Mind Your Garbage Disposal on Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Turkey

Avoid a Thanksgiving Plumbing Emergency

Let’s face it, most of the year we don’t give a second thought to what we put down our garbage disposals.  We put bits of food down the drain, run some water, flip the switch on, and that’s that.  We put such small amounts of food debris down the disposal that there’s often no concern of any major problems happening.  However, with the holiday season just around the corner, our seldom challenged garbage disposals may just be put to the test.

Thanksgiving is no ordinary day in the kitchen.  On this particular day, our ovens and stovetops put in overtime to make massive feasts for all to enjoy.  But, what happens to those scraps?  Well, often, much of it ends up going straight down the garbage disposal.  That’s why it’s so important to take care of your garbage disposal, now, to keep it from becoming a holiday nightmare!  So, let’s explore a few ways you can help your garbage disposal survive this Thanksgiving.

Which Foods Should Never Go Down the Drain?

No Fats

Fats and oils do not belong down your drain.  In fact, consider them enemy number one!  Sure, these substances flow like a liquid when piping hot, but don’t be fooled.  As soon as this debris cools, it hardens into a solid substance that can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal and pipes.  So, instead of pouring out those fat drippings from your turkey pan, pour them into a can or a mug to cool.  Then, once it turns into a gelatin-like substance, dispose of it in the garbage can.  

No Starches

Starchy foods are another major no-no when it comes to disposing down your drains.  These foods are sticky and gooey.  Watch out for debris from things like potatoes, pasta and carrots (cooked), as they will stick to the sides of your pipes and cause major blockages.  Instead, peel these and dispose of them into your garbage can.    

Not All at Once

Whatever you do, do not try to dispose of all food debris into your garbage disposal at once.  You must allow your disposal time to recover.  After all, it is the holidays, and your machine is working overtime.  It is best to just put a little bit down the disposal at a time.  Then, with each bit of debris, be sure to flush it down with plenty of water to help break everything up.  

Not a Trash Can

You must remember that your garbage disposal is not a trash can.  You cannot simply put anything and everything down it hoping for an easy disappearance of holiday leftovers.  Most food waste belongs in the trash can (or compost pile) and not in your pipes.  Unfortunately, your garbage disposal is not a magic box.  It is simply a machine made up of sharp blades that are designed to help grind up food so that it won’t clog your pipes.  But, you have to be the one to guard the gate, only feeding it what it can handle.  Because whatever goes down your disposal will go into your pipes, and what happens there is entirely up to your decision making, for better or worse.  

So, to avoid a Thanksgiving catastrophe and a panicked call to your trusted repairman, be aware of what you’re putting down your garbage disposal, and make informed, conscious decisions.  Be kind to it, and it will be kind to you.


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