Many a time, the garbage disposal is considered a necessary evil. Yet, they are essential kitchen tools to minimize the size of the food substances that are thrown down the kitchen sink.
But they might contribute to more hassle than ease if they undergo malfunctions or clogs. And to prevent that, there are several precautions one should consider while using the garbage disposal.
Among the measures you need to take to avoid the troubles, garbage disposal offers you, restraining yourself from dropping some selective foods inside the garbage disposal is very important.
Such food substances include peels of various vegetables. Potato peels are one of the most troublemakers among them.
So, in this article, I will be discussing whether throwing potato peels in the garbage disposal is a good idea or not. And if not, then why.
Can You Put Potato Peels in the Garbage Disposal?
No, putting any vegetable peels, let alone potato peel, in the garbage disposal will eventually result in clogs. And dumping potato peels is one of the leading causes of clogged garbage disposal.
Along with garbage disposal, potato peels have an excellent potential to clog the piping system of the garbage disposal.
Dumping a small amount of potato peel in the garbage disposal might not make a huge difference.
But, if you keep on dumping potato peels continuously and regularly or once or twice but in tons, then there’s a higher chance for it to clog the garbage disposal.
So, if you have mistakenly thrown a few potato peels inside the garbage disposal once, don’t sweat it. Just avoid doing further.
Why Do Potato Peels Clog the Garbage Disposal?
Potato peels might not be very fibrous like many other vegetable peels, such as carrot peels. But they contain a lot of starch.
They form a very sticky paste that keeps on sticking to the sides and blades of the garbage disposal, making the passage blocked.
The starchy peels of potatoes don’t get dissolved with water. That is the reason why they don’t get drained away quickly from the garbage disposal after getting shredded as all other food items do.
How Do You Unclog a Garbage Disposal with Potato Peels?
There are many ways to unclog a garbage disposal with potato peels.
Try to solve the problem by yourself first. The solution can be as simple as plunging the garbage disposal a couple of times.
There are two kinds of solutions you can try in order to unclog a garbage disposal. You can either try one of them or both in case one doesn’t seem to work for you.
One is by pouring chemical solutions of ingredients available in the kitchen. And the other is using some common kitchen or plumbing tools.
How about you try one after another and see which one works the best for you? Below I’m listing the techniques for you.
Cooking Ingredients that Help in Unclogging the Garbage Disposal
Ever thought cleaning clogged garbage disposal would be as easy as pouring a solution of cooking ingredients? Yes, that is possible.
Below are some of the most surprisingly effective examples of that.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Both vinegar and baking soda are good cleaning agents. These can even make a great result alone. But when they’re combinedly used, they form a compelling cleaning solution.
So, if you don’t have either vinegar or baking soda, then you can try either one of them. It might work too.
This won’t require any expensive vinegar or baking soda. Even the cheapest cooking white vinegar or baking soda should work the same way as the expensive ones.
If you’re planning to use both of them together, then you better try to maintain the proper proportion. For example, the ratio must be a quarter cup of baking soda and one full cup of vinegar.
If you mix them together, they might form a bit of thick consistency and might not properly reach the clog. So, it’s better to apply them one after another.
- First, drop the quarter of baking soda into the garbage disposal and turn the garbage disposal on for a while.
- After a while, turn the garbage disposal off, plus let the baking soda sit on its sides and blades for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- And then, pour the vinegar on top of it and wait for the solution to break the starches.
- After a while, just pour down some boiling water through the garbage disposal. The boiling water will wash away the broken-down starches from the garbage disposal to the drainage system.
Cold Drinks like Coke or Pepsi
There’s hardly anyone who doesn’t like Coke or Pepsi while intaking snacks. It’s a favourite complimentary item with snacks to many.
Hence, most of us always have these cold drinks ready in our refrigerators. But did you know that the function of these cold drinks doesn’t end with only being a compliment with snacks?
They are surprisingly also great cleaning agents. They have a solid acidity due to the presence of phosphoric acid in reasonable amounts within them.
This acid is even capable of cleaning stubborn greases and rusts as well. So, it works really well in case of garbage disposal clogs due to potato peels as well.
Lemon extracts are very popular in cleaning. Even if you notice, the detergents or dishwashing soap you use also has a few lemon extracts in it to assist in cleaning.
Therefore, pouring some lemon extract in a good amount at a time inside the garbage disposal might help in clearing weak clogs.
However, lemon extracts aren’t as effective or strong as vinegar, baking soda, or cold drinks. So if you’re planning to try cleaning your garbage disposal using lemon extracts, make sure you’re not throwing the whole lemon or the lemon peel inside it.
As it might strengthen the clog more rather than weaken it. Just use the extract or juice from the lemon for the purpose.
Other Kitchen or Plumbing Tools that Can Help
Many other kitchens or plumbing tools can really help you solve the issue if the above-discussed ingredients aren’t enough. Some of the most effective among them are,
A plunger is used to plunge the passage that leads to garbage disposal from the sink. The air pressure from a plunger forces the clog inside the garbage disposal to break down.
Metal Wire or Plastic Drain Remover
Metal wires can be used to push the clog down or pull the clog up in the garbage disposals to get them detached. Also, can obtain the same results using plastic drain removers.
Drain Snake is a plumbing tool that is very useful to clean clots inside the P-trap of the garbage disposal passage.
What’s the Best Way to Dispose of Potato Peels?
It is best to wrap up the potato peels using a plastic bag and throw them in the compost bin.
Because potato peels will always come with a threat of clog if dumped in the garbage disposal or the sink. If it doesn’t form a clot in the garbage disposal, then it will form in the piping system or drainage system.
Other ways to dispose of potato peels,
- Use potato peels on your plants because potato peels are very rich in nutrients that can affect highly on the growth of the plants.
- Potato peels can be used as a replacement for current synthetic food preservation material according to this study.
We hope this article could help you solve your issue. People always learn from their mistakes.
So, make sure you avoid making the mistake of dumping potato peels inside the garbage disposal again in the future.
James is an organic fertilizer professional who owns a successful organic fertilizer company in new jersey. He is an expert in waste management in both houses and community cases. In his free time, he loves to write about his experiences in the field.