Things To Avoid Putting in Your Garbage Disposal

If you’re about to live on your own for the first time, there’s a lot to know about and do: cleaning each week, planning meals, budgeting and managing your bills, and knowing what not to put in your disposal. Many people are searching, “can anything go down the disposal” after accidentally putting something down there they shouldn’t have. So, before cleaning out your fridge, read our guide about what not to put in your disposal below. 

Coffee Grounds — While pouring coffee grounds into the disposal reduces odors, this is only temporary and can cause more severe issues down the road. They’re dense and thickly packed, which you don’t want going down your drain lines.

Pasta — Pasta expands when soaked in water, so you’ll want to avoid dropping lots of pasta into the disposal, where it will likely remain there and extend. A few pieces here and there won’t cause any issues — just don’t dump your remaining Mac N’ Cheese down there.

Bones — Just because the disposal is great as grinding your food and disposing of it, that doesn’t mean it can handle grinding anything as hard as bones. Garbage disposals are not built to handle dense and hard food items like bones. So, toss your chicken wings, ribs, or fish bones in the garbage and not in the disposal.  

Oatmeal — Like pasta, oatmeal can expand and block foods from passing through the drain. You may get lucky, and the oats will flow out of the disposal, but it’s best to avoid dumping your oatmeal down the drain.

Nuts — Peanuts turn into a thick and sticky paste, and having large amounts in the disposal can cause issues like the paste sticking to the blades. If a few fall in, don’t stress! Just be sure to limit the number of peanuts that end up going down the drain.

Onion Skins — Chopping onions isn’t fun for many people, and dropping them down the garbage disposal is worse. The thin, wet layer often gets removed before people start chopping onions, but that layer is so thin that it can miss the blades and get caught in the drain. It could then catch more items and hold them in place, causing your drain to back up. 

Eggshells — Eggshells are one of the most common food items people want to toss down the garbage disposal. The loose membrane of the eggshells can get stuck in the drain, causing it to back up.

To answer, “can anything go down the disposal,” unfortunately, it’s a no. It’s best to be careful when cooking that the items listed above don’t go down the garbage disposal.

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