Putting Potato Peels in a Garbage Disposal: Is It Safe?

We'll answer this question and explain how to dispose of potato peels properly, as well as how to clean a garbage disposal clogged with them.
Last updatedLast updated: July 09, 2021
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Garbage disposals make discarding food and other organics easy. It helps you prevent kitchen waste from the dirty internal waste container and filling the kitchen with unpleasant odors. However, consumers often misuse the appliance by putting materials that make it stall and clog. Potato peels are one of the most common culprits.

But first, can you put potato peels in garbage disposal? This question has been asked and answered in various dimensions. And the fact is putting potato peels in the garbage disposal can damage the unit due to its sticky nature. Unfortunately, the garbage disposal has a lot of operational rules and there are a lot of things not to let into the system. And potato peels are some of it. It doesn’t clean the system and it doesn’t process well. It can only end up jamming up your waste processor.

In this article, we’ll tell you why you cannot put potato peels in the garbage disposal, among other operational mistakes you should avoid. If you’ve unfortunately tried it and ended up clogging the machine. Don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to clear it up.

Should you put potato peels in a garbage disposal?

Putting Potato Peels in a Garbage Disposal: Is It Safe?As you can see, any object that expands or sticks to the drain can cause serious damage. The potato skins, when drained, turn into glue. Over time, those peels turn into starch that hardens and blocks your drain. This also applies to the garbage disposal. Some of the most common culprits of clogged garbage disposals are potato peels and you should not try disposing of them in the waste disposal. Instead, you can convert them into low-value animal feed. Potato peels are also great in the composter.

However, if you still want to try experimenting with it or other food items in the garbage disposal, choose a powerful garbage disposal that jams less.

According to most reviews, the L-1001 Garbage Disposal, designed by Waste King is one of the most reliable and time-proven ones. It has a permanent magnet motor that jams less. And if it jams or needs cleaning, it is designed to be easily cleaned, thanks to the removable splash guard.

Why not?

Unlike the skins of carrots, apples, pears, and other starch-free foods, potato peels emit gummy starch that turns them into a paste similar to an excess of mashed potatoes when pulverized by the blades of a garbage disposal. This mass often sticks to the waste cut-off mechanism or clogs up in the auxiliary pipes, causing an obstacle. So, you shouldn’t put potato peels in the machine.

Also, a garbage disposal cannot handle stringy or fibrous materials. Onion peels, scallions, chives, celery, and banana peels are not recommended for most garbage disposals as they wind around the blades and prevent them from turning and cutting.

Avoid putting cooked stringy meat such as beef, pork, or chicken in the disposal. Disposals cannot grind bone, or cartilage, raw or cooked. Animal fats poured into garbage disposers solidify in the blades and pipes.

Although coffee grounds and eggshells look delicate and easily grounded, their tiny particles cling to the sludge of pipeliners, and buildup promotes clogging.

How to clear a garbage disposal clogged with potato peels

Putting Potato Peels in a Garbage Disposal: Is It Safe?To keep the waste collection blades neat and clean, occasionally grind ice cubes into the unit. Lemon peels are also good for disposal as the acidity cleans the grease and debris from the blades of surrounding appliances and pipes.

If your arrangement stops working, let it cool down, press the red reset button on the processing unit under the sink and try again. After the power has been turned off to the unit, use pliers to remove visible obstructions.

Many models include a special Allen key-type tool to manually turn the blades and remove minor obstructions.

If the system needs a cleaning product or it smells, you may consider using a commercial cleaning product for garbage disposals.

Plink remains one of the most popular names in the industry. Their 9013 Garbage Disposal Cleaner and Deodorizer, is one of the best for cleaning and freshening garbage disposals, thanks to its lemon and citrus orange fragrance.

Tips on disposing of potato peels

  • Potato peels are better off in the kitchen waste bin than the garbage disposal.
  • If you have some backyard poultry or livestock, feed them to the animals.
  • Instead of dumping them, potatoes peels can also be used for composting.

Final thoughts

The starch in potatoes, even those left in the peels, can turn a serious obstacle when it gets down into the garbage disposal, especially when not run with enough water. Potato peels are better off fed off to animals, sent to the compost, or put in the kitchen waste bin. So, putting potato peels in garbage disposal is not really advisable or the result will give you a problem needed to be solved.

In addition to feeding food waste disposers things it cannot process, consumers often fail to follow directions for use. Do not overload the arrangement with large amounts of waste. Put the materials in a little at a time to avoid clogging or burning the engine. Never use dry elimination. Start running cold water in the sink before turning on the disposal and keep it running for at least one minute after turning off the appliance to clear the pipes and blades of all residue.

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