Dear Pat: What can I safely put down my garbage disposal?
After tossing the bigger food scraps into Fido’s dish or the garbage can, you can sweep the remaining crumbs down the disposal. The thing to remember is everything that goes in must come out. How is it going to leave your house plumbing system?
Running water as you clean off your dishes is the best plan. Storing scrap in the sink and then forcing it down the drain is the best way of ensuring you’ll get to meet your plumber again this year.
Use your garbage can for garbage. Don’t throw salad-making scraps, bottle caps or ammunition down your sink. Yes, I’ve actually been called out to remove a .22 shell out of a disposal.
Another trick is when you clean out your ice storage bin, throw the old ice down the disposal. This will help knock off the dirt inside the disposal. Once a month fill the disposal side of the sink with water and drain it with the disposal running, this is a good way to make sure the drains are draining well.
Always, always, always run water when you have the disposal on. Turn the water on first and leave it running a few seconds after you turn the disposal off.