Carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns is an age-old Halloween tradition. However, this pre-holiday fun can turn into a plumbing nightmare if the pulp and seeds find their way down the garbage disposal. With the usual increase in clogged kitchen sink drains and jammed garbage disposals plumbers see this time of year, Mr. Rooter®Plumbing is prepared for the spike in calls. "We stay quite busy during Halloween because people don't realize the pumpkin's stringy, slimy substance hardens and sticks to the pipes," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter. The trick to keeping pumpkin pulp and seeds from causing plumbing problems is being cautious when removing and disposing of the pumpkin's remains. Mrs. Rooter's pumpkin advice:
- Carve pumpkins on a newspaper away from the kitchen sink
- Do not put pulp and seeds into the garbage disposal or toilet
- Throw all pumpkin-related waste and newspaper in the garbage
- Roast those seeds and compost the stringy stuff in the pumpkin, unless you want your compost pile to become a pumpkin patch next year.
And the treat for following this recommendation -- pumpkin carvers can use the pulp and seeds for Halloween desserts, breads and muffins. There are recipes that use both pulp and seeds. For even more ideas for pumpkin use, see Earth 911's article here.