The holiday season is the time of year for decorations, gift-giving, and family gatherings. It’s also the season for kitchen disasters such as blocked garbage disposals.

Holiday Tips – What Not to Put Down the Garbage DisposalWhen you’re gathering with family and friends, the last thing on your mind is how to find a good plumber. And if its right in the middle of Thanksgiving day, do you really want to be calling a plumber for emergency services and dealing with the mess of overflowing water?

As a plumber, the holidays are some of my busiest times. But with just a little bit of TLC, you can avoid the situation altogether.

In order to avoid having to find a plumber during the holiday, take note of these tips to avoid a blocked garbage disposal:

Don’t pour turkey grease down the disposal. Grease is one of the main culprits of a clogged disposal. Grease isn’t a fast action item. Instead, it may take weeks to build up. And of course grease knows no time, so it will reach damage potential at the most inopportune times.  Pour drippings or grease in a metal soup or coffee can instead of your garbage disposal. It can save you down the road.

Watch out for bones. While disposals are tough, they are not made for grinding bones. One sharp edge can break a blade and leave you with a big mess.

Avoid putting big pieces of veggies into the disposal. They can clog up your garbage disposal because the blades are not strong enough to shred things like chunks of carrots or potatoes. Too many fibrous materials can damage the blades.

Always run the water when you use the disposal. This helps to wash out the food debris and carry it down the pipes.

Use lemons to deodorize your disposal. Cut-up pieces of lemon can easily be ground by your disposal, creating a fresh scent and instant deodorizer. Oranges work too!

Don’t use bleach. Avoid pouring bleach down the drain, as this can damage the pipes.

Being aware of everything you put down the garbage disposal is the first step in using it correctly. With proper use, your garbage disposal can be a big help around the kitchen. And you can enjoy the holidays as they were meant to be!