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4th Of July Picnic Clean-Up: 3 Items You Should Avoid Putting Down The Garbage Disposal

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Hosting a Fourth of July picnic is a joyous event that is filled with good times, great memories, and a whole lot of food. After the fireworks have settled down, it's time to clean up and dispose of food. If you own a garbage disposal, it's only natural to want to get rid of a lot of the food waste through this appliance. Before dumping the food down your drain, it's important to be aware of the potential problems that can occur. There are three types of Fourth of July foods that can cause major plumbing problems when they are run through a garbage disposal. By being aware of these issues, you can help prevent clogs and ensure that your clean-up goes smoothly.

Corn on the Cob

Corn on the cob is a great picnic tradition. The vegetable is fun to hold and eat. It also pairs well with a variety of other foods. One thing that corn on the cob doesn't pair well with is your garbage disposal. When preparing corn on the cob, the corn should be peeled and husked over a garbage can rather than the sink. Almost every part of a corn on the cob can create plumbing issues when placed in a garbage disposal.

The husks, corn silk, and kernels all contain a lot of fibrous materials. These materials can wrap around a disposal and clog up the drainage area. If a clog has occurred, a plumber can take apart a garbage disposal, clean it out, and ensure that it operates smoothly again. Since the corn on the cob is all-natural, you can easily husk the corn outside and use the materials for a garden bed or simply place them into a compost bin.

Meat Scraps

A Fourth of July picnic is a great time to enjoy a variety of meats like chicken, streak, and hamburgers. As you're cleaning up after the meals are prepared, you want to avoid most of the raw meat ingredients from making their way down the garbage disposal. Not only can small bones cause a lot of damage to the appliance, but raw meat can become stringy and tough to break down. The meat can cause a lot of wear on your blades and decrease the performance of a garbage disposal.

You should also be aware of cooked meat that is sent through drains. Meats that have been cooked or covered in a sauce can include a lot of grease and oil. These items can create clogs and performance issues for your disposal. If meats or bones have been run through the disposal, then you should contact a plumber for repairs. A clogged pipe can create messy situations, including flooding or a failure for water to drain properly.


Many types of salads are often served at Fourth of July parties. This includes tossed salads, pasta salads, and potato salads. While salads may seem like they have smaller items that can easily go through a garbage disposal, there are many problems that can occur when trying to place them down the drains. One of the main issues that comes with salads is the dressings that are used in them. Grease and fat found in salad dressing can create major problems when placed down the garbage disposal. The oils and fats can harden and create clogging issues for your pipes.

Salads often contain fibrous materials that can create clogging issues as well. Lettuce, chopped vegetables, or items like potato skins can be tough to send through the disposal. When placing large bowls of salad through the disposal, these clogs can quickly occur. A plumber can use a professional tool like a plumber's snake to clear out these areas and keep the disposal clear of problems.

It's easier to prevent problems then fixing them in the future. Contact a plumbing professional from a company like Bob's Plumbing & Heating for any concerns you may have when these items have gone through the disposal.