If your household goes through dozens of bananas a week, you are not alone! This fruit, despite being a quick and easy snack for kids and adults alike, produces a whole lot of waste, owing to the banana peels. Of course, your natural decision would be to throw the peels in the trash bin, but, there are likely to be times when you wonder if you could, in fact, put banana peels in your garbage disposal.
You can put banana peels in a garbage disposal in small quantities. But do not put them in large quantities as the fibers in the peels can clog the garbage disposal and the drain pipes. Also, if your disposal is underpowered, it is best not to put banana peels at all.
So, when and when not to put banana peels? Continue reading to know more;
Can you put banana peels in a garbage disposal?
When you do your research online, most of the articles you come across will tell you NOT to put banana peels in garbage disposal. But, you should know that the answer to your question typically depends on the type and power of the garbage disposal you own. After all, when you have spent your precious money on the system, you would expect it to take in almost everything you “feed” it.
Some garbage disposal models, especially the more modern and expensive ones, come equipped with “anti-jam”, “multi-grind” or “continuous feed” technologies that allow them to grind continuously even fibrous materials/fruits/vegetables, including banana peels.
Here is such a garbage disposal that can grind banana peels;
InSinkErator Evolution Excel
It is still possible to put banana peels in garbage disposals that do not have any of the above modern technologies but make sure that you do this only once in a while. Some 1 HP and 3/4 HP disposals may be able to handle a few banana peels at a time without clogging. But 1/2 HP or 1/3 HP disposals may clog if you do so.
In any of the above cases, adding more than two or three peels at a time is not recommended.
Why can’t garbage disposals handle banana peels?
Ever wondered why most people say you shouldn’t put banana peels in garbage disposal? It is not because these peels are very tough or rigid. The blades of the garbage disposal have more than ample power to grind them to pulp.
The problem lies in this pulp!
Banana peels are very fibrous (the inner part) and hence are not liquefiable. Once ground, the fibrous layers tend to swell up with water, rather than being mashed/ground, and the blades of your garbage disposal unit will have less to no effect on them. As a result, the remnants of the peels can clog the pipes and dull the blades, thereby affecting the performance of the garbage system as a whole.
If you search Youtube, you can see plenty of videos where people grind banana peels without any problems, here is such a video;
What these videos fail to mention is that clogs appear gradually. It won’t clog your drains the first time, second, or even the tenth time you put banana peels. This will take time, depending on how many peels you add.
What to do if banana peels clog your garbage disposal?
In the unfortunate event that your garbage disposal is clogged with banana peels, you are going to have a very bad day. Unclogging banana peels in a garbage disposal is not easy, as many parts of the drain pipes can be clogged due to this.
The best way to unclog the garbage disposal, in this case, is to use a clog remover product like Drano (Check amazon link). Drano is not good for the disposal, but it is alright o use it once. If that doesn’t work, try to clear the drain using drain snakes (Here is a good one on Amazon).
If it is still clogged, try the unclogging methods listed here. As a last resort, hire a plumber.
How can you get rid of banana peels?
If banana peels cannot be put in garbage disposal, how else can you get rid of them? Unfortunately, since banana peels fall in the food waste category, they cannot be recycled. So, what else can you do with them?
One of the most efficient ways to use your banana peels would be to add them to your compost pile. This food waste makes an ideal ingredient to your compost mixture as it is known to be rich in nitrogen, which will mix well with all the other carbon-rich compost materials you have. They add a good amount of organic nutrients to the mix, and thus to the soil you use the compost in.
Banana peels make an excellent snack for many animals, including cows, pigs, rabbits, goats, and more. Just make sure that you remove any pesticide residue from the skin, by washing them, before feeding them to the animals.
For Indoor Plants
Fill a large pot with water and soak the banana peels in it for a few days. Add a cup of the soaked water with five cups of regular water to water your indoor plants. In addition to fertilizing your plants, this also helps prevent the attraction of fruit flies and other insects.
Who thought banana peels would make excellent shoe polish?! As crazy as it might sound, this trick actually works! One of the key ingredients of shoe polish is potassium, and as you might be aware, banana is rich in potassium, which makes the peel work its magic in making dusty leather shoes, furniture, and other items shine. All you need to do is wipe the inside layer of a peel on your shoe or any other leather item, and then use a soft cloth to buff the area.
Banana peels have been known to be effective in treating warts. Several pieces of research and testimonies from individuals themselves have revealed that this simple and common household food waste has turned out to be a painless treatment method for the cure of warts. Simply cut a piece of a banana peel, in a size similar to the size of the wart, and tape it on the affected area. Tape a fresh piece of a peel every day after washing the area, and you will start noticing reduced pain and softening warts in just a week’s time.
If you thought banana peels are inedible, it is time to know that banana is one of the few fruits that should be consumed skin to pit. While a medium-sized banana fruit is known to contain over 420 milligrams of potassium, its peel alone contributes to an additional 78 mg of the same, and not to forget, the rich and filling fiber content of the peel. This is why banana peels are consumed by people around the world, and westerners are just starting to follow.
Since the peel can be quite bitter and tough, you can consume it in different ways, like baking/frying/steaming it, or making a smoothie. Banana peels can also be used under any meat you cook, to keep the meat tender and juicy.