Friday, October 22, 2010

Garbage Disposal Info!

This past week, I had a little mishap with my garbage disposal. I rarely use the thing, but in an effort to save a little time, I shoved some potato peels down it.

At first things were going great and I wondered why I never use it.

Then...all of the sudden it sputtered and stopped. I reluctantly stuck my hand down the big black hole and attempted to clean it out (with gloves, of course).

I thought I took care of the problem and ran the dishwasher later that evening. The sink filled up with water, overflowed into the other sink and it was one big nasty mess. I couldn't use the dishwasher. I couldn't wash dishes. I was growing increasingly frustrated that I didn't know how to fix it....and I had a pile of dirty dishes sitting there!

A few people asked my mom if I had put potato peels down the disposal. I guess it is a major no-no. Luckily, my dad was able to fix it for me and saved me from calling a plumber or whoever it is that fixes disposals (I don't plumbers even fix sinks)?!?

I really am dumb when it comes to all things home and fixing things. I get tired of waiting on help and I take matters into my own hands. Like the shower door. I took the silly thing outside to give it a deep clean and I broke it. I broke the disposal.

I break a lot of stuff, but all in effort to be Mrs. Fix-it.

Back to disposals...

I researched garbage disposals and tried to figure out what else should never grace this is what I found!

Potato Peels
Grease-It will solidify and clog your drain
Asparagus, Lettuce, Celery
Animal Bones
Rice and Pasta-You can never break it down small enough. Plus it swells when it comes in contact with water.
Egg Shells

Am I the only one who didn't know about this?


SJL~ said...

Apparently you're not the only one! I'm guilty of putting everything on that list down my disposal (with the exception of animal bones...never had that) When hubby and I were first married, we were hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our new home with all of his family. I put a TON of potato peels down the disposal and had a HUGE mess. Luckily hubby cleaned it all out, but I still hear about that disaster every Thanksgiving!

Katie said...


Well, I am glad to hear I am not the only one who didn't know this information!

Thank goodness your husband could fix the problem for you! What a mess!!

Tightwad Mom said...

I am famous for putting potato peels, rice,and egg shells down the disposal. All three times I ended up pulling the pipes under the sink apart to clean out the mess I made. Now I just dump my veggie peels and egg shells in the garden, I don't think I can clog a garden with those....can you? LOL!

Katie said...

Tightwad Mom,

Good idea putting them in the garden...that is what I need to do. Yeah, I don't think you can clog the dirt. LOL!

Budget Confidential said...

Eggs shells? Yikes! I have done that for years. In fact, I had eggs tonight and put the shells down the drain. I know that it is better to mix them in the compost but sometimes it is just easier to dump them down the drain.

Kimi said...

Did not know most of that. I've clogged mine several times and just gave up putting anything down it but the slight foodage leftover after scraping a plate off. I have just begun to toss things out into the garden though. Guess I'll add egg shells to the list as well. So I guess the question is....why do we have 'garbage' disposals if they don't take garbage?!

Cheryl said...

Hmmm...I don't have a disposal...but why in the world can't you put potato peelings down it???? do they turn to mashed potato peelings and clog it up??

Seems like if you ran enough water while you were grinding them up....they would go on down the drain!!!

Katie said...

Budget Confidential,

You know, I have never done the egg shells. When I was researching this I saw conflicting reports on I don't know...maybe it won't hurt it?!?

Katie said...


Great question...there are more hassle than what they are worth!

Katie said...


I don't know what the potato peels do...but they really screw it up. I always run down a lot of water, and grind, grind, grind, but for some reason they just get stuck?

I guess you should be thankful you don't have one!

Kimi said...

So I was thinking about this yesterday and this is what I came up with....Basically all you can safely put down it is the stuff that use to be caught in the cup/strainer. Which means, we loose money & space to save a step of cleaning up your sink. lol Not to mention that added hassle. Sometimes being advanced doesn't make sense. lol

Katie said...


I think you are right...sometimes advancement is just more hassle than it is worth! Very well said :)

The Extreme Housewife said...

I did the exact same thing with the potatoe peels! Ever since then I just put a little bit in at a time. I never knew that you were not supposed to put egg shells in. I wonder why?

Kaye said...

Great post. I had only heard of a couple of these. I'm including this one in my weekly round up of posts on Saturday!

Katie said...

The Extreme Housewife,

I guess a little bit at the time may be fine...but I am afraid to try it!

Not sure on the egg shells. I read that some people do with no issue, but again, I am not even going to test it out :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Katie said...


Thanks for including me in your round up...I appreciate it very much!

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

egg shells?? I put those down the garbage disposal all the time! I'm going to stop now though - it's not worth the risk. I had mine back up after I put carrot peels down it, so I stopped that as well. Not quite sure what my garbage disposal is good for at this point.

Katie said...


Crazy...the thing is really good for nothing! I agree!

Anonymous said...

When potato or carrot peelings get stuck, throw some ice cubes in. That usually breaks things up fairly easily for me.

Katey said...

Don't worry... you are not the only one who's done that! It was my first Thanksgiving with my husband's (then boyfriend's) family. I peeled the potatoes and put them down the disposal! It clogged EVERYTHING up! It was bad! My hubby and FIL had to go downstairs and fix it, while we were trying to prepare a Thanksgiving meal for about 30 people. Talk about embarrassing! Everything worked out okay and I haven't touched one since! When we had the option to put one in our kitchen, we said no because they can be a pain!

As a sidenote, I love your blog! Thanks for sharing!

Katie said...


Oh, I feel for embarrassing, but it sure is a funny story!!! I can't imagine how you felt!

Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it!

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