These 4 Things Should Never Go Down Your Kitchen Sink
For the sake of this post, we assume that your kitchen sink includes one component that’s very important to most homeowners—the garbage disposal. If you don’t have a disposal system, there are still some items that shouldn’t go down the kitchen sink, and we’ll get to that below.
In the meantime, we want to stress that putting the wrong things down your kitchen sink is not only bad news for your drain system, but you could be a victim to a garbage disposal that jams up way too frequently, and you could find yourself calling a plumber pretty often to come fix it. Keep reading to learn about 4 things that should never go down your kitchen sink drain—especially if it includes a garbage disposal system!
1. Non-Food Items
As plumbers, we know that garbage disposal systems are never to be used to throw away trash. But, not all homeowners realize this. After all, it’s called a garbage disposal for a reason, right?
If you’re like most homeowners, you may picture your garbage disposal like a blender—with a sharp blade that rotates around to chop up food before sending it down the drain. This isn’t actually the case, though. Your garbage disposal uses a motor that powers an impeller. At the end of the impeller, there are blades, but they’re not sharp. There is a grind ring that grinds down food as centrifugal force breaks it apart.
Knowing this, you may be able to understand why plastic, paper, and other wrappers and garbage items won’t work in the garbage disposal. Some may slip through the cracks and move into the drains, but they still pose a risk to your sewer pipes.
2. Hard Food Items
Hard food includes things like meat bones or fruit pits. Your garbage disposal system grinds down food before sending it down the drain, but items like this can’t be ground down. A good rule of thumb here is that if you can’t chew something with your teeth, it doesn’t belong in the garbage disposal.
3. Foods with a Stringy Texture
Have you ever thought about how the texture of food can interact with your garbage disposal system, or how it could create problems for the component?
That’s okay if not, but we encourage you to think about it now. Stringy, fibrous foods are one common problem for garbage disposals. Think about things like asparagus and celery—they could, potentially, wrap up around the impellers and motor, causing your garbage disposal to get jammed up. Other food items like this include onion skins and corn husks.
4. Foods That Expand with Water
So, this is one of those things that won’t negatively impact your garbage disposal but absolutely can impact the rest of your drain system.
Pasta and rice, for example, can create quite the backup in your drains. You should avoid putting these items in the kitchen sink drain at all. FOG (fats, oils, and grease) should also be avoided, as it creates a sticky residue that will line your pipes and lead to a higher likelihood of clogs. Coffee Grounds are another one to be aware of—they can clump together and easily clog up your drain.