11 Things You Should Never Put Down Your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal can be a kitchens best friend, however when not used and maintained properly they can be more trouble than a convenience.

If you are looking to make the most out of your garbage disposal without causing it any harm, here are eleven things you should not put down it:

Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds should not be disposed of in your garbage disposal.  It’s true that dropping coffee grounds into your garbage disposal can reduce odors in your trash, but it can actually cause more serious problems down the drain.

Coffee grounds reduce into a dense, thickly packed paste that you won’t want going in your drain lines!

Grease, Fats, Oil

Have you ever let bacon grease sit for a period of time? If not, it solidifies! If poured down you’re drain, it will clog your pipes over time. It’s always a good idea to avoid pouring grease, fats, oil down your drain.

Onion Layers

Layered bulbs, including onions and other vegetables, especially those with skins, can wrap around blades and other moving parts. This will prevent the movement of your garbage disposer motor. If enough builds up, it could cause damage down the road.

Luckily, it’s fairly simple to avoid this problem. Just throw away the thinner outer layer in the trash, or cut it up before dropping it in the disposal. It’s a few seconds of work that can save you hours of work or an expensive visit from a plumber.


It might be tempting to get rid leftovers this way, but don’t do it. Steer clear of dropping chicken bones or wings down your garbage disposal. They simply aren’t made to deal with extremely hard items, such as bones.

Fruit Pits

Cherry pits, peach pits, nectarine pits – any type of fruit that has a hard, middle seed. Think of the pit as a piece of wood. Would you throw a piece of wood into the disposal? Hell no!

A good rule of thumb, if you can’t chop it with a knife, it’s not going to grind up in the disposal.

Cleaning Chemicals

This is NOT referring to dish soap or normal cleaners, as those are fine use. The chemicals to avoid are harsh drain busters and industrial-grade cleaners.

These solutions can put excessive wear on your disposal and possibly even the drain line.

Egg Shells

This is not a wise idea. When eggs shells are ground up, they can quickly turn into tiny particles that, in turn,  may  lead to a clog in your garbage disposal, or even in your pipes.

Here are some suggestions to do with egg shells:

Dry, Grind & Add to Soil  | You can use egg shells in your yard or garden to help replenish nutrients in the soil. For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that you grind your shells as fine as possible, and then sprinkle it around your yard or garden.

Compost  | Similar to tossing them in your yard, you can also add egg shells to your compost bin. This will expedite the decomposition process, giving the compost a boost of calcium.

Seafood Shells

Clams, oysters, mussels, lobster shells and other seafood smell incredibly unpleasant when they get spoiled. EW! Even after shucking an clam or cracking a lobster tail, the shells will likely have a bit of meat left on them. That meat may begin to stink up your garbage bin within hours.

Shells, unfortunately, are way too hard for a garbage disposal to grind up and will just end up breaking your garbage disposal.


The problem with asparagus is that it’s very fibrous. As it spins around your garbage disposal, those fibrous strings may tangle themselves around your disposal blades instead of breaking apart and going down the drain.


You may want to dump pasta into the garbage disposal to get rid of it after a large meal. However, even after it’s cooked, pasta can keep expanding when it gets wet. This continually expanding pasta will very likely end up clogging your drain.


Prepared too much oatmeal and need to dispose of it? Don’t put it down your drain.
You may want to dump it into the garbage disposal, but you shouldn’t for the same reason that you shouldn’t dump in pasta – it will keep expanding and clog up your drain.

If maintenance is required please make sure all power is disconnected from the disposal. Avoiding the above will ensure your garbage disposal a long and useful life.

If your garbage disposal is not working feel free to contact us. We have the best kitchen plumbers in Connecticut.