It's dark, damp and quiet, and it possesses a set of blades. Sound like something out of a scary movie? Well yes, but we're also talking about a garbage disposal!
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When you think about it, the disposal can be a little creepy. Of course the makers of scary movies and television shows have taken hold of this idea, capturing our nightmarish imaginations with grizzly scenes involving garbage disposals that have woven their way into pop culture.
Scary Scenes Involving Garbage Disposals
In the horror film, "Halloween: H20," psycho killer Michael Myers is back. During his reign of terror one of the characters, Charlie, is standing in a dark kitchen. At some point he accidentally drops a corkscrew down the drain in the kitchen sink (hmm, wonder what's going to happen!?). Around this time, Myers is walking towards the house searching for Charlie. There is a camera inside the garbage disposal showing Charlie's fingers as he fumbles to retrieve the corkscrew. Of course Myers locates Charlie, approaches him from behind, stabs him and finishes him by turning on the garbage disposal.
In 2006, the popular NBC series, "Heroes," featured a scene where a cheerleader had super powers; she was "indestructible." To prove her point, she shoved her hand down into a garbage disposal, turned it on, and when she pulled her hand out it was mangled. However, because of her super powers her hand healed within seconds!
Take Care of your Disposal
Assuming that you're able to avoid these rather far-fetched scenarios – and subsequent plumbing problems – there are a few basic rules when it comes to keeping your garbage disposal running efficiently:
1. Do not put anything "hard" into the disposal. This includes egg shells, plastic, twist ties, cigarette butts, bottle caps, paper or anything that might be a challenge for your disposal to break down.
2. Avoid depositing certain food items into the disposal, such as:
• Banana peels
• Corn husks
• Onion skins
• Potato peelings
These items are hard for disposals to process, and might get wrapped around or stuck inside of the shredder ring and cause clogging and the inevitable need for plumbing repairs.
In other words, be very careful about what you put into your disposal. Although the higher-end models have more capacity to shred and process more "stubborn" or "harder" items. Use common sense with your disposal. Most disposals are meant for softer food items that can be shredded relatively easy.
Also, make frequent drain cleaning a habit. Be sure to run cold water down the drain when you run the garbage disposal. Even after all the waste has been processed, continue to run water through the unit for about 30 to 60 seconds. This will go a long way toward keeping your garbage disposal clean and unclogged.