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If you have a garbage disposal, then you know how much easier it can make cleaning up your kitchen. Instead of having a trashcan full of smelly food waste, you can simply sweep your leftovers into the drain and flick the switch to watch it disappear. However, what many homeowners don’t realize is just how sensitive a garbage disposal can be, until they end up having to call a plumber for unexpected repairs. Save yourself the trouble of a garbage disposal meltdown and an emergency plumber service call by keeping these items out of your garbage disposal.


Most people know not to put large food bones down the garbage disposal, but small bones, like the leftovers of chicken wings or bones from a salmon fillet, may seem like they’re tiny enough to get chopped up by the blades. In reality, no bones should go into your garbage disposal, ever. Even small bones can get caught on the blades and get stuck spinning around and around. Bones that make it past the blades can then get caught in your drain pipe and potentially cause significant damage. Putting bones in the disposal can also be dangerous if the disposal kicks them back out. No matter how small the bones are, always opt to put them in the trash.


Pasta seems like an innocent thing to put down your disposal. Blades should easily grind the soft noodles up, after all. Although the blades in your garbage disposal may make easy work of pasta noodles, the problem comes further down the drain. Pasta absorbs liquid, which makes it great for your pasta sauce but a nightmare for your plumbing. As your noodles soak up more and more water in your drain, they will swell and cause blockages that need to be unclogged by a plumber. You should also avoid putting rice down your disposal for the same reason.


Cooking oil and grease cannot go down any drains, including your garbage disposal, no matter how much hot water you run. The blades don’t do anything to break up grease. In fact, it’s more likely that your garbage disposal blades will simply become coated with it. Grease that you pour down your disposal will inevitably clog up your pipes, and you will need a plumber to clean them out.

If a garbage disposal disaster does derail your dinner plans, our plumbers are ready to come out and provide a quick fix, so you can get back to your cooking as fast as possible. You can learn more about our comprehensive plumbing services in Portland on our website, and keep up with our blog for more advice about plumbing maintenance and how to avoid common problems.

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