The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-14-2008, 12:28 AM
Renee Renee is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Ice cubes/egg shells sharpen garbage disposal blades?

I've heard multiple times that you should grind ice cubes in your garbage disposal to sharpen the blades. This has always struck me as rather stupid. Today I read that you should sharpen the blades (which are not sharp to begin with, in my experience) with egg shells. Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-14-2008, 12:43 AM
Silver Tyger Silver Tyger is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
I've always heard that ice cubes clean the blades. Y'know get all the gunk off that just running water can't hit. And egg shells are supposed to be bad.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-14-2008, 12:48 AM
Tristan Tristan is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
My experience with disassembling a disposal to take broken glass out shows that there really aren't "blades". What there were were several sets of spinning "teeth" that really weren't sharp at all. But they would spin, and essentially grind/crush whatever down.

So anything that says it's supposed to "sharpen" the blades is probably and Old Wives Tale.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-14-2008, 12:49 AM
Don't fight the hypothetical Don't fight the hypothetical is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: NoCal
Posts: 1,696
I'm sure there are different types of "blades" on different makes. I'm most familiar with InSinkErator brand. Food drops onto a impact plate where it is broken down into small pieces by free-spinning impact lugs. These are just that - lugs. Rather than being chopped or cut the waste is pounded or mangled. From there it spins to the outside of the impact plate where it passes through a set of offset windows where any long bits (think celery) are mangled smaller. The point being there are no 'blades' to sharpen.

Sorry if my description was unclear, I have seen them disassembled and was going by memory. I remember being surprised myself that there were no blades.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-14-2008, 12:03 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: slightly north of center
Posts: 4,262
It's not to sharpen, but to clean out.

We just shoved about #3 of leftover ice down the disposal last night, and we try to do it a couple times a year. All of the disposals I've looked at carefully have nooks and crannies in them. Unlike a nice smooth pipe, these are wonderful spots for food bits, chopped up and flung around by the disposal, to sit and rot. Stuff the disposal full of ice cubes, add water and then turn on the disposal. The ice cubes are chopped up into smaller and smaller chunks, which are flung into those same corners and scour out some of that built up gunk. Add a bit of baking soda to the mix and the disposal comes out smelling much better.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-14-2008, 01:13 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 21,496
Another place things like ice cubes will clean out is the top of the disposer. Think about the area that you would touch if you had to try and hold the disposer in place by reaching in from the top. I believe ISE reccommends fruit pits for cleaning as well.

And if it helps, try to think of a garbage disposal not as a blender, but rather is a very fast food mill.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-14-2008, 03:30 PM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
I just wanted to add that frozen vinegar works absolute wonders for cleaning a disposal. It's like ice squared, or even ... Um, never mind.
__________________
-Christian
"You won't like me when I'm angry. Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources." -- The Credible Hulk
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-14-2008, 05:31 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Both would dull something like a blender blade over time. Disposal blades are nothing like a like blender blade, and there is nothing to really sharpen or dull.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-14-2008, 07:09 PM
xanthous xanthous is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
I'd love to know why egg shells are supposed to be bad. I put 2 egg shells down there every single day. They seem to grind up just fine.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-14-2008, 11:20 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 21,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanthous
I'd love to know why egg shells are supposed to be bad. I put 2 egg shells down there every single day. They seem to grind up just fine.
I don't remember ever hearing that, but the only thing I can think of is that the thin lightweight shells might adhere to pipewalls downstream and cause other problems.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-14-2008, 11:50 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The Nasty Nati
Posts: 14,862
The ice theory works for me in terms of cleaning areas that might otherwise suffer from accumulation of rotting bits of organic matter. This (along with lemons and salt) is the same idea behind cleaning coffee pots in restaurants of that latent brown residue that accumulates on the insides of a glass pot.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.