Can You Put Popcorn Kernels in the Garbage Disposal?

Today, virtually every home has a garbage disposal unit. This home equipment provides essential service, and it can operate for years without setbacks. But this doesn’t guarantee that it’ll not break down or stop working.

There are simple rules that, if you follow, will keep your garbage disposal running smoothly for years. Being keen on what you throw inside garbage disposal, for example, is an important rule when dealing with garbage disposal. Everyone is trying to avoid the inconveniences that come with their garbage disposal being damaged.

Probably you’ve wondered whether disposing of popcorn kernels in your garbage can is safe or not. This article will zero in on the effect of popcorn kernels on your garbage disposal. Heck, you’ll also learn things that can damage your disposal unit and how to fix the humming issues in disposals.

Can Popcorn Kernels Go in the Garbage Disposal?

No, popcorn kernels shouldn’t go in the garbage disposal—your garbage disposal cannot handle popcorn kernels. Though it’s always tempting to toss down your popcorn leftovers down the disposal, their kernels are stiff and will easily damage the disposal unit. Besides, they can be trapped in a p-trap in the drainpipe, causing clogging.

Will Popcorn Kernels Break Garbage Disposal?

Popcorn kernels will easily break your garbage disposal. The disposal unit will hurl popcorn seeds around in the canister, but instead of getting crushed by the shredding ring, they’ll get stuck between the gaps between the ring and rotor, leading to clogging.

Can You Put Popcorn Kernels in Compost?

Popcorn is excellent in compost. Popcorn is a type of corn kernel that expands and puffs up when heated. The sturdy hull of the popcorn kernel encloses moisture in the seed’s hard, starchy shell endosperm, which turns to steam as the kernel is heated.

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The stream creates pressure which builds up until the hull busts, forcing the kernel to expand—from 20-50 times the original size—before cooling. Some corn varieties are grown specifically for popping corn. As a result, these grains, like any other food, can be added to the compost pile.

However, not all of the corn pops when you pop it into popcorn. When you pop a bag of popcorn, some kernels may not pop at all, while others may become a little too burnt to be tasty.

You can use kernels that did not pop in the compost pile instead of throwing them away. Both unpopped and popped popcorn are suitable for your compost, even if it has been seasoned with salt or butter.

But be aware that the sugar and butter added to your popcorn will attract pests, especially ants, into your compost pile. To avoid these pests, you can bury the popcorns in the compost—whether they’re popped or not.

Moreover, burying popcorns will keep birds, chipmunks, and squirrels, who love feeding on popcorns.

Can I Put Popcorn Kernels in an Air Fryer?

The straightforward answer is yes. However, there are a few things to consider, and the method is slightly different from what you may be used to.

The conventional method is to cook the kernels on a stovetop with oil before adding them. The results are excellent, but there is still work to be done, and you must keep an eye on it.

Most people prefer to make popcorn in an air fryer—it keeps the flavor and reduces the risk of overcooking or burning them.

While the microwave is the fastest method, an air fryer can be an excellent option if you can’t access a microwave.

5 Worst Things To Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Let’s see the five things that you should never toss down your garbage disposal:

1. Fats And Grease From Cooking Meat

Fatty foods such as meat trimming, vegetable oil, butter, bacon grease, and other cooking products should not go down your garbage disposal and drains. These fatty food items can cause a massive mess to your disposal unit, starting with the garbage disposal blades.

The fats you splash down the drain can debilitate your garbage disposal blades over time, making them ineffective. Furthermore, after the fats cool and solidify, they will engulf the drain pipes causing clogs. Eventually, these clogs will cause drain backups, which are unpleasant to deal with and can be costly to repair.

2. Coffee Grounds

Though many people believe that coffee grounds are excellent for neutralizing odors, they pose extreme danger to your disposal and plumbing.

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Coffee grounds form a dense, packed paste when taken out of the coffee filter; imagine the damage they can do to your drain.

Keep coffee grounds out of your garbage disposal to avoid severe clogs and plumbing damage. You can make vinegar and citrus ice cubes to use as a safer deodorizer for your disposal. Besides, these vinegar and citrus cubes sharpen your disposal blades as well as freshen them.

3. Stringy Foods And Peels

Disposing of stringy foods down the sink drain is a huge mistake as they often get entangled around the disposal blades.

Also, avoid tossing vegetable and fruit peels down your disposal unit—they can produce a thick paste that clogs the blades. Even if this paste gets past the garbage disposal, it can clog your pipes, causing a waste backup.

4. Fruit And Vegetable Seeds And Pits

If you enjoy guacamole, peach cobbler, or cherry pies, you’re familiar with some tough seeds and pits. Dropping these seeds down the drain will damage your disposal’s blades.

The intense pits and seeds will simply bounce around and blunt the disposal blades. And blunt garbage disposal blades cannot break down food particles effectively.

5. Bones

The garbage disposal blades are not angled, making them incapable of grinding hard items such as bones. If bones get past your garbage disposal, they will likely not make it to the drain pipes. So, you may have to pay for costly plumbing repairs in the future.

What About the Humming Sound?

If your disposal makes a humming sound, it’s an indication that its motor is clogged or jammed, causing failure to grind. This problem is commonly caused by food particles jamming the disposal’s blade.

Follow these steps to get your disposal unit running again:

  • Unplug the garbage disposal system from electricity to prevent your motor from burning and ensure that you don’t get electrocuted
  • Insert the hex head Allen wrench into the breaker socket at the bottom of the garbage disposer
  • Run the wrench tool back and forth to turn the flywheel and discharge the stuffed particles in the impeller blades
  • If your garbage doesn’t have a hex hole or Allen Wrench, you can stick a short broom into the garbage disposal—ensure you force it against one of the impeller blades, then rotate it manually.
  • Plug the disposal back and check if it’s functioning appropriately. Take note of the sound it’s producing.

If this method does not work, there could be other reasons for your garbage disposal unit’s problems.

Aside from what has been mentioned, there are times when your garbage disposal unit emits a humming sound. Understanding them allows you to make a more informed decision about what to do next.

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Other Causes of This Problem May Include

a) Stuck Foreign Object

Foreign objects imply that they shouldn’t be in the garbage disposal in the first place. So how did they get there? Probably, you kid threw them down the sink, and the objects maneuvered their way into the unit without you noticing.

This will jam the impeller blades causing a humming sound from your disposal. To fix this, you can simply cut the power and thoroughly inspect the disposer. You can use a tong to remove the foreign object to restore the functionality of your disposal.

b) Tripped GFI or Disposer

It’s not out of the question that the GFI, GFCI electrical outlet or garbage disposer itself has tripped. A humming sound may be produced due to a lack of electrical current to turn the motor. The best solution, in this case, is to simply press the reset button and see if regular disposer operation is restored.

Now that you know why your garbage disposal unit is humming, you can figure out the best way to fix it. If you continue to have issues with the operation of your garbage disposal, contact a professional plumber.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do You Get the Popcorn Out of the Garbage Disposal?

Use salad tongs, or try sucking them out with a vacuum or a turkey baster individually. And when there are only a few left, make some ice. Do not use your hands.

2. Are You Supposed To Clean a Garbage Disposal?

It’s ideal for cleaning your garbage disposal weekly. However, with proper maintenance and being keen on what you dump there, it can go up to two-to-three weeks without washing.

Additionally, it’s good to clean your Garburator if you’re planning to be out of your home for a few days. Otherwise, sludge and debris in the machine will likely rot.

3. How Do I Dispose of Old Eggs?

Yes, the best way to get rid of your expired and raw eggs is in the garbage disposal. Crack your expired eggs and dispose of the contents in the garbage disposal. Remember not to flush the shells because they can clog and damage your pipes.

4. How Do You Get a Peach Pit Out of a Garbage Disposal?

Fill an ice cube tray halfway with vinegar and whatever amount of water is required to make decent-sized cubes. Freeze the cubes, then grind them in the garbage disposal. Using cold water, flush the toilet. The appliance will be cleaned and deodorized as a result of this.

About Sarah Walker

Sarah is a homemaker and is passionate about fixing little things in and around her house. She loves to do DIY hacks and keeps on writing about those things in her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her twins Cathy and Mickey.