FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) - Chances are you have been spending a lot of time at home cooking in 2020 and your garbage disposal could be working on overdrive. So let’s find out what foods are safe to put in your disposal – and which belong in the trashcan.

Plumbing technician Willis Fitzpatrick of Lutz Plumbing explains a few potato peelings would be okay, but if you have a lot of peelings, it is best to throw them away.

“Any starchy foods – grain rice potatoes – they can expand in your drain line and clog them up,” explained Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said apple cores, peaches and avocados should not go down your sink drain.

“The general rule, if you can’t cut it with a knife don’t put it in a garbage disposal. Things like that are too hard for a garbage disposal, should go in the trash,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick also weighed in on eggshells.

“A few would be okay, remember everything in moderation. The membrane of the shells can get caught up in the blades. It can stop your garbage disposal,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick warns to keep the grease away from the drain. He said it will slide into your pipes, solidify and clog your pipes. He said opt for a container or a glass jar for your grease. An added bonus, you can use the grease to cook later or throw it away.

Fitzpatrick has additional tips.

”When using your garbage disposal use cold, not hot water. Hot water will liquify things that get stuck as they solidify. Cold water will push it on through. After you use the garbage disposal you want to run it for a minute after to push all the food particles on through the drain,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick also touched on lettuce, kale any other greenery you may have.

“I like to use the rule if a baby can eat it, you can put it in the garbage disposal. Soft foods like fruits and vegetables, as long as they are not big chunks. If you have a lot slice it up and throw it in there. But everything in moderation. If you are dumping a lot of one thing, it’s best to just throw it in the trash,” said Fitzpatrick

He recommended to avoid putting stringy vegetables in the garbage disposal – veggies like corn husks, chard, celery and onion skins. Those can get wrapped around your garbage disposal’s blades.

If you notice a smell near the disposal, you can also squeeze some lemon juice into the disposal, let it sit, then run some cold water.

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