The Worst Day For Garbage Disposals

So back in October when I was in Maryland visiting my family and I attempted to write a blog a day for ten days, I was taking notes on anything that could possibly become a blog idea. If you sneezed and I thought it was interesting, I probably wrote that down. My mom at one point said she had to watch herself because anything she did could become “Key of Kels” material. It was true. I was often heard saying, “I might blog about that.”

One of these said notes was probably a piggy back conversation to our dish washing OCD conversation (see Bylsma Dishwasher Rules). We got to talking about garbage disposals. My dad had the quote that kicked it off.

“You know what the worst day for garbage disposals is? Thanksgiving.”


Other disposal words of wisdom?

  • Never put celery down there. It seems harmless, but it acts like string and just ties the blades in a big knot.
  • Always run water when it’s on. Cold water is best.
  • Sometimes I just fill up the sink after I use it a lot and let it drain through.

Yep. I think we had been drinking.

Now Brad did not grow up in a house with a garbage disposal. He is only starting to know the wonders of the machine. He told me that once, in Orlando, he was talking to one of his housemates about what was ok to put down there. His housemate started listing foods that were ok. Leftovers, egg shells (I don’t know if I agree with this one), cereal, even a whole pizza.

“Why would you want to put a whole pizza down the drain?” Brad said. Obviously, he would much rather EAT a whole pizza than pulverize it and flush it down the drain.

“I don’t know, but if you ever wanted to, you could definitely do it.”


I, however, have always had a garbage disposal. The only time I scrape my plate before rinsing it is if there are bones on it. Pretty much everything else is fair game.

Brad and I are still recovering from a really bad garbage disposal experience recently. In our old apartment, nothing worked all that well. Especially the garbage disposal. One night I was cleaning out the refrigerator and getting rid of food that had been sitting just a bit too long. I had some leftover homemade chicken noodle soup. Nothing in there can’t be ground up pretty easily, especially after sitting for a week or so.

But all of a sudden the water stopped draining. The disposal just whirred and hummed. The sink filled up with murky leftovers water. Then the other sink started to fill. Oh and THEN the dishwasher started to fill. And overflow.


We will just call this the Great Flood of Kansas Avenue, 2011. Not only was this disgusting, but it actually took two days for someone to come out and even attempt a repair. Imagine living with a chef for two days with dirty water coming out of your kitchen sinks and dishes you can’t easily wash.

To make matters worse, the guy the landlord sent over to snake the drain snaked right on through into the neighbors apartment and busted a hole through their pipes. This is when our property manager informed us that we shouldn’t even be putting lettuce down the drain. What were we thinking?  This was also when I informed Brad that I would be looking for new apartments ASAP.


So after all of that, you would have think we had learned. Our new apartment is amazing, but its still old. It was built in the 1940s. The piping wasn’t then what it is now. You just have to treat it with a little respect.

Which is why we should have known, last night, on our version of the “worst day for garbage disposals”, that it was not a good idea to put the potato peels down there. We should have known that the red reset button just wasn’t going to do the trick. And I should have known when I Googled clogged garbage disposal (trying to fix it before Brad came back in the kitchen and freaked out. He DID tell us not to put the peels down there…) it would come back and tell me that potato peels are the WORST thing to put into a disposal.

Well of course.

So we ate our incredible day after Thanksgiving feast with the Toasts (coffee rubbed rib roast, cranberries, sweet potato skewers, stuffing, braised greens…) and then made a few trips down to Walgreens for Drano and when that didn’t work, to Rite Aid for a plunger.

Brad said the girl in front of him in line was also buying a plunger.

Turns out Dad was right. Thanksgiving really is the worst day for garbage disposals. And I bet Rite Aid sold a lot of plungers yesterday.

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