Friday, April 11, 2008

To Grind, or Not To Grind?

As a new owner of a garbage disposal unit, I am tempted to stuff everything down inside, including small pets who tend to meow loudly, late at night. I have had to retrain the other occupants of our home, so that they put their food scraps down the disposal, instead of tossing them in the trash.

Then, several friends told me horror stories about what NOT to put in a disposal. Including small bones - thereby negating any murderous plot I may have against the resident feline.

So, this got me to thinking - what IS acceptable to put in the disposal? What do YOU put in your disposal? Any horror stories?


Karmyn R said...

It depends on if you are on City sewer or Septic....

Septic - I try not to let any meat products go down and really - not much at all...

Sewer - I wouldn't worry about it so much.

melissa said...

Horror stories!

Spaghetti noodles - but this was an apartment with a cheap-o disposal. The maintenance guy actually lectured me. I was all "whatevs, maintenance guy, I'm 22 and I know everything".

Celery - and no, I didn't jam the entire package in there, but it was about six sticks in a row (THEY WERE WILTED, THANK YOU). Then, after celery, I found it good to move on to that leftover soup (while not paying attention to the rapidly backing up sink) because when it starts to back up on you, you want greasy old soup spatter on your shirt. Yes.

Egg shells - no horror story here, the hubs and I just differ on putting them in. He hates the sound it makes and throws them in the trash instead, I cackle with glee like I'm dropping a tiny grenade, trying to throw it hard enough to go in on it's own.

I can tell you're just waiting on pins and needles to hang out with me now that you know about my egg grenade show.

Desert Songbird said...

Crap. My first comment didn't post.

Okay, what I said was Karmyn makes a good point. I never thought about the difference between septic and sewer because I've always lived in a big city. Usually, though, I just grind up egg shells and veggie peelings. Soft stuff like pasta and rice tends to muck it up. One time I tried to dispose of a salad-gone-bad. The results were NOT pretty.

Willowtree said...

Eggshells are good to go, they help clean the gunk off the blades. Spoons aren't so good.

Carrie Sue said...

I unfortunately don't have a disposal any more, but I always had one growing up & living in CA (my house in NC was builty without one - strange.) Anyways, yes eggshells are good, also lemon rinds for making is smell good. Any food scraps you want to discard can go down as well. Not silverware, spoons will always find a way down there. Oh and keep your fingers very, very far away!

Claudia said...

Eggshells, veggies, fruit stuff...all grinds are also a go, like the eggshells they help clean it out. As willow and carrie said, spoons and fingers-not so good!!

Kila said...

I have no idea. Don't have one. Dirty diapers are a no-no, I'm guessing.

Anonymous said...

Nearly everything. And, probably tons of things you shouldn't! When it starts to stink a little? Use vinegar to get the smell out. Works great.

Beckie said...

Onion skins or too many potato peels can mess you up. It has happened to me more than once and usually on a holiday. I don't put bones in mine, but that is just me.

Tiggerlane said...

karmyn r - what a rebel! Are you people the reason that the entire sewer line on my block and the next had to be replaced? (Hint - I am with you 100%)

melissa - I had heard that pasta and rice were no-nos, so not a total surprise. Wilted vegetables already have that slimy, oozy, bottom-of-the-lake feel, so...yeah...can't see them mixing well. But eggshells? Dude, we must be dopplegangers. I'd be raiding the grocery aisle NOW.

desert songbird - I'm curious about the texture of "salad gone bad" vs. "veggie peelings." Totally - see THIS is the stuff I gotta sort out!

willowtree - yeah - that has taken some training around here as well.

carrie sue - OOOH! Yes! (I feel like Horschack.) I HAVE been stuffing orange peels down there, which give off a delightful smell!

claudia - coffee grinds is GREAT to hear, b/c this household consumes large quantities of coffee. Mass amounts.

kila - You have just won the prize for making me laugh so hard I peed my pants. You, and the Disaronno. Thank you. Must. Catch. Breath.

anglophilefootballfanatic - uh...will that make my kitchen smell like vinegar?

beckie - check! on the bones...ditto that. That was something I felt "too much" for the thing.

Anonymous said...

Throw some ice in there to clean the blades.

M@ said...

I had the strangest dream last night w/ you and the president of Iran... of all of the two people who'd be together in a dream.

Desert Songbird said...

Veggie peelings are a bit more firm in their texture vs. salad-gone-bad. The latter is just plain muck. Muck would be very bad. Anything semi-firm seems to be okay in my disposal. Think cucumber skins, carrot scrapings, russet potato skins - all seemingly good. Or at least, most of the time...*grin*

Junebug said...

Yes, don't put any silverware in there. Bad idea!

Sandy said...

I'm sure vinegar works on the smell but I always used to use citrus for the bad smells. Orange was my favorite.

Pamela said...

we're on septic. I put some cooked stuff down it, and scraping from dishes.
Vegetable products (peelings et) go in my little compost crock and then dumped in my big compost in the back.
Fish & fowl bones go in the garbage, but other bones go to the neighbor dog.
I put a lemon rind down to freshen it.

C said...

Whatever scraps make it in there go in there but I have often found a mangled spoon or shredded dish rag because I did not check before running the darn thing.

Tiggerlane said...

anonymous - great tip - thanks!

m@ - would it surprise you to know that I pride myself in being about to correctly pronounce his name?

desert songbird - thanks for the clarification - muck, bad - firm, good.

junebug - just today, I had to reach in there and rescue a plastic teaspoon!

sandy - I am saving orange peels - tried some this weekend, and worked beautifully!

pamela - I need to compost - wish I were so industrious. But I have a dog who would LOVE bones!

c - dish rag? OMG...I never thought of that!

tiger lamb girl said...

No horror story here.....just a tip from a plumber:

Half a cup of soda followed by vinegar breaks up any grease. And the geek in you will enjoy the fizzy bubbling.
Put egg shells in every so often -- it helps clear out gunky buildup and keeps the blades sharpened!
Lemons freshen things up.

Have fun with your new toy:)!

Lil Mouse said...

like your fun monday, by the way, ummm, well potato peelings seem to be tough on it. i know you can sharpen the blades by crushing ice but i havent tried it so far. mostly, mine just spits little bits back out and only the floor, so i have to stand to the side not to get hit!

Bond said...

You got all my suggestions already

ice cubes to clean the blades
some sort of citrus to clean the smell (baking soda also does the trick)

no bones

and no spoons...(yup I have done that)

Tiggerlane said...

tiger lamb girl - GREAT idea with the baking soda and vinegar - didn't know it would break up grease! I have been torturing eggshells for days, now.

lil mouse - a disposal that launches ice chips? CLASSIC! Ice gets pulverized in mine so quickly, I wonder if it does any good.

bond - late to the party? Thanks for the tips - I know a cook like you has experience!

bermudabluez said...

I'm on am limited. I put mostly plate scrapings. I do not put egg shells down mine. I DO use ice cubes to take out my frustrations & clean the blades! Oh, and like Pamela...I use lemons to freshen it up! And it really works!!

Kaytabug said...

I have mangled a couple of spoons and a fork or two. DO NOT put Potato skins in the the disposal, it clogs it up FAST!

Anonymous said...

no horror stories but i clean ours regularly with lemon rinds and ice together. i throw them in and turn on the disposal to clean it out. they can get stinky.