A lot of people like to entertain during the summer, but the next time you have guests over for a barbecue, cookout, or pool party, just make sure to keep them out of your kitchen—and away from your garbage disposal. As our professional plumbers have seen firsthand, people too often use their garbage disposal as a second wastebasket. The truth is that you should only be putting small food remnants in your garbage disposal, while most food waste should still go into the trash can. Keep reading to learn the top 10 foods you should never put down your garbage disposal, and remember to call Roby Services the next time you need expert plumbing repairs.
Never Put These Foods Down Your Garbage Disposal:
- Bones: Bones are one of the absolute worst things you can put in your garbage disposal, given that they may not only create blockages, but can easily wear down and bend your blades, forcing you to replace the disposal altogether
- Pits: Like bones, fruit pits – such as what you would find in an avocado or a peach – are extremely hard, and are likely to dent or break your device’s blades.
- Skins & Rinds: Everything from watermelon rinds to carrot skins should go into your trash can rather than your garbage disposal. While harder rinds can be outright destructive, even smaller skins can easily become wrapped around your disposal’s blades, ending up stuck in your system for a long time. When it comes to citrus rinds, little pieces are okay, and may even help get rid of nasty smells. But anything bigger than a small lemon or lime wedge should be thrown away.
- Nuts & Seeds: Not only are nuts and seeds prone to getting stuck in your disposal for a long time, when they do get ground down they can form a paste, which in turn can create clogs.
- Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds have a sedimentary nature, and if you have ever tried to wipe them up, you know how difficult it can be. This is why they tend to get stuck in your disposal rather than getting washed down your drain. Enough coffee grounds thrown down your garbage disposal over time can even create a kind of sludge, leading to blockages.
- Egg Shells: You would think because of their easily breakable nature, eggshells would be a natural thing to toss down your garbage disposal. And to a certain extent, you would be right—your disposal blades will have no problem cutting eggshells up. It’s what happens after that’s the problem, as the tiny pieces that your eggshells are cut into stick to the walls of your drain lines, much like the aforementioned coffee grounds and nuts.
- Seafood Shells: Hard seafood shells, like what you would find on a clam or oyster, are basically just as bad for your garbage disposal as bones. Even if you can crack those lobster claws easily, don’t take the chance by putting them in your disposal—throw them in the trash instead.
- Starches: Whether we’re talking about bread, pasta, oatmeal, or potatoes, the bottom line when it comes to starches is to avoid the garbage disposal. When met with water, starches can turn into a glutinous mess, likely to form clogs rather than washing away completely.
- Fibrous Foods: Foods that are extremely fibrous tend to get wrapped around your garbage disposal’s blades rather than making their way down your drain line. This largely includes vegetables or vegetable scraps, such as celery and rhubarb or onion skins and corn husks. While most vegetables are fine to throw in your disposal, make sure to toss the fibrous ones in the kitchen wastebasket.
- Grease: Other than hard items that can destroy your system’s blades, grease, oils, and fats are just about the very worst thing to shove down your garbage disposal. These items do not wash away easily, instead congealing to form obstructions that other food can get stuck in, leading to a smelly clog that will almost certainly force you to call a plumber.