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What NOT to Put in a Garbage Disposal-A Printable List of 16 Items

What are the things you shouldn’t put in a garbage disposal? Cars, bicycles, furniture, electronic gadgets; the list goes on…

But that’s not the list you are looking for, is it?

You know a lot of items that shouldn’t go down the disposal,

But there are certain items you are not sure whether they can be put in a disposal or not; items that look harmless at first look. Let people know this information by sharing it on your social platforms. In order to have more visibility and engagement check out Socialgreg and their wide range of social media services.
So, here is a list of all those items you think it is ok to feed into the disposal but you SHOULDN’T.

What not to put in a garbage disposal?

Here are the items you shouldn’t put in a garbage disposal;

  1. Grease and oil
  2. Rice, pasta, and anything that swells
  3. Eggshells
  4. Non-edible food items
  5. Animal bones
  6. Harsh chemicals
  7. Fibrous vegetables
  8. Coffee grounds
  9. Onion skins and potato peels
  10. Spoons and utensils
  11. Hands and fingers
  12. Pumpkin
  13. Corn husks
  14. Seafood
  15. Carrots
  16. Artichokes

1. Grease & Oil

Grease and oil are no friendly neighbors of garbage disposals. They don’t need grinding so you may wonder why they can’t be just flushed down the disposals, and it may even work for a few times. But over time the grease and oil will fill the gaps in the grinding ring reducing its grinding efficiency. They also solidify in the drain causing clogs, not to mention the decaying smell.

2. Rice, Pasta, Anything That Swells

The problem with disposing of food items like rice and pasta is that they swell when in contact with water. Not only that, but they will also make a sticky, slimy thing. Just like grease and oils, these can stick to the grinding chamber walls or the drain pipe causing clogs and other damages. Removing them from the disposal can be a nasty business.

3. Egg Shells

It is not exactly the eggshells that cause the problem here, it is that tiny, teeny egg membrane. These thin membranes while grinding can stick to the grinding components and cause problems. Actually, garbage disposals can handle these food items and they don’t pose any problems but the number of eggshells you put into matters here. It is ok to grind 2-3 shells at a time but not 50.

4. Non-Edible Food Items

Are there non-edible food items? Well, fruit pits and seeds can be considered so. Do you know how hard it is to cut a peach pit? Almost impossible, then why think it is any easier for garbage disposals. While you may succeed in grinding a fruit pit once in a while it can damage the grinding components of the disposer. Throwing them into a trash can is a much easier and economical solution.

5. Animal Bones

Bones are hard to grind, no doubt. While putting bones into a disposal unit is a bad idea, I know people who grind small chicken and fish bones and they never had any problems. But again those disposals are high powered, like ¾ or 1 HP and the bones are not added in bulk. Apply the same eggshells’ rule here too.

6. Harsh Chemicals

Do not mistake your kitchen sink for a chemistry laboratory. The grinding components of most garbage disposals are made of galvanized steel which can corrode when contacted with strong chemicals like bleaching powder and such cleaning agents.

7. Fibrous Vegetables

Vegetables like celery, asparagus, etc shouldn’t be added to a garbage disposal unit. Their very fibrous nature makes it really hard for the machine to break them. These food items will undoubtedly cause damages and clogs

8. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds seem harmless and easy to grind. After all, they are ground to make coffee, can’t a 1HP disposer do the same? Coffee grounds do not cause any damage to the disposal, actually, they are a good material to grind to sharpen and clean the grinding components, but they can cause really bad clogs in the pipeline, which is why coffee grounds are not advised to be thrown down a disposal. What else, coffee grounds have other better uses –

9. Onion Skins And Potato Peels

How can a teeny onion skin or a potato peel damage a big disposer? The answer is they don’t, but undoubtedly they are very good at causing clogs down the pipeline.

10. Spoons And Utensils

This is a no-brainer. Spoons and Utensils are not food wastes, and I never heard of anyone disposing of them by grinding. When operating a disposer keep these items away from the sink. A steel fork accidentally falling into a running disposal can cost you hundreds of dollars.

11. Your Hands And Fingers

Common sense is not very common, that’s why people still stick their hands into disposers and get hurt. If you doubt me just do a google search to see those artistically cut fingers. While mature people are fully aware of the dangers but do it anyway, kids are another matter. They don’t know how dangerous this can be, so take care to keep them away from your sink while operating a disposal.

12. Pumpkins

Anyone who carved a pumpkin for Halloween knows how sticky they are. When thrown down a garbage disposal though they are juicy and slimy they will stick on to the grinding blades and form a clog. The only way to get rid of a pumpkin clog is by dismantling the pipes and cleaning it.

13. Corn Husk

Corn husks are some of the most fibrous items you can find in a kitchen. They are extremely difficult to grind and should never ever end up in a disposal.

14. Seafood

While you may feel confident that seafood like shrimp can be disposed of safely in a garbage disposal, that’s not the case. Instead of going down the pipes they will form a white little ball that will clog the disposal. No matter what magical remedies you try, dismantling the pipes is the only option that will work.

15. Carrots

Carrots? Are they fibrous? I really had an argument with my roommate about dropping a few pieces of carrots into the disposal. No one ever thinks they are fibrous and that they can wrap around the grinding teeth. Well, some people have to learn the truth the hard way.

16. Artichokes

Artichokes are yet another vegetable you shouldn’t put in a garbage disposal. They are very fibrous and like carrots form a clog easily. The reason why I mentioned carrots and artichokes separately is that many people tend to consider it ok to grind these.

Charles John

A few years back I bought a garbage disposal for the first time in my life. And the buying experience wasn’t good. There were lots of models in the market, and I was not sure about which one to buy. They all looked the same to me. So once I went through the experience I started this blog to randomly write things about garbage disposals. Then I got really interested in the subject and started to write comparisons of very similar garbage disposals with each other. A lot of my readers find them very useful in making the right buying choice. I hope it helps you too.




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