Garbage disposals are a modern convenience that many of us rely to make kitchen cleanup easier.
But as we throw food down the garbage disposal, is there a chance they can get full? Can we throw too much at it at one time?
The simple answer is no, garbage disposals do not get full in the traditional sense.
Unlike trash cans or recycling bins, garbage disposals don't have a finite capacity that can be filled up. They operate as long as they have power and water, continuously breaking down and flushing away the food particles that are fed into them. The waste is sent down the drain and processed through the sewer system, negating the possibility of most backups.
Read more: Best Garbage Disposals Overall
A Garbage Disposal's Capabilities
While garbage disposals don't get full, they are designed to handle small, soft, and biodegradable food items.
They're not meant to handle non-food items, such as metal, plastic, glass, or large bones, which can damage the disposal's blades or motor. We would even advise against smaller bones, like chicken or perhaps fish, and fruit pits. Though note that the higher the horsepower rating of a garbage disposal, the stronger it is.
But s long as you use the garbage disposal correctly, there is no need to worry about it getting full or breaking.
Maintaining a Garbage Disposal
Here are a few guidelines you can use to maintain and extend the lifespan of your garbage disposal, many of which already come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
- Cut or break food scraps into smaller pieces: Chopping or simply tearing food waste into smaller pieces makes it easier for the disposal to break them down.
- Use cold water: Always run cold water while operating the garbage disposal. Cold water helps solidify any grease or oil, making it easier for the disposal to grind it up.
- Avoid fibrous and starchy foods: Keep items like banana peels, potato peels, and rice out of the disposal to prevent potential clogs.
- Regular maintenance: Periodically clean and deodorize your garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes, citrus peels, or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
Since garbage disposals don't have a capacity limit, they won't get full like a regular trash can. As long as you use them responsibly and follow the guidelines for what can and cannot be disposed of, you shouldn't have to worry about clogs or anything breaking.
If you have questions, hit up the comments section below and I'll help out as much as I can, which might not be much.
Either way, maybe I'll see you there.
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AUTHOR: Ryan is a DIYer, homeowner, and general fan of a clean, good-smelling kitchen.