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GARBAGE DISPOSALS

WHAT NOT TO PUT DOWN YOUR DISPOSAL:

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KITCHEN UTENSILS:

Assuming you wouldn't ever put a fork or a spoon into your disposal on purpose, but sometimes accidents happen. Before you use your disposal, make sure it's clear of any obstructions like spoons, forks, or any other items your family may have allowed to drop into the wrong place. 

VEGETABLES:

Many vegetables can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. You shouldn't put fibrous vegetables in the disposal as they'll bind up around the blade. Watch out for rhubarb, asparagus, celery, chard, artichokes, kale and lettuce.

POTATOES:

It's okay to dispose of potatoes and potato peels as long as you only put in a little at a time. Potatoes can break down in a disposal and create a sticky starch paste that can gum up the mechanics of the unit.

CORN HUSKS:

NO! Like other vegetables, husks will wrap around and bind your disposal.

GREASE AND OIL:

Just because that blade is whirring doesn't mean that grease and oils won't clog your pipes. Just one batch of grease can have you calling U.S. Plumbing and Rooter.   

PITTS AND SEEDS:

You may have the biggest, baddest disposal on the block, but it wasn't made to chop up fruit pits and seeds. 

COFFEE:

Coffee grounds and beans make your disposal smell awesome, but they can clog the trap in your garbage disposal. Either compost them or throw them away. At least your trashcan will smell good.

BONES:

Just like it can't handle fruit pits, your disposal can't handle bones -- even ones that have been cooked soft. Fish bones are the only exception.

SHELLS:

Oyster, clam, lobster and crab shells are like bones and are usually too thick for a garbage disposal to chop up. Putting these in the disposal can lead to severe damage.

PASTA OR RICE:

Pasta and rice expand when they get wet. When you put them in a disposal, even after they're cooked, they keep expanding and can clog up the disposal trap.

DOUGH:

Pasta and rice expand when they get wet. When you put them in a disposal, even after they're cooked, they keep expanding and can clog up the disposal trap.

AND EVEN MARSHMALLOWS!

Tip: If you have to questions if it's safe to put down your disposal, the answer is probably -- no.

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