What Happens When You Put Meat Down A Garbage Disposal

Many people can't imagine living in a home without a garbage disposal in the kitchen sink. These handy machines make it easy to clean up cooking messes and dispose of extra food waste. A lot of people use their disposal much like a garbage can. However, there are actually many food items you should never put down your garbage disposal. According to Family Handyman, these include coffee grounds, onion skins, starchy foods like oatmeal and rice, and stringy foods like celery, just to name a few. It's common knowledge that these items could damage your equipment.

But other foods have people scratching their heads about whether or not they're safe for the garbage disposal. One of these items is meat. While some say meat should never be put down the disposal, others say it's safe under certain conditions. We've got the lowdown on what could happen if you put meat down your garbage disposal.

What meat could do to your garbage disposal

Dump Disposal says that placing tiny pieces of meat down the disposal is fine. If you just have a few leftover pieces, they shouldn't cause any harm. However, large pieces of meat can cause major problems. Meat can easily get stuck on the sides of your pipes. This could either cause a clog or, at minimum, lead to really bad odors. If it doesn't clog your drain, the sinewy meat will likely get twisted around the blades of your disposal, leaving you with a malfunction unit. Therefore, the best way to dispose of large pieces of meat is by wrapping them in a plastic bag to minimize odors and throwing them away in the trash can.

There are also mixed opinions about how safe bones are to put down the garbage disposal. Consumer Reports says that small bones are perfectly safe because they will be broken into tiny pieces that can easily wash down your pipes. However, E.R. Plumbing recommends never tossing bones in as they could potentially cause damage if they don't break down sufficiently.

How to clean and unclog your disposal

If you do put meat down your garbage disposal, there are a few easy methods of unclogging and cleaning it, provided the damage is not too egregious. These hacks should help your disposal function properly and remove any lingering odors. Thomas & Galbraith recommends cleaning your disposal every two weeks to keep it running smoothly.

To DIY the maintenance on a lightly clogged drain or garbage disposal, Kay Plumbing suggests using a mix of baking soda and vinegar. After pouring these substances down the drain, wait for at least 15 minutes, then turn on the disposal and run the hot water. Another method you could use involves pouring ice and vinegar down the drain. The ice will help knock loose whatever is stuck, while the vinegar will eat away at those pesky odors. This method may work on more serious clogs. Finally, if you can't get rid of disgusting smells, try putting citrus peels down the garbage disposal. Lemon, lime, or orange peels will give your disposal a fresh and clean scent.