It’s easy to think that if it’s food, it can go down the garbage disposal. But don’t be mistaken. If your disposal was a person, it would be the pickiest eater you have in the family. The list of what you shouldn’t put down it is long and sometimes confusing.

What NOT to Put Down the Drain

  • Potato peelings
  • Coffee grounds
  • Rice, noodles and pasta
  • Corn husks and cobs
  • Onion peels
  • Grease of any sort
  • Bones
  • Pits from peaches, plums, cherries, or apricots
  • Stems from fruit, squash and pumpkin
  • Any kind of citrus peel and seeds
  • Celery
  • Banana peels
  • Eggshells

Thanks to the rugged nature of garbage disposals, many of these food items won’t harm the disposal but do collect in the pipes as they travel to the main drainpipe. Starchy food like rice, noodles, and potato peelings are among the worst, as are coffee grounds. Throw in some grease and you have the recipe for clogged pipes when you need your kitchen sink the most.

If you wonder if it’s safe to put something down the disposal, it’s probably best to put it in the garbage. Disposals are more for convenience than they are for managing all your food waste. They also need periodic attention for cleanliness and odor control. Grinding a few ice cubes monthly as well as lemon slices keep the blades sharp and the bacterial load inside the disposal down.

When in Doubt

When you make it a habit to put grease down your garbage disposal or overly fatty foods, you could be lining the drainpipes with fat. Toss things down the toilet that are erroneously labeled as safe to flush, like kitty litter or baby wipes, and you have the recipe for a backed-up sewer system that may require our services.

Bottom Line

Stay on the safe side with your home’s plumbing this holiday season by giving your garbage disposal the treatment it deserves. Keep those foods listed above far away from the disposal by taking them out with the trash. If you’d like to learn more about safeguarding your disposal and home plumbing, contact AAA Service today.


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