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Serving the Olympia, WA area since 1994



How Not to Treat Your Kitchen Sink

Monday, June 22nd, 2020 at 11:00 am

woman-and-little-girl-washing-veggies-at-kitchen-sinkHave you ever tried to throw a banana peel down the drain, hoping your garbage disposal will grind it up? You might have been unpleasantly surprised…

Garbage disposal systems certainly are very convenient and easy to use, but they were not designed to chew up all types of garbage or uneaten scraps. In fact, there are quite a few things that homeowners throw down their kitchen sink that could damage the garbage disposal or even the drain itself.

So, we thought we’d provide you with a little guide below about what it is that shouldn’t go down your kitchen sink. 

Hard Foods

Hard foods go first on the list because homeowners often mistakenly believe that garbage disposals can handle them. This might include fruit pits, meat bones, or pretty much anything that can’t be chewed. Even things like popcorn kernels should be thrown in the trash instead of down your kitchen sink drain.

Paper or Plastic Products

You definitely shouldn’t be putting actual garbage down the disposal system and kitchen drain. Materials like paper and plastic can create significant damage to the grinder blades and cause serious blockages.

Your Hands

Is your garbage disposal jammed up? Turn off the switch and the power going to the unit before you try to remove anything from the sink drain with your hands. This can be very dangerous. While garbage disposal impellers are not sharp, the centrifugal force in which they spin can severely hurt your hands.

Fibrous Foods, Egg Shells, or Potato Skins

If you’ve ever gone to sweep cooking leftovers into the sink, you’re like many other homeowners out there. But what if your cooking leftovers include fibrous foods like celery, or egg shells and potato skins? These things can definitely jam up your garbage disposal, and even if they don’t they can create clogs in your drainpipes.


FOG stands for liquid Fats, Oils, and Grease, and they should never be put down your kitchen sink drain. FOG won’t hurt your garbage disposal. What it does is cools off and then hardens within the sink drain. This creates a waxy sludge that just keeps building up until it causes a sever clog or blockage.

Rice and Pasta

Rice and pasta are two more things that won’t hurt the disposal system, but can definitely create a clog. Since these foods expand with water, as they go down your drain they can expand and build up into a blockage.

Coffee Grounds

Sure, coffee grounds might seem harmless—they’re small, after all. But these particles gather and settle in your pipes, and are easily caught by substances like fat or grease inside your drainpipes.

“So, What Can I Put Down My Garbage Disposal?”

There’s plenty!

  • Non-fibrous vegetable scraps
  • Citrus peels
  • Non-fibrous fruit scraps
  • Soft foods like yogurt or applesauce
  • Small pieces of meat without any bones in it

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber for more information about your garbage disposal and how to best care for your kitchen sink. Knowing the difference between what can and can’t go down this drain could save you a headache and money!

For quality Olympia plumbing services, contact Brooks Plumbing Co. today!

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