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What Not to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal and Toilets

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Posted November 3, 2022
What not to put in your toilet or garbage disposal

What do your garbage disposal and toilet have in common? Both are great at getting rid of waste. What else do they have in common? Both have limits on what they can flush away. What’s so great about Air Specialist A/C Heating Plumbing & More of Houston? We now offer plumbing services in addition to our A/C and heating specialties. Our local plumbers will help you deal with clogs and other plumbing problems. But we prefer to help you avoid these potential catastrophes in the first place. Read on to find out what waste products are better suited for the trash can.

Garbage disposal don’ts

Garbage disposals are a convenient method of taking care of the bits and pieces left in your sink after you prepare a meal or rinse off your dishes afterward. Just flip a switch, and the mess goes down the drain. That’s great for food scraps and that leftover chicken salad sitting in the refrigerator well past its expiration date. But certain foods should never go down the garbage disposal, or you’ll risk a smelly, clogged sink or a broken blade:

  • Coffee grounds are often touted as a natural remedy for garbage disposal smells. Unfortunately, they can accumulate into densely packed sediment in your drain.
  • Eggshells are another product that enjoys good PR for keeping your disposal blades sharp. However, the membranes inside the shells can become wrapped around your disposal blade, causing stinky problems.
  • Fibrous vegetables like celery or pumpkins get tangled around the disposal grinder.
  • Pasta, rice, or oatmeal seem like good fits for the garbage disposal, but think about what these have in common – they expand with water. If remnants are left behind after the initial rinse, they could double in size and become an obstruction.
  • Bones can be a formidable foe for your garbage disposal. They’re harder than they look and can often get caught spinning in an endless cycle.
  • Pits like avocado and peach pits are, well, the pits. Have you ever tried to cut an avocado pit in two with a kitchen knife? Your garbage disposal is going to have the same result.
  • Onion skins and potato peels are tricky. Chunks of onions or potatoes left over from your beef stew prep work will easily go down the disposal. But the thinner onion skins and potato peels can miss the blades or become wrapped around your disposal.
  • Grease, oil, and fat seem like they’d go down fine in their liquid state. Once they become solid, though, they can clog your disposal and lead to bigger problems.

Stay out of the toilet

It may be easier to list what you can flush down the toilet: human waste and toilet paper. Your toilet does a great job at eliminating these – thank goodness we live in an age where indoor plumbing is standard, right? Your toilet isn’t meant to be a substitute trash can, however. Avoid these common clog-causing culprits:

  • Flushable” wipes don’t always live up to their name. Although they’re touted as toilet-friendly, these wipes don’t break down as easily and can cause a product traffic jam in your pipes.
  • Cosmetic wipes or baby wipes aren’t meant to be flushed. Throw them away.
  • Paper towels are more durable than their toilet paper counterparts. They don’t break down as easily in water and can be too much for your toilet to handle.
  • Too much toilet paper can also be troublesome. Take it easy on the toilet paper, or your toilet bowl may runneth over.
  • Feminine products and condoms were never designed for your toilet.
  • Expired medications can pollute the water supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends finding a drug take-back location for your unused pills and other medications.

An Expert Plumber in Houston

The Air Specialist plumbers understand the unique needs of your home’s plumbing system. Whether you’re dealing with a plumbing emergency or are in the market for a new water heater or toilet, Air Specialist has your plumbing solutions. Call us or contact us online. Keep your drains clear and your water running with Air Specialist!


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