Thursday, April 13, 2006

Garbage Disposal Dilemma

Warning: Slight embellishment.

We have a small debate in our house the other night. What can and can’t go into the garbage disposal?

Side Note: Every time I use the garbage disposal I think of Lilly Tomlin in the Incredible Shrinking Woman being stuck in the disposal with egg yolk being poured on her head and it freaks me out.

I believe that only small items should go into the garbage disposal. Such as small scrapings from a dinner plate that may consist of a few pieces of Mac and Cheese, a few peas and half chewed pineapple chunk. I also think it is okay to put semi-liquidy stuff in there like yogurt and cottage cheese.

Lauren believes there are miniature men in the garbage disposal with a wood chipper and chainsaws and that anything that will fit down there, should go into it. Egg shells, banana peels, whole heads of Cauliflower and chicken bones.

Is there some kind of rule as to what should and shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal?

36 comments:

Sharpie said...

This kind of debate is the reason we don't have a garbage disposal. I so would be with you though - small things...

jaime said...

When I had a disposal, I put just about everything in it. I wouldn't put bones, but heck, banana peels? Sure! In fact, I put peelings of any kind in. Vegetables of any kind. And definitely egg shells.

guenosdias said...

Egg shells are actually good for it - they sharpen the blades. And the peels of citrus fruits clean it and make it smell good. Avoid greasy and hard items.

Meegs said...

Damn, guenosdias definitely beat me to the punch. Yes, egg shells are good for the blades and citrus fruits kill the bad smells. But chicken bones, um, not so sure about that one!!

Kami said...

I'm with you on this one. When I did that rat post, the neighborhood association said to not use the disposals at all, to not attract rats, or some crap. I put the bulk of the stuff in a grocery bag and then into the trash.

Lemons and limes are good for cleaning it!

Effie said...

Never had one of those new-fangled contraptions--I think banana peels are cool--no bones? No fingers...

Alli's Mom said...

I belong in the same category with your wife, though I can't say that I've ever put chicken bones in mine. The hubs is with you, and hardly puts anything down the disposal. And what do you mean, there aren't little men down in there?

No_Newz said...

I LOVED that movie! I don't know what the rule of thumb is for those. Mr. Lane was a plumber and said they are bad, which is why we scrape our plates into the compost bin. Freakin' plumber turned farmer, go figure.
BTW, I'm glad you didn't know how to comment today. It's one of those things that makes you shake your head. LOL!
Lois Lane

ieatcrayonz said...

I think I read somewhere that frozen vinegar ice cubes are also good for cleaning the disposal. But heck, who has time for that.

No bones in the disposal - unless you wear proper eye protection.

SoozieQ said...

I put egg shells in ours...I will have to agree with Lauren on this one.

The only thing I won't put in our garbage disposal (other than my HAND) is celery and bones.

Warning: Slight embellishment:

My favorite thing to put in the disposal are lemons. I may or may not buy them SPECIFIC for that purpose!

Circus Kelli said...

I can tell you that metal spoons are definitely NOT good for the disposal... or the spoons.

Ozymandius said...

As always, the internet has the answer for you:

http://www.nola.com/living/t-p/index.ssf?/base/living-5/113463277431310.xml

Mich said...

Hmm, I only had one once, and I put everything down there. Probably not the best idea, but it worked out ok. DH would be overcautious and not put stuff down it, but hey - you just don't know if you don't try!

Anonymous said...

Lauren Scores!

Except for the bones.

Olive pits also are good as they sharpen the blades too.
I think peach pits too.

There are good directions in most user manuals or you can go on line too.

Nothing in any of the manuals about egg yolk connected phobias though

The Kept Woman said...

Definitely not toads, your fingers or metal utensils (plastic is OK...).

These are things that would be bad, bad, bad in the garbage disposal.

Odd Mix said...

From the GE Disposall Use and Care manual.

"Scrape in food waste. To speed up food waste disposal, cut or break up large bones, rinds and cobs. Large bones and fibrous husks require considerable grinding time and are more easily thrown away with other trash. Do not be alarmed that the disposer slows down while grinding. The disposer is actually increasing torque (grinding power) and is operating under normal conditions."

Go for it Lauren - the little men stand ready with the chipper.

Stacie said...

No bones, no banana peels, no tough onion skins, no dishtowels. Everything else if fair game...oh..no popcorn kernels...

BUT...Lemon peels make it smell good...just in case you need a freshener...

Good luck with that..
Stacie

Lanna said...

To me, it'd depend on whether you've got a septic tank or you're on a city sewer system. We've got septic, so it's only a compost pile for us instead of a garbage disposal.

Football Widow said...

I'm with you. I hardly ever put anything down there. Totally freaks me out. But my sister used to put everything down there. That was until her whole sink clogged up because of potato peels!

Angela said...

I'd say watch out for the cauliflower heads, or chicken bones, and even large amounts of peels (ie potato peels...). There's nothing wrong with an egg shell or two, I've heard it sharpens the blades... Who knows if that's true or not. I've never really put anything too big down there b/c I am terrified of something getting stuck and then having to put my hand down the dark-hole-with-blades and getting my hand chopped to bits. Good luck with your disposing.

Kari said...

I'm with Lauren. If it fits, it will go down!

Tammy said...

I put anything down there (except the obvious). Every tine I put something in it, I have a vision of Roto Rooter having to come out. But, then I go back to food scraping!

momo9 said...

twenty-two comments on what to put down the garbage disposal! This is amazing to me. Very funny! It's for garbage! Garbage, not trash. Once I clogged the whole system with leftover spaghetti. Noone told me not to put that down the disposal. It turns to concrete in the pipes. Everything backed up, water everywhere. Pop-Pop, the family roto-rooter man came to the rescue. He had to take the pipes apart in the basement. Messy job. Now I know not to do that. But leftover spaghetti is garbage to me.I mean several days leftover, we do eat leftovers in our house. I know some don't.That's the only problem I ever had with the disposal.Now watch, it'll go on the blink today. Can't believe even I had to respond. You make me laugh. Keep it up.

kalki said...

I'm with you on this one, but I may have been influenced by the fact that you totally make me laugh. Always.

islandarts said...

I'm sorry, but if that disposal won't shred an entire yellow pages with a few dishcloths as a chaser, then I don't want it in my kitchen.

bb said...

as one who has replaced many disposals cuzza misuse....NO tater peelings...and NO pasta or noodles

Sue said...

OK- I can comment on this! Everytime the grandparents who are from Brooklyn (where apparently they don't have such contraptions) come to visit we have to call the plumber to fix the disposal. The culprits (NO embellishments I promise) 3 corn cobs at a time, onion and garlic peels and skins, corks from wine bottles, steak bones, leftover roast with the strings still on (this was not good) and countless other bizarre things. I use ice cubes in preparation every time they are coming. GOOD LUCK!

samantha said...

My first time here from Blogfathers and was LAUGHING OUT LOUD. Man, can't wait to read your schtuff regularly.

I feel that the disposal blades can puree a brick, so I'll throw anything down there. Plus the rumbling noise is kinda cool too.

Anonymous said...

Artichoke leaves will kill your disposal. They are fiberous and similar hemp.

Anonymous said...

My roommate is of the it's-a-black-hole-so-put-anything-you-want-to-disappear-in-there persuasion. Problem is, she definitely was not told as a kid to clean her plate, or maybe was told once too often and so now rebels. Roto-Rooter is on speed dial and they call us by first name. She throws pasta down there...PASTA!!!??? Come on...it's not just about the disposal...it's about the FOOD. Pasta is pure starchy mush...oil, grease and butter congeal and stick to the pipes just like they do your arteries. In fact, I'd like to see the government spend a couple billion on a ten-year study on the correlation of garbage disposal and drain repairs and coronary disease. I would bet that if your pipes are clogged...well..*YOUR* pipes are clogged. I hate the damned thing.

Anonymous said...

OK, the grosest thing I ever saw down the disposal - a lizard ran down ours and my Mom turned it on! I could never use that sink again.

Anonymous said...

Amen to Artichokes clogging disposals. I just got through unclogging mine. Had to undo the drain to the disposal. I first tried Liquid Drano - didn't phase it. Some of the Liquid Drano got in to the dishwasher. When I washed a load of dishes, the Drano reacted with the Cascade and covered my kitchen floor with suds!!

Moral of the story: Artichokes are EVIL!!!

movelikeiwantto said...

Mine got clogged with potato peels. Had to go under the sink, take apart the pipes, and get all of the peels out. It was fairly easy, but smelled horrible. Just make sure to put a LARGE BOWL under the pipes before you unscrew and wear those handy yellow kitchen gloves if you're squeemish ( I AM!!)

So I did put just about everything down the garbage disposal. No bones tho. And now, no potato peels. I'll not be putting pasta down there as per other people's posts. I would limit what you put down there to food items only. I agree with the no grease posts as well. Grease is sticky, duh!

Anonymous said...

I really screwed up my garbage disposal. I catered my birthday party and cooked 108 eggs for deviled eggs. I put the shells in a mixing bowl while removing them. Then I squeezed about 30 lemons for lemonaide. I needed the bowl and dumped all 108 egg shells in the garbage disposal. Immediately I thought, you idiot and then it happened.... The disposal started to cry and then stopped. I had 78 people at the party. I couldn't put the dishes in the dishwasher, as the pipe was connected to the drain that the eggs were stuck in. So I had to wash every dish in the small sink and continuously had to pump water out of the larger sink. It took hours. My trusted plumber didn't return from his vacation for 8 days. It was a mess!

eric said...

Why have a debate and not go to the manufacturer's web site. InSinkerator says that you can but bones, rinds, coffee and more. http://www.insinkerator.com/disposers/why.shtml

Anonymous said...

NO NO NO!!!!! DO NOT put eggshells down your garbage disposal. I aso believed that the shells would "shapen" or"clean the disposal but I couldn't have been more wrong. We have had the kitchen pipe clog twice in the past 8 months. Both times there were eggshells all over the basement floor where they had backed up the pipe. From now on at my house NO MORE EGGSHELLS>