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Agentis Plumbing Blog

Don’t throw that down there: How to keep the garbage disposal clog-free during the holidays

Posted by Agentis on Nov 20, 2018 3:28:13 PM

With the fall season upon us, the holidays are right around the corner. And that means  meals with family and friends. 

When you’ve got family visiting for a few days, you’ll likely be cooking, eating and cleaning up together. And that can open up the possibility of having one or more family members put something that can cause a clog into the garbage disposal. 

It can also bring about an uncomfortable discussion when your guests tell you that they always throw this stuff down their disposal and never have a problem. 

Prepare yourself before their arrival – and put the power of professional plumbing advice behind your case. 

Here are ten things that should never be thrown into the disposal.

Fried-Chicken-Bones

Learn how a garbage disposal works.


1. Grease from Animal Fats

The lamb was great, but the grease that dripped into the bottom of the pan has now hardened into a white waxy substance. You may have heard that the liquid can go down and will pass through without a problem, but where does it end up when will turns white and waxy? Your disposal or your pipes where it can adhere and start a bad buildup. 

While animal fat is in liquid form, carefully pour it into a can, let it congeal, and then throw it away. 

2. Fibrous Vegetables

Maybe you’ve heard that they can get ground up just fine and go down the pipe. But high fiber content can become stringy when it hits the disposal blades and get wrapped around them or jam them. Why risk it? It’s a much better idea to compost or dispose vegetable and fruit remains. 

3. Potato Peels

It’s getting to be mashed potato season and that means that peels can end up in your disposal. Bad idea. These starchy shavings can create a major clog in your disposal. 

4. Coffee Grounds

Your mom got up early and made coffee – then dumped the grounds into the sink. Now you’ve got a massive clog to deal with as you gently explain that even though she does it at home, you prefer to keep those in the compost or trash to avoid a clog. 

5. Eggshells

Your aunt made eggs for the family. Delicious. And then you notice the disposal filled with the shells. “Oh, they’re soft,” she explains. “I do it all the time.” Throw them away or compost and avoid any potential problems. Residual eggs whites stick to everything and can create a problem. 

6. Pasta, Rice

Guess what happens to pasta or rice that sits in your disposal or pipes? It turns gooey and soft, and then when it hardens it sticks to the sides of – well, everything. Remember what happens when to a piece of pasta that sits in a colander and dries? It practically feels like plastic as it attaches. Imagine that stuck to your pipes or on a disposal blade. Or a batch of it. Compost or trash please. 

7. Seafood Shells

The shrimp was delicious but now the disposal is jammed with the shells that were left after it was peeled. Trash or compost. 

8. Small Bones

Chicken bones can be small but they should not be thrown in the disposal. Even if you hear that they generally can pass through without a problem, don’t believe it. They can easily get stuck under blades and create an issue. Trash or compost. 

9. Poultry Skin

Whether the skin comes off after you cook it or before, do not throw it in the disposal. It’s fatty and rubbery and can create a big problem in your drain. Enjoy the turkey, chicken and duck, but throw the skin that does not get consumed into the trash or compost. 

10. Stickers from Produce

There are stickers all over our produce and it often gets overlooked and thrown into the disposal with the vegetable or fruit remains (which should not be put in here in the first place!). But the stickers, well – they stick – to pipes or disposal blades. That’s a problem. Garbage or compost. 

So, enjoy your fall cooking and holidays and avoid the clogs by watching what is put into the disposal. 

If you do have a clog, give us a call – the experts at Agentis are happy to help. And we’ll even back you up and explain to your guests that – when in doubt – simply toss it out. 

Keep your disposal and drains running smoothly!

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Topics: Plumbing, holidays, Garbage Disposal

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As a second generation family owned business, Agentis Plumbing has served Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and the entire Lehigh Valley since 1954. Through our family-owned and operated full-service plumbing and drain cleaning Mr. Rooter franchise, we offer courteous and prompt service by fully uniformed, skilled technicians, providing emergency plumbing services with no extra charge for nights, weekend, or holidays.

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