The garbage disposal is one of man’s most brilliant inventions. It can make kitchen scraps disappear in seconds, avoiding a weighty, smelly trash can. But before you think about sticking that pineapple top down the garbage disposal, think again. Believe it or not, kitchen sink garbage disposals are not black holes for your daily discards and it’s important to know just exactly how they function.
Garbage disposals are not indestructible, and at the same time can cause a lot of destruction if not used properly. The machines can be very convenient, but only for obliterating certain kitchen scraps. Don’t try to toss the remaining shells from a New Orleans crawfish boil into the garbage disposal, or any starchy, stringy vegetables like asparagus, artichokes and kale. Make sure to keep metal utensils or any kind of hardware clear of the garbage disposal – or you’ll wind up with mangled silverware!
So what can the garbage disposal do? It’s capable of eliminating almost any food waste except for any fibrous materials that will wrap around the blades, causing them to tangle and the drain to clog. It can accept coffee grinds, egg shells and citrus peels (that act as a natural air freshener!) but not whole lemons, limes and oranges.