How often do you put food scraps down the garbage disposal? If the answer is all the time, you could be contributing to clogs and broken garbage disposal units.

If you’re tired of your garbage disposal unit malfunctioning all the time, it might be time to take a long, hard look at what you’re regularly putting down it. There are certain items that, when ground up, can wreak havoc on your home’s plumbing system.

Don’t let it happen to you! Here are the top things that you should never put at your disposal.

Grease, Oil, and Fats


Grease, oils, and fats should never be put down the garbage disposal. These materials can clog drain lines, causing serious damage. Grease, oils, and fats do not easily break down in the water and can turn hard once cooled. This hardness can cause it to adhere to pipe walls, creating clogs that can cause kitchen and bathroom sink drains to become slow and eventually full of clogs.

Coffee grounds are very oily, and as they go down the garbage disposal, they stick to its interior walls and eventually form a thick paste that can cause your pipes and garbage disposal to clog. Additionally, the oily residue of coffee grounds can eventually cause the motor of your garbage disposal to overwork, leading to an overheated motor and, eventually, a broken disposal unit.

Additionally, dumping grease, oils, and fats down the drain can lead to a build-up of bacteria and unpleasant odors. The best way to dispose of these items is to collect them in a sealed plastic container and throw them away in the regular trash. This will help to keep your plumbing system running efficiently and effectively and prevent possible clogging or other damage.

However, when plumbing problems happen, such as garbage disposal not working, it is important to call for plumbing services if you notice your drain getting clogged. Greases, oils, and fats can create bigger blockages that require special tools and plumber expertise to break up, so it’s much better to err on the side of caution and not put them down the drain in the first place.

Bones and Shells in Your Garbage Disposal

Household Items

One of the most important things to remember about garbage disposal is never to put hard objects, such as bones or shells, down the sink. These items can easily clog up the system and cause serious damage. Bones are likely to splinter, which can cause sharp shards to cut and injure the inner walls of the pipes.

Shells, such as those from shrimp, lobster, and crab, can also cause clogging. Shells are hard and sharp, which can scratch the disposal unit and clog the system. Pouring a well-balanced mix of detergent and warm water down the disposal can help keep it running smoothly.

Vegetable Peels and Stalks

Putting vegetable peels and stalks down your garbage disposal can be extremely harmful. Not only are they very fibrous, making them difficult for the blades to process, but when exposed to water, peels and stalks can swell and clog the plumbing system, leading to further problems. Additionally, with large pieces of vegetable peel and stalk, you risk scratching up the interior of the garbage disposal, leading to potential damage.

Even small pieces can contain particles of dirt, sand, and grit that can get caught in the blades, potentially wearing down the disposal. To increase the lifespan of your garbage disposal, make sure to always dispose of vegetable peels and stalks in the trash or in a compost bin.

Hard Household Items

Never put hard glass, metal, or cigarette butts down the garbage disposal. These materials can cause severe damage to the disposal unit, its blades, and its pipes. Hard objects, such as glass, can chip the disposal blades, which leads to their deterioration.

Metal objects can create sparks, leading to a gas or electric explosion in the disposal unit. Furthermore, cigarette butts can clog the pipes, which will require expensive repairs. It is important to dispose of these materials properly in the trash.

Additionally, it’s recommended to use a sink strainer to catch anything too large before it goes down the drain. This will help prevent any blockages or damage to the garbage disposal.

Sticky, Starchy, and Stringy No-Gos

It’s a reality of life that some foods should never be put down in the kitchen garbage disposal. Starchy, sticky and stringy items are generally the number one no-go when it comes to kitchen scraps. Starchy items such as potatoes, potato skins, rice, and pasta simply don’t break down well and can quickly jam up your garbage disposal.

Sticky items such as jelly, peanut butter, and syrup can also slide their way through disposable blades but can crystalize or solidify in metal pipes, leading to further clogging down the line.

Garbage Disposal

Lastly, stringy items like celery, meat fat, and onion skins should also be kept away from disposal. These items do not break down well and can easily get entangled in the blades and cause irreversible damage. So it’s best to remember to place these starchy, sticky, and stringy no-gos in the regular trash can.

Garbage Disposal: Things You Should Never Put

Never put grease, fibrous vegetables, hard objects, or bulky foods down your garbage disposal. Your garbage disposal is an essential kitchen tool, but it’s delicate.

The liquid in the drain can cause clogs and jams, leading to the need for professional repair. Be careful and use it with caution. For questions and help, contact a plumber or run a search online to get help withΒ a garbage disposal repair.

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