3 Myths that May Clog or Break Your Garbage Disposal

Posted on: 27 February 2017

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Home cleaning remedies are usually passed down word-of-mouth by people you know or by articles that you might read online. But how do you know that this advice is sound?

It is easy to think that the cleaning methods used in our homes are logical and right because that is always the way it's been done. Take your garbage disposal, for instance. Managing what goes down the disposal is one of those things that people do every day and don't think twice about it since they "know" how to run it.

So what is "myth" about using disposals? What you put into the disposal may not be good for it at all. In fact, keep a licensed plumber on speed dial, because that load of uncooked potato skins just run through it may eventually lead to needing a whole new unit. Here's a few common disposal myths that you should know before you send anything else down your sink:

Myth: Running water down your disposal while it is on makes the food go through your disposal system more efficiently.

It depends on the food. Eggshells, corn silk, pumpkin, lettuce, banana and potato peels can actually cause your garbage disposal to clog up your pipes at the u-joint or cause the internal machinations that cut up your food to break off. Disposals can't always cut up peelings enough to rinse them away causing their remnants to build up. It's gravity at work.

Peelings tend to settle at the bottom of pipe joints. Peelings can also cause your disposal grinding blades to dull. You will need to cut them very small and mix them with water before running them through your disposal.

Corn silk and pumpkin innards can actually wrap around your disposal's blades and choke off the grinding process causing your disposal to break.

Myth: Lemon is your garbage disposal's best cleaner.

Lemon makes your disposal smell great if you like the smell of lemon. It may be acidic, but it won't clean your unit. Just throwing lemon juice down your drain "deodorizing" it for about five minutes. You need a commercial cleaner for that. Cleaning a disposal requires unplugging it and cleaning the blades.

Myth: Running chicken bones through the disposal will help keep the blades sharp.

Chicken bones splinter and don't retain enough hardness to keep your disposal blades sharpened. They can actually harm your system by dulling your blades, not sharpening them. It's best just to throw them in the trash can.

You can add life to your disposal by throwing peelings, bones and anything "hairy" into the trash—and that's a fact. To learn more or receive proper assistance, contact a licensed plumber.