6 Things You Should Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals were invented for a reason: they’re a quick and easy way to clean up the kitchen and dispose of excess materials. Most garbage disposals, however have limits on what they can and cannot dispose of. When it comes to your sink, prevention is the best medicine, and adopting good habits is the best way to keep your sink clean and disposal functioning. Next time you're cleaning your kitchen, think twice before putting these things down the garbage disposal.

Coffee Grounds

Disposing of your coffee grounds in your garbage disposal should be avoided. While it seems like a quick solution to throw them down the drain, coffee grounds can get stuck in your garbage disposal and cause a costly backup. One pot of coffee per morning down your disposal can cause a back up quickly. To avoid fighting with your sink and annoying backups, compost or throw away your coffee grounds.

Celerey, asparagus, corn husks and the likes

While some vegetables can go down your garbage disposal no problem, others can back it up and cause sizable problems. Vegetables that have long fibers such as celery, asparagus and corn husks all fall into this category. These fibers can get tied up in the blades of your garbage disposal, so throwing them away, or even better composting them, is the best solution.

Egg Shells

When you make your morning omelette, don’t make it a habit to throw your eggshells in the garbage disposal. The inner membrane within egg shells can get wrapped up in the blades of your disposal making it dull and stuck. Enjoy your eggs, but if you don’t like clogs, keep them out of your disposal.

Rice and Pasta

While ideal for stir fries, spaghetti, curry, and more, rice and pasta should be kept out of your garbage disposal. Because both foods expand in water, they can increase in size in your disposal. This causes a gross gooey mess in your sink and can cause your drain. Rather than spending your evening fighting with your sink, enjoy your Chicken Tikka Masala but don’t put the leftover rice down the disposal.

Grease and Fat

Bacon is great. Bacon grease in your garbage disposal is not so great. For a quick review of basic chemistry, fat liquifies and solidifies at a specific temperature. When oil is hot, it's liquid but when it cools down it becomes solid. Oil and water also don’t mix, which means these compounds can build up in your pipes and cause big trouble. Instead, wait until excess grease and fat cools down and clean it up with paper towels that will end up in the trash.


Things that are solid should not go down your disposal. Your garbage disposal may be strong, but it's probably not strong enough to deal with bones and other solid structures. They can get stuck in your sink and pipes, jam your garbage disposal, and cause a myriad of other problems. Instead, throw them away or compost them.

Seed pits and other solids

Same rule that applies to bones applies to seed pits and other solids: they don’t belong in the garbage disposal. Because of their thick nature, they can easily get caught in your disposal and cause a backup. Be proactive, and keep them in the compost or trash.

While sorting and dealing with leftovers can become tedious, taking note of what will break your garbage disposal will save you a lot of money and hassle in the long run. If your disposal is plagued by coffee grounds, grease, or any of the other aforementioned items, contact Pioneer Plumbing today!

Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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