8 Things You Shouldn’t Put Down Your Garbage Disposal


Garbage disposals are marketed like thoroughbreds. We expect them to be tough, quick and efficient. It’s easy to assume these to be super machines and load them with a lot more than they were designed for.

We hope you’re not manhandling your garbage disposal by putting waste that’s not meant for it. To be doubly sure, just browse through this list of things that should never go down the garbage disposal.

1. Pasta and Rice

Pasta, rice, oats and cereals are a common reason for kitchen drain clogs. It’s true that these food items appear soft and mushy and can be ground well by the disposal blades. But once in the drain, they retain water, swell up and accumulate in a mass. That’s enough to create a huge clog and a messy problem for your plumbing.

The sticky residue may also remain stuck between the crevices and blades of the disposal emanating foul odor. If you have to frequently adopt measures to remove garbage disposal smells, then you’re likely disposing the wrong things through your disposal.

2. Cooking grease and oil

It’s quite convenient to pour the cooking grease and oil in the garbage disposal for quick riddance. If you’re in this habit too, you can quite certainly expect a plumbing emergency soon. The grease, fat and oil will eventually solidify in the drain and accumulate in a huge floating mass and choke the drain.

The right way to dispose of oil or grease is to let it cool and solidify. You can then scrape off the solid waste, collect it in a disposable container and then throw it in the trash can.

3. Onion skin and similar vegetable waste

The insoluble skin and peels of vegetables like onions, celery, artichokes, rhubarb, corn husks etc. are not suitable for the garbage disposal. Fibrous vegetables and even potato peels are not recommended for the garbage disposal.

It’s difficult to break down these wastes. They tend to get tangled around the disposal’s blades and create trouble.

In order to safely dispose of such garbage you should either dump them in the trash can or try composting it.

4. Coffee grounds and tea residue

Coffee grounds and tea residue are notorious for causing sludge build up in the drain. Throwing coffee and tea residue in the garbage disposal is likely to create problems for the drain and plumbing. You should opt for throwing this waste in the trash or try some creative ways to make good use out of it.

5. Pits and seeds

We hope you’ve never tried pitching the avocado and peach pits in the garbage disposal. These items are too dense; it’s rather challenging to break them down in the garbage disposal. You might have ground a couple of pits by mistake sometimes. But if you make this a regular practice, you’ll have to sacrifice the disposal’s blades or end up with a faulty motor soon enough.

6. Bones and egg-shells

Bones, egg-shells and sea-food shells are also strict no-no for your garbage disposal. It is pretty evident that bones and sea-food shells are too tough to be handled by the disposal’s blades. Even though there’s somewhat of a mixed opinion regarding disposing egg-shells in the garbage disposal, we’d say it’s better to be safe than sorry.

7. Glass, metal and wood

If you ever happen to get glass, metal or wood in the garbage disposal (accidentally, of course!), immediately turn off the machine and get those things out. These items could harm the garbage disposal beyond repair.

8. Stickers and wrappers

Follow this simple rule – trash should always go where it rightly belongs, in the trash can. These things can get stuck in the disposal’s blades. If they do manage to pass through, they might end up getting stuck to the drain pipe. Make a little effort and separate the food stickers, wrappers and labels from the garbage that goes in the disposal.

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