Last Sunday I was making a big dinner for my family that included crock pot roasted chicken, steamed broccoli, and mashed potatoes. I usually peel the potatoes in a bowl and toss out the peelings somewhere else. But the bowls I use were dirty so I decided to peel the potatoes and let the garbage disposal take care of it. Before I knew it my kitchen sink plumbing was clogged and I was calling a plumber to fix our sink. This story is the inspiration for the tips that I wrote here in this post.
I teamed up with emergency plumbing specialists from Academy Mechanical in Edmonton to get together a list of things that absolutely cannot go down a kitchen sink. Just because a kitchen sink has a garbage disposal unit does not mean the device is able to grind every food scrap.
Tip One: Vegetable Peelings
While it may seem easy to place potato peelings in the garbage disposal unit or kitchen drain, these food scraps cause a hard clog. If you are peeling vegetables over the kitchen sink, then place a colander over the drain to catch the scraps before tossing the items in a trash can.
Tip Two: Coffee Grounds
Place coffee grounds in a trash bag, instead of a kitchen drain or garbage disposal. Coffee grounds do not degrade or dissolve quickly, leading to the debris remaining inside the curved pipes under the sink. The debris from coffee grounds is highly acidic, causing corrosion inside the pipes.
Tip Three: Corn Cobs
Never place a corn cob or its silks inside a kitchen’s sink’s garbage disposal unit. The silky strands on ears of corn will wrap around the blades of the garbage disposal, causing it to stop working. Alternatively, the corn cobs are too large and tough for the disposal, leading to blades breaking.
Tip Four: Pasta
While tiny amounts of pasta left on a plate may easily go through a kitchen drain, a large amount is likely to clog the pipe. This is because pasta absorbs moisture quickly, causing the food to swell. The result is a gummy clog that makes it impossible for water to flow down the drain.
Tip Five: Eggshells
You should put eggshells in a trash can to avoid clogging a drain or breaking a garbage disposal’s blades. Eggshells will fill a drain’s trap, causing a blockage that prevents water from flowing through the pipes. The result is a kitchen sink that overflows, requiring a repair.
Tip Six: Bones
Any type of bones must never go inside a kitchen’s garbage disposal or drain. Bones break the garbage disposal blades or cause the blades to stop grinding. When this happens, never place your hands in the device because it can cause an injury.
Tip Seven: Eating Utensils
Use caution to avoid inserting spoons, forks or knives into the garbage disposal or drain, while rinsing or washing dishes. Metallic or plastic utensils can break the internal structures of a kitchen sink or cause a blockage.