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6 Items You Should Never Put Down the Garbage Disposal

February 08, 2022

Garbage disposal units are convenient for easy kitchen cleanup, but most people regularly put things down there that cause problems with the mechanism. A good general rule to follow with garbage disposal units is to never put large food scraps down them. Garbage disposals are designed to get rid of the small kitchen scraps that inevitably wash down the drain–they are not designed to act as a trash compactor for anything you feel like getting rid of.

Want to keep your garbage disposal functioning at its best? Try to only use your garbage disposal for those small scraps that make their way down the drain no matter what and avoid the following items altogether.

Coffee Grounds

When too many coffee grounds go down the garbage disposal, they form a thick, dense paste that easily causes nasty clogs.


Eggshells should be avoided, not because of the hard shell itself but because of the membrane on the inside of the shell. This membrane can easily wrap itself around the blades of the disposal and reduce functionality or cause a blockage.

Fats, Oils, & Grease

Fats, oils, and grease leftover from cooking may seem like a harmless thing to pour down the garbage disposal, but it’s actually one of the most harmful items on this list. While oils, fats, and grease may be liquid when you’re pouring them down the drain, as they cool they will solidify, coating your garbage disposal mechanism with a thick substance that can dull blades, clog up the mechanism, and create blockages. Pour your excess oils and fats into a can or jar, wait for the liquid to cool and solidify, then toss the whole container into the trash.


It’s common for people to think that the best way to dispose of chicken bones is by feeding them into the garbage disposal, but the blades are not designed to grind items that are that hard. If you accidentally drop a small bone into the disposal, it will be fine, but regularly sending bones down the disposal will cause problems with the blades.

Pasta & Grains

Pasta and grains like quinoa or rice will expand once you send them down the drain, causing major clogs and getting stuck in between the garbage disposal blades.

Onion Skins

Onions have a membrane underneath the skin, similar to the eggshell membrane. As with eggshells, the onion-skin membrane will wrap itself around the garbage disposal blades and make them less effective.

Need your garbage disposal repaired or replaced? Santana Bros Plumbing will do the job right! Trust us for efficient, quality work for all of your plumbing installations and repairs.

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