These days, garbage disposals are a mainstay in most homes. They’re great appliances for breaking down small food waste and preventing clogs in your kitchen pipes with a simple flick of a switch. And while they can make cooking and cleanup simpler, that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. It’s important to take good care of your disposal to maximize its service life. Thankfully, maintaining a working garbage disposal is fairly easy, and it starts with what not to put into it. Here are several items you should never put down your garbage disposal!
- Eggshells: Don’t listen to the myth that says eggshells sharpen your disposal blades! They’re much more likely to end up as debris particles that cause blockages.
- Bones: Refrain from putting bones down your disposal, including smaller bones such as chicken and fish bones. Disposals aren’t designed for this type of heavy-duty use.
- Grease: Pouring food grease down your sink is a big no-no and can end up solidifying and clogging your pipes, septic system, and even city sewers. Not to mention, grease deposits in your disposal and pipes can get rancid and smelly.
- Fibrous veggies: If you want to avoid potential garbage disposal damage, don’t throw down fibrous vegetables like celery, pumpkin, onion peels, corn husks, and similar veggies.
- Seafood shells: Similar to bones, the shells of seafood items like oysters, mussels, crabs, shrimp, and lobster are best thrown into the trash.
- Fruit pits: The hard pits found in cherries, peaches, and other “stone fruits” can damage your disposal, so toss them elsewhere!
- Trash: Even though the name is “garbage disposal,” this appliance is not meant to break down actual trash like paper towels, food wrappers, and the like.
- Nuts: Don’t try to make nut butters in your disposal, even unintentionally. Pulverizing nuts can result in a sticky, oily sludge, so keep them out of your sink.