Can You Put Orange Peels in Garbage Disposal? — Yes, and That’s Why

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Last updatedLast updated: March 23, 2022
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Every kitchen needs a garbage disposal unit that cleans up food waste and prevents odor from accumulated trash. These appliances work incorporate a powerful motor and rotating propellers that create centrifugal force which propels the trash in a circular path away from the center to the walls where it is ground down to be flushed down the drain. The next thing you should know is the type of food that you can put in the disposal without it clogging or damaging your appliance. So, can you put orange peels in a garbage disposal unit?

Yes, you can. Citrus scent from lemons and oranges freshens up your kitchen by eliminating rancid odor from decaying food or the stench from disposed dishes with onions and garlic which produce an unpleasant smell. You may also put orange peels in garbage disposal because they are easy to shred and will not produce the gunk created by greasy and fatty foods. We have reviewed the best practices for proper disposal of waste and how to clean your unit with orange peels.

The quick answer

Can You Put Orange Peels in Garbage Disposal? — Yes, and That's Why

Majority of us are aware that putting too much waste or food scraps such as meat, bones, grease, pasta, vegetable peels, and onions in your disposal system would clog or damage it, or generate a bad smell.

Some plumbers caution against putting orange peels in garbage disposal since they may get stuck, especially if you place a large amount in a model that is designed for batch feed rather than a continuous feed. However, there is a safe way to use this inexpensive method to clean a disposal as long as you adhere to the guidelines in this article.

In addition to deodorizing the garbage disposal with a refreshing scent, orange peels are easy to grind and they break down grease and sludge buildup that could jam the appliance or the drain.

How to clean your garbage disposal with citrus peels?

Garbage disposal units are also referred to as Insinkerator, a well-known brand that makes waste disposal appliances that are installed under the sink. The location is convenient for quick disposal of food scraps and it stays out of the way.

Before buying a standard sink, deep-sink or garbage disposal septic system, confirm that the size of the model can meet your household demand

Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines and lemons, and tangerines are commonly placed in these units to help dissolve fatty layers on the walls of the disposal, remove odor-causing bacteria formed from rotting food and generate a pleasant invigorating scent. Below we have explained the steps involved in using orange peels in garbage disposal for a fresh kitchen.

1.     Turn off the power switch

The first step is to switch off power and disconnect the unit before cleaning it. This is a safety precaution to prevent the disposal from accidentally running as you remove the jammed food waste. You will mostly find the switch positioned adjacent to the switch that operates the kitchen light or controls your other electronic appliances.

2.     Remove non-disposable items

Garbage disposal models come with tailored designs that are compatible with different types of sinks. You will find quiet garbage disposal systems with sound-dampening technology like sealed and anti-vibration mechanisms as well as garbage disposals for deep sinks that feature a compact size to fit well under such sinks.

Although these tools can properly dispose of several kinds of food waste, some items should never be put in them. This brings us to the next step.

Check for any non-disposable items and physically remove them with pliers, tongs or this 11-inch Mr. Scrappy Garbage Disposal Brush with a sturdy handle and stiff bristles.

Non-disposable material includes glass, bones, rubber or metal. Non-disposable debris like high-fibrous food may also lodge and accumulate on the sides, providing a fertile ground for bacteria to grow and compromising your unit’s performance. Sometimes, you may have to use your hands to pull out food waste that has stubbornly stuck in the disposal. This is why it is important to confirm that power is disconnected before you start cleaning.

3.     Add 2 cups of ice and 1 cup of rock salt

Can You Put Orange Peels in Garbage Disposal? — Yes, and That's Why

The shredding components require cleaning, too, and ice is known to sharpen blades as well as help with deodorization of disposal.

Add 2 cups of ice cubes to the disposal. You may add a cup of rock salt or vinegar over the ice cubes for additional cleaning power.

Some home owners substitute the 2 cups of ice with 3 frozen vinegar cubes which helps to remove odor.

4.     Fill your sink with water and turn the appliance on

Next, turn on the unit and allow cold water to run continuously for about 10 seconds. A continuous stream of cold water while you clean the disposal serves as lubricant for the blades. It helps to loosen and disintegrate food particles from the unit, and then expel them down the drain.

Cold water is convenient for eliminating gunk from greasy food because it is easier to remove fat in solid state than in a heated liquid condition. It is also recommended when cleaning a garbage disposal with orange peels or ground waste since hot water would create a thickened paste that would be tedious to flush away.

Hot water may be used in some instances alongside baking soda or vinegar to reduce calcium build up. It may also be used as a final rinse. After rinsing the disposal with cold water, turn off the unit and run hot water for up to 15 seconds.

5.     Run 4-6 citrus peels through your garbage disposal

Some garbage disposal units support continuous feeding of food waste while others should be fed in batches to prevent clogging or overworking the appliance. Add 4 to 6 orange peels in your garbage disposal to deodorize it and keep your sink fresh. Run full-blasted cold water for 30 to 45 seconds.

Do orange peels remove unpleasant odors?

Orange peels can quickly fix a stinking sink Trusted Source Orange Peel Uses | Reader's Digest How to use orange peels as an air freshener, natural hair treatment, non-toxic cleaner and stain remover, thanks to the amazing benefits of oranges. when you put them in your garbage disposal. They contain antibacterial oils which peel away at grime and prevents development of mold, and they are effective at absorbing bad odor while infusing your kitchen with their citrus aroma.

What waste can ruin your appliance?

Garbage disposal units are economical tools that save us money on trash bags while conserving the environment by limiting overflow of landfills. However, not every food scrap is suitable for disposal in such a unit. We have listed some of the items below that are a no-no.

  • Bones: Needs no explanation, really.
  • Onion skin: Apart from the foul smell, the wet membrane of the thin outer layer of onions may adhere to other items and wedge them in the disposal if it is not properly diced.
  • Shells: A few people believe that egg shells can sharpen the blades. However, the membrane on the inner side of egg shells might lodge around the grinding components instead. Also, seafood shells from oyster, shrimp and lobster are too hard to grind properly and should be put in a trash bag.
  • Coffee ground: It reduces odor but may form a dense paste that would strain your appliance. The same applies to peanuts once ground by the disposal blades.
  • Pasta and Oatmeal: They expand in water.
  • Pits: The pits of peaches and avocados are hard to grind and would not be properly expelled in the drain.
  • Potato peels: They cling to other waste items which could cause clogging if there are several peels.
  • Fibrous food waste: These include vegetables such as pumpkin with long strands or stringy stalk that could tangle up on the blades, or corn husks due to their composition of fine threads and tough husks.

Final thoughts

Orange peels in a garbage disposal provide an affordable way to clean up debris and grime, eliminate odor and add a fresh citrus aroma to your sink and kitchen. To remove stubborn food waste, we recommend this lemon-scented Glisten DP20B Garbage Disposer Cleaner which delivers deep-reaching foam in a cleanser packaged in 20 biodegradable packets.


Orange Peel Uses | Reader's Digest
How to use orange peels as an air freshener, natural hair treatment, non-toxic cleaner and stain remover, thanks to the amazing benefits of oranges.
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