The garbage disposal is quite helpful in getting rid of various food scraps and rubbish that can cause unpleasant smells in your kitchen. However, if you aren’t careful with what you throw down your garbage disposal, it may become damaged.
There has been controversy on whether peels of citrus foods such as oranges are suitable for garbage disposal.
In this post, we’ll see if orange peels can go in the garbage disposal—how to dispose of them, different ways to use them, etc. besides, and you’ll get to know the things that you shouldn’t put in your garbage disposal.
Can Orange Peels Go in the Garbage Disposal?
Many individuals are unsure whether or not they can dispose of orange peels in the garbage. However, citrus peels like oranges are generally deemed safe as long as they’re sliced into tiny chunks, and they’ve even been thought to have a garbage disposal-cleaning effect.
Putting some ice down your garbage disposal might also help clean it. Your garbage disposal will continue to function normally as long as you take care of it.
Can You Put Orange Peels in Compost?
Initially, citrus peels—orange peels, lemon peels, lime peels, etc.—were discouraged from composting by some individuals. Their reasons were ambiguous and ranged from citrus peels in compost killing helpful worms and bugs to composting citrus peels were simply a nuisance. However, these reasons are all completely untrue. Citrus peelings are compostable and are very beneficial to your compost.
The only sound negative reputation that citrus peelings have in composting is that they take too long to decompose. However, by chopping the peels into tiny pieces, you can hasten their decomposition in compost.
The other reason citrus peels were traditionally frowned upon in compost was that numerous compounds found in citrus peels are employed in organic pesticides.
Even so, these chemical compounds degrade quickly and will have evaporated long before your compost is applied to your plants. Citrus peels that have been composted offer no hazard to the beneficial microorganisms in your garden.
What’s better, citrus peels in compost may help to keep scavengers away from your compost pile. They’ve got a pungent odor that irritates a lot of scavenger animals. This odor may work in your favor by deterring common compost pests from your compost pile.
What Are the Other Ways To Dispose of Orange Peels?
1. Refresh Your Fridge
If your refrigerator has a sour smell, a few orange peels added to the mix will quickly sweeten the smell. According to Meg Roberts, president of cleaning business Molly Maid, you should fill an orange rind with salt and store it in the fridge.
As a result, the salt will absorb odors and moisture from the fridge air, but the fruit will remain fresh. Once the salt has become damp, remove the peel and replace it with a new one as needed.
2. Clean Wood Surfaces
Repurposing orange peels to clean wood surfaces will not only leave your tables and cabinets clean and shiny, but they’ll also smell fantastic. Fill a mason jar halfway with orange peels, then pour vinegar over the top until the jar is filled.
Set aside for at least two weeks. After soaking, sift the mixture to remove the peels, then pour it into a spray bottle, and you’re done.
3. Polish Stainless Steel
Orange peels erase water stains by cutting through them with their tenacious, natural oils, similar to removing wood stains. Your stainless steel surfaces should be as good as new after a few rubs.
4. Keep Your Closet Smelling Clean
If your closet starts to smell musty, it’s recommended to stuff orange peels into old pantyhose and hang them with your clothes. These may go anyplace in the closet, whether on a shelf or in drawers, like potpourri. Replace the orange peels as they dry out to maintain your wardrobe smelling fresh.
5. Condition Your Looks
We all know that oranges are high in vitamin C, which helps to strengthen your immune system, but who knew it could also assist your hair? Simply mix an orange with its peel still attached to produce a homemade orange peel conditioner, apply the serum to the entire length of your hair, and enjoy your soft, smooth new look.
6. Soften Brown Sugar
Any baker knows that putting a bag of brown sugar in the cupboard can result in rock-hard clumps, but orange peels can help you avoid this. Citrus peels are hardwired to hold their moisture, so keeping a few pieces in with your brown sugar will allow the water from the peel to permeate throughout the container.
Simply toss a few slices of peel into your box and wait a few hours for the sugar to revert to its soft form.
7. Remove Stinky Sink Odors
To get rid of odors quickly from your stinky odors, toss a couple of orange peels down your waste disposal. Orange peels contain oils and juices that cut through grease and filth that can accumulate in garbage disposals, leaving your drain pristine and smelling terrific.
8. Repel Bugs
Using bits of orange peels throughout your yard or near your doors and windows to keep annoying pests and mosquitoes out is an easy and affordable technique to keep them out. Simply rub the peel on parts of your skin to avoid mosquito bites for personal usage.
9. Build a Better Bonfire
Using your old orange peels to make the highest flames on the block is a great way to save money. Orange peels contain combustible natural oils and burn more slowly than traditional fire starters like twigs or newspapers. They also smell a lot better.
What Should I Not Put in a Garbage Disposal?
Common sense can only take you so far when it comes to knowing what not to throw down the garbage disposal. Some of these items you may be new to.
Here are seven things that should never go down the garbage disposal:
1. Coffee Grounds
When it comes to garbage disposal or any drainage system, coffee grounds are among the top things you don’t want to put in there. When they are poured down the drain, they congeal into a thick, dense paste.
If you pour too much down the drain, it can cause a clog or sluggish draining. It’s therefore advisable to compost them or utilize them in your garden instead of throwing them away.
One of the most crucial things to avoid putting down a garbage disposal is fats and grease. Fats harden as they cool down. And without appropriate flushing, they can build at the bottom of the disposal unit, causing drainage and blockage problems.
Avoid running fats and grease down the garbage disposal as much as possible, although fat is unavoidable in some foods, such as salad dressing. Always run the food scraps down the drain with cold water to keep the fat firm as it travels through the disposal and into the drain pipes.
Let’s face it, putting eggshells down the disposal is a common mistake among most of us.
Although the shells do not significantly impact the disposal blades, their inside membranes are a different story.
It can wrap itself around the disposal blades, become loose and caught in the impeller, or cause a sticky obstruction inside your pipes.
4. Onion Skins
On the inside of the skin, onion skins have a skin membrane similar to that of an eggshell. Because this layer of membrane is thin and wet, it can easily pass through the blades and become jammed in the drain, clogging it.
5. Potato Peels
Potato peels, like onion skins, can be thin enough to slip between the blades. Potato peels in garbage disposal could fall through if they aren’t finely chopped.
This creates a blockage in the sink trap, which could result in a clog.
6. Hard Foods
Disposal blades can’t cut through bones, nuts, pits, and other tough food waste. This can cause the blades to jam or be severely damaged.
7. Dry Expandable Foods
Foods that expand in water, such as pasta, oats, and rice, will continue to grow in the plumbing system of a sink, eventually clogging it.
If there’s a small piece or a couple left on a plate after your dinner, it should be acceptable to run through the disposal, just like most food scraps.
Remember to flush the food through the trap and into the primary sewer system with cold water.
This will keep the food from sticking to the bottom of the unit and growing, causing a future obstruction.
How Do You Deodorize Garbage Disposal?
Food particles can become caught between the grinder blades, causing bacteria to thrive and a foul sink. Here are three natural ways to clean and deodorize stinky garbage disposal, all of which can be done using items you likely already have in your kitchen:
1. Try Ice or Salt
Fill the disposal with a large cup of ice cubes, turn it on, and add about half a cup of kosher or rock salt. The ice and salt will work together to clean the crud out of your disposal’s interior.
2. Have You Tried Citrus Peels?
Put a few lemon or orange peels in the garbage disposal and ground them up to give your kitchen a fresh citrus smell. Even if the appliance isn’t stinking, you can do this at any time.
3. Deodorizing Volcano With Baking Soda & Vinegar
Baking soda and vinegar combine to produce a powerful chemical reaction that resembles a giant, bubbly volcano. These two substances, on the other hand, have amazing deodorizing and cleaning properties. Pour half a cup of baking soda and some vinegar into the garbage disposal. Allow 10-15 minutes for the mixture to rest before washing with hot water.