Garbage Disposals - What NOT to put down the garbage disposal and how to care for it

 Here is a list of items you should avoid putting down a residential garbage disposal:

  • Popcorn and nuts: - Hard foods like nuts or popcorn kernels can damage the disposal blades. They also get wedged and are very difficult to remove.
  • Fibrous Vegetables: - Avoid putting fibrous vegetables like celery, artichokes, and corn husks down the disposal as they can wrap around the blades.
  • Onion Skins: - Onion skins are so soft and flexible that they wrap themselves around the grinders or slip under and get caught up making the grinders come to a stop. They also produce a clog in the pipes. Similar foods with tough fibers or strings, such as banana peelss, can entangle in the blades.
  • Potato Peels - They can create a paste that acts like glue.
  • Grease and Oil: - Never pour grease or oil down the disposal, as they can solidify and clog the drain over time.
  • Bones: - Hard bones from meat or fish can damage the disposal blades. Dispose of bones in the trash.
  • Fruit Pits and Seeds: - Large pits and seeds from fruits like peaches and avocados can damage the disposal blades or cause blockages.
  • Eggshells: - While a common misconception, eggshells can contribute to clogs. It's better to dispose of them in the trash. They DO NOT help sharpen the blades. T
  • Coffee Grounds: - Coffee grounds can accumulate in the pipes and create a sludgy mixture. Dispose of them in the trash or compost.
  • Starchy Foods: - Foods like pasta, beans, and rice can expand in water and contribute to clogs.
  • Non-Food Items: - Avoid putting non-food items like paper, plastic, or metal into the disposal.
  • Harsh Chemicals: - Refrain from using harsh chemicals like bleach or drain cleaners, as they can damage the disposal and pipes.
  • Large Quantities at Once: - Feed the disposal gradually rather than overwhelming it with large quantities of food at once.
  • Hot Water While Grinding: - Avoid using hot water while grinding food, as it can cause fats to liquefy and accumulate, leading to clogs.
  • Lack of Water: - Always run a steady stream of cold water while using the disposal to help flush the waste down the drain.

By being mindful of what you put down your residential garbage disposal, you can maintain its efficiency and avoid unnecessary clogs or damage.