Garbage disposals are magical – I know, because I lived without one for eight years and had to fish all that gross stuff out of my sink all the time. However, just because they’re called “garbage disposals” doesn’t mean they should be used as a disposal for your garbage.
In order to avoid an inconvenient (and possibly expensive) mess, it’s best to avoid putting these 10 types of produce down your disposal.
- Potato peels
- Artichoke leaves
- Onion skins
- Corn husks
- Banana peels
- Hard fruit pits
- Large pieces of citrus fruits
Starchy things like potato peels (and pasta and rice, by the way) actually expand when you add water, becoming a gummy paste and eventually clogging up your drain. Stringy things like asparagus and celery wrap around the blade and tangle it up. Lettuce is even considered “stringy” (news to me). Things like onion and garlic skins get easily caught on the wall of the disposal. And even though lemon is a great way to freshen up the smell of your disposal, don’t just throw in half of one. That’s too big – toss in a small slice instead.
Basically, use your garbage disposal to get rid of all the bits and pieces that wind up in your sink after doing dishes – not as a way to get rid of garbage or leftovers. And even if you did it once and didn’t have a problem, some of these things actually cause issues over time so it’s probably a good idea to change your habits now before you have a big problem on your hands!