Six Things You Should Never Put Down a Garbage Disposal

You know it’s a bad idea to put oil down your garbage disposal, but what about food? Isn’t that what the garbage disposal is for? No. The garbage disposal isn’t actually designed to shred and dispose of massive quantities of food; rather, it’s a catchall to prevent pipe clogs. It’s okay if some food gets down there, but Five Star Plumbing recommends you prevent the following from heading down the drain.

1. Bones

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it might be tempting to dispose of your turkey bones by grinding them in the garbage disposal after the big meal, but it isn’t. Bone fragments can get caught under the disposal blades and stop their motion. Large bones can even damage the disposal.

2. Celery

Another thing that can get caught in garbage disposal blades is celery. The strings along the exterior of a celery stalk can wrap around the blades and damage them. If too much string is caught in the operating parts, you won’t fix the problem. The disposal will have to be taken apart or replaced.

3. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are already ground, so there’s nothing for the disposal to break down. Rather, they can clog the garbage disposal and your sink. Even if they do make it down the drain and past the disposal, they can clump and create a blockage. Put the coffee grounds in the trash or your garden.

4. Eggshells

Wait a minute! You heard that eggshells sharpen your garbage disposal’s blades, didn’t you. That’s not true. Eggshells turn into a clogging mess because the disposal can only grind them down so far. What’s left can clog your disposal or your plumbing. You can toss them in your garden, too, as fertilizer.

5. Pits and Seeds

Most fruit pits are too big, and they will damage your disposal blades if you try to grind them down. Seeds, like coffee grounds and eggshells, can clog the disposal. These things are better suited in the trash or out in your yard. You can sprout the pit and plant it and leave the seeds for the birds.

6. Pasta and Rice

Even after you’ve cooked it, pasta and rice still expand. Residential and industrial garbage disposals do not shred things to oblivion. The food placed in the disposal is ground down enough to pass it through to the pipe, but there are still fragments. Pasta and rice will continue to expand and clog your plumbing.

Your garbage disposal should not be your primary waste receptacle. Rather, uneaten food and food waste such as shells and pits should be placed in the trash or a compost heap. If your disposal does get clogged, call Five Star Plumbing if you live in San Antonio, TX.