What Not to Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposals are an effective and environmentally friendly way to dispose food. While there are many things you can put down your disposal, there are certain items to avoid because they can clog or even harm the disposal.


Don’t Put:

Stringy & fibrous foods – Fibrous foods can easily get caught in the blades and jam them. Food such as corn husks, onion skins, celery, lettuce, and artichokes are better off in the trash or compost

Rice & pasta – Expandable foods like rice and pasta can clog your drain. Even when chopped, they can swell up once water is added.

Oil, fat, & grease – Fat and grease solidify when cooled and can start to build up inside the pipes.

Bones – Garbage disposal blades aren’t designed to be strong enough for bone grinding. Beef, pork, chicken, lamb bones, and so on should not be put in garbage disposals. Fish bones, however, are fine to go down the disposal.

Egg shells – The thin shell membranes can get stuck to the blades and the sides of the disposal.

Coffee grounds – While not necessarily harming your disposal, coffee grounds can build up over time and clog the drain and pipes.

Potato peels – These can turn into a thick paste when grinded and clog your disposal.

Seeds, pits & apple cores – Your disposal is powerful, but even hard items like seeds and pits are too much for them to handle without a lot of effort. Your garbage disposal will last longer if you can avoid putting them through the drain.

Non-food items – Garbage disposals are not meant for non-food items so just remember to check your disposal before you start it.

Now that what can have a better idea of what should not go down a garbage disposal, you’re probably wondering what you can put in it.

Do Put:

Cold water – A garbage disposal is meant to be used with water so go ahead and run water before you start your disposal and for a little bit after to help ease the process. Don’t use hot water though, as this can melt any fat and grease which clog drains once they re-solidify.

Soft foods & liquids – Softer food will make things a lot easier on your garbage disposal.

Chopped & small sized food – Putting in smaller portions of food can prevent the disposal from jamming. In addition, it’s best to put them in one at a time rather than shoving in large amounts.

Orange or citrus peals – Small slices of citrus peels can freshen up your disposal and keep it from smelling sour.

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