage disposal may be powerful enough to handle all the food and associated debris you throw down there, your pipes will eventually suffer. To avoid slow-moving drains and gross clogs in your kitchen sink, thoroughly scrape food particles from dishes before washing them in the sink, and don’t throw ANYTHING else down there! Tip: If you’ve already violated this golden rule, try using ice, cold water, and lemon juice to clean your disposal to mitigate odors from food particles stuck on the blades after use.
Why Choose Prime Plumbing?Don’t let plumbing repairs drain your wallet! Prime Plumbing offers upfront prices, several online specials, Prime Partner discounts, and flexible financing. From faucet and sink replacements to pipe repair, our background-checked plumbing professionals are at your disposal. Save time, call Prime! With NO overtime charges, schedule a garbage disposal repair in Baltimore. Call Prime at (443) 741-1129.
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