Can You Put Rice Down a Garbage Disposal?


Many times, we throw away foods that we think the garbage disposal would easily handle but in reality, it does not.

Rather, there are a number of very common food items that actually harm the garbage disposal and cause several troubles for you without you even realizing it.

Garbage Disposal
Garbage Disposal

One of such food items is rice. It is one of the most common and highly preferred food items for heavy meals. And usually, after a heavy meal, there is a lot of waste.

Many people throw these wasted amounts of rice in garbage disposal. But is it really a wise decision? You will get to know it. Just go through this article and you will realize what you have been wrong with your garbage disposal.

Can you put rice down the garbage disposal?

As long as you are throwing one to few rice grains into the garbage disposal, it is absolutely alright. But if you throw away a good amount of rice altogether in the garbage disposal, you would regret it later.

Rice has the potential to cause a clog inside the garbage disposal if thrown away in a bunch at a time. 

After the rice is thrown in the garbage disposal, it grinds up the rice forming a thick paste that does not easily remove with water, rather blocks the movement of water.

If you throw a few rice grains inside the garbage disposal, then it might just go through the gaps of the impellers of the garbage disposal. 

But it is better not to, as it might also stick to the edges of the impellers or blades of the garbage disposal making it blunt.

What are the reasons you should not put rice down the garbage disposal?

One of the biggest issues with rice that makes it an enemy to the garbage disposal is that it is a very water absorbent and starchy food item which makes it sticky.

Maybe you know that at many places, boiled rice is used as a substitute for glue. So, can you imagine, how much gluey rice is? 

It sticks stubbornly on the impellers of the garbage disposal creating a firm blockage.

As a result, no food or water gets the chance to drain away due to the clog produced by rice inside the garbage disposal. 

And when it gets really bad, the drained away water and debris come back to the sink creating a very nasty situation.

To avoid such nightmares, you must avoid putting rice or foods prepared with rice inside the garbage disposal, or else you will have to pay for it.

Best way to dispose rice from the kitchen

The best option for disposing of a good amount of rice from the kitchen after a meal is by throwing them in the trash can or kitchen bin that is properly wrapped up with the garbage carrying a plastic bag.

Usually, in the case of rice, you do not have to worry about bad odor formation after tossing it in the trash can, generally, which you have for other kinds of foods.

Luckily, rice does not form a bad smell even if they rot. Hence, if you do not put rice inside the trash can due to the fear of a bad smell, just shred it out of your mind.

Once you keep the rice in the trash, you do not have to think about it causing any trouble anymore. 

It will end up in the waste disposal van where all other wastes and garbage from the trash ultimately goes.

How to dissolve rice in the garbage disposal? (To unclog)

If you have already put rice in the garbage disposal recently and are here to find out whether it is the reason behind the clog in your garbage disposal, you should by now know that there is a good chance that this is the culprit.

But there is good news for you, unclogging the garbage disposal that is blocked by rice and dissolving the rice is not a very tough job. 

Because rice grains get softer and eventually break down when it comes in contact to warm or boiling water and acid.

Just follow these 10 easy steps below to dissolve this issue away from the garbage disposal.

Step 1: Take about 2 cups of water in a pot, then place it on the stove and let it boil.

Step 2: Once the water is boiled, pour it gently and carefully through the sinkhole down to the garbage disposal, so that it can wash away or at least start dissolving all the clumps of rice causing the clog to take place.

Make sure you do not spill the water on yourself. We do not want any accidents here.

Step 3: Then, wait for about 10 minutes. Let the boiling water do the job.

Step 4: After that, just turn on the water tap that runs lukewarm water. Make sure you turn it on in a good force so that the water reaches the garbage disposal with full force and washes away all the broken down and dissolved rice residues.

Step 5: Now, it is time to check whether your garbage disposal has finally been unclogged. 

Turn off the water tap and then turn the cold water tap on and keep it running to observe whether the water is flowing backward.

Step 6: If the water does not return and gets drained away smoothly, then your mission is accomplished, that is, you have successfully unclogged your garbage disposal from the clumped and sticky rice.

But in case your garbage disposal has not properly unclogged yet and the water does not drain away smoothly as it did before the clog, then try repeating the above steps. 

If even after trying twice, it does not unclog, then do the following steps.

Step 7: Take ½ to 1 cup of baking soda and drop it into the garbage disposal. After that, take white vinegar of the same measurement and pour it inside the garbage disposal. 

Any type of kitchen vinegar or baking soda would work. It does not have to be of any specific type or brand.

Step 8: After that, just cover up the sinkhole using the plug and leave it for 20 to 40 minutes.

Step 9: Now turn on the lukewarm water tap with a good force for the very last time (hopefully). 

And let it run for some time and check whether the water is returning. Hopefully, the water would not return this time.

Step 10: However, if the water still flows back and the clog has not dissolved yet, then maybe the problem is not rice. 

Because if it was, then the rice should have dissolved by now. In this case, contacting a plumber is a better option.

Final Words

I hope I was able to solve your problem caused by throwing rice inside the garbage disposal. In case, you have not faced it yet and are here to check if it would be a good idea, now you know the answer.

For those who already did it once, don’t repeat this major mistake again in future. And those who did not throw rice in the garbage disposal before, you better not throw it in the future too.

James Miller

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.

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