A garbage disposal (also known as a disposal unit) is often attached to the kitchen sink and sits between the sink’s drain and trap to enhance easier cleaning.
The device uses very little water and works by reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfills.
Food scraps can also go through the garbage disposal system. To move swiftly into the sewer system, you need first to run the disposal unit to treat it in the plant efficiently. Once reprocessed, your food scraps are retrieved as clean water and fertilizer.
Furthermore, 70 percent of waste that goes into the disposer is water. So, when you run your disposal unit, you’ll be retrieving its original form.
However, there are restrictions on what should and shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal unit.
So, can apple cores go in the garbage disposal system?
Can You Put Apple Cores in the Garbage Disposal?
No, apple cores shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal. These components are too hard for your disposal unit to handle. Instead, throw them in the trash cans or utilize them for your compost heap.
Meanwhile, apple, citrus, and banana peels can go into the disposer. However, you need to take off any stickers before doing so, as stickers tend to cling to the disposal blades and drainage pipes.
How a Garbage Disposal Works?
A garbage disposal works by reducing the amount of food waste in the landfill. It also grinds food into smaller chunks to pass through the drain and the plumbing system.
Besides knowing how garbage disposal operates, it’s interesting to learn about its shelf life. Most garbage disposals have a serviceable life of between 10 to 12 years, depending on their use and contents.
If you constantly abuse your garbage disposal by sending down items that you shouldn’t, you’ll destroy them and cause problems to your plumbing system.
Understand how a garbage disposal works and why some items shouldn’t enter your disposal unit.
Seeds, fruit pits, apple cores, bones, and celery are far too solid for a garbage disposal unit to process. So yes, apple cores can clog drainage pipes, as well as damage the blades of your garbage disposal.
Put your apple cores into the garbage can or use them for your compost heap. Meanwhile, avoid throwing starchy leftovers such as rice and potatoes down the drain, as this could potentially clog and damage your drainage system.
Can You Put Apples in The Garbage Disposal?
No, it’s never a good idea to put apples in the garbage disposal as it’s only meant for small food deposits that remain after scraping off a plate. Note that the apple core will take up to a month to dissolve, making it unfit for the waste disposal unit.
Other items that shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal include vegetables, banana peels, orange peels, among other food scraps.
While vegetables take a couple of days to dissolve, orange and banana peels can go up to six months.
Put vinegar, salt, ice, baking soda, and lemon scraps down the disposal to clean it up. Ideally, stick to the natural ingredients, as chemical cleaners tend to corrode the metal components of your garbage disposal.
Add half a cup of baking soda into the opening, together with a cup of white vinegar, then let it sit for approximately ten minutes.
Switch on the garbage disposal and allow hot water to wash away the mixture. You can also use citrus peels instead of vinegar and baking soda.
The list of items that should go down the disposal unit is relatively short compared to what shouldn’t. Ideally, a good number of things can go in, but there are specific foods that you must keep out of the garbage disposal.
Below are a few things that can safely go down the disposal unit:
Toss in a few pieces of ice cubes down the drain. This will help eliminate the food deposits on the blades as they work on them. You can also add frozen vinegar or lime juice for extra freshness.
Liquid and soft foods can safely go down the garbage disposal. However, you need to make sure that they are finely chopped before doing so. This ensures no debris is left in the blade or drainage system.
As you already know, citrus is an excellent alternative to vinegar and baking soda. Not only can they go down the garbage disposal, but citrus rinds will also clean and leave your disposal unit smelling fresh. Citrus peels generally improve the functionality of a disposal unit.
This is a no-brainer as you constantly use dish soap in the sink. Pour in a few drops of it and run some cold water to clean your waste disposal system. Dish soap is a quick and convenient drain cleaner that you can turn to anytime.
Running cold water through the garbage disposal before and after use helps keep it optimal. Doing this for about 20 to 30 seconds is the general rule of thumb that helps eliminate those slimy food deposits that make your drain smell.
If left untreated, dirt will dry and form a glue-like substance, which eventually clogs your pipes. Such situations call for heavy-duty drain cleaners.
Much of what goes in really helps keep your device in good shape. Knowing what to put in and whatnot will always go a long way to extend the lifespan of your garbage disposal. Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your garbage disposal up and running:
- Always run cold water for about 20 to 30 seconds after the disposal has finished grinding food waste. This helps rinse the food deposits left in your drain and prevent the machine’s motor from overheating.
- Occasionally clean your disposal unit by putting in a few ice cubes and running them through. Remember to use the sink stopper to prevent ice pieces from flying out.
- Use a degreaser to eliminate any fats that might have accumulated into your disposal unit. This helps eliminate odors and improve your disposal’s overall efficiency.
- Perform a routine cleaning on your garbage disposal at least every year to enhance its functionality.
- Most importantly, prevent bacterial growth in the disposal unit by grinding citrus peels through it.
How to Use a Garbage Disposal?
- Remove the sink stopper, making sure no metal, paper, plastic, or other non-food item is left in the sink.
- Run cold water for about 20-30 seconds to solidify any leftover fats and oils.
- Switch on the garbage disposal and put in food gradually in small amounts.
- Once the food waste is ground, turn the unit off and leave the water running for about 15 seconds. Note that the disposal sound will change when the food is ground.
To keep your disposal unit clean and fresh, crush some ice and citrus rinds every one or two weeks. Using these items along with degreasers or disposal cleaners will yield good results. For other maintenance guidelines, revisit your manufacturer’s manual.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can You Put Fruit in The Garbage Disposal?
No, you cannot put fruits in the garbage disposal. These food items are too hard for the garbage disposal to process and will often clog and damage your drainage system. Toss all your vegetables and fruits in the garbage can or utilize them for the compost heap.
2. Can You Put Orange Peels in The Garbage Disposal?
No, orange peels shouldn’t go into the garbage disposal. However, citrus rinds can be helpful to your garbage disposal as they will always leave your kitchen smelling fresh. These items take up to six months to dissolve and potentially damage your drainage system.
3. Are Eggshells Bad For Garbage Disposal?
Unlike other foods, eggshells are non-biodegradable. Throwing a few pieces of eggshells won’t do much harm to your disposal unit. However, a continuous habit of this will lead to the eggshells accumulating and clogging your drainage pipes.
4. How Much Food Should You Put Down a Garbage Disposal?
Preferably, put small amounts of food down the drain gradually. After feeding food to your disposal unit, allow it some time to process as you run cold water. That way, you’ll be letting the food scraps flow down swiftly through the drain pipes.
5. Can I Put Watermelon Rinds in a Garbage Disposal?
Watermelon rinds should go into the trash, regardless of their size. More complex skins can potentially damage your garbage disposal, so don’t put them in your disposal unit. Even the smaller ones get stuck on your disposal’s blades, rendering them ineffective.
6. Do Potato Peels Clog Garbage Disposals?
Yes, starchy foods tend to clog garbage disposal, and potatoes are no exception. Try to keep potatoes, including the peels, out of your garbage disposal. Usually, this starch will turn into a paste and stick to your disposal’s blades.
7. How Often Should You Clean Garbage Disposal?
Clean your garbage disposal every two weeks. Regular cleaning on your disposal unit will keep it in good working condition. Ice cubes, salt, vinegar, baking soda, and citrus rinds may be helpful in general cleaning.