20 Things You Should Never Put Into Your Garbage Disposal

by Shawn Anderson | Last Updated:  June 13, 2020
Never Put These Down Garbage Disposal

Many kinds of trash are produced or find their way in the kitchen. Quite a good chunk of this trash inevitably finds its way into the garbage disposal. In the event that that happens, quite a number of dangers do arise.

Chief among these is the interferences with the proper working conditions of the garbage disposal. To prevent this from happening, you have to take the appropriate precautions. Listed and explained below are the things you should never insert in your garbage disposal.

A List of 20 Different Things You Should Never Put Down Garbage Disposal

1. Corn Husks

From time to time, you will usually work with corn. The husks that remain behind may often find their way into the garbage disposal. This however ought never to happen at all. These husks pose some dangers.

The fibers in these husks can jam and tangle the motor of the garbage disposal. This way, they might end up clogging the drains and preventing the smooth flow of wastewater. The accumulation of such wastewater is not good for your kitchen’s hygiene.

2. Paint

Whether be it oil-based or latex-based, no paint should be let down the drains of the garbage disposal. The paints do tend to clinging on the sides of the pipes that lead out of the garbage disposal.

With time, this paint cures and hardens to some intractable clog. The problem with hardened paint is that it may almost be impossible to undo the mess. You will have to incur extra expense to replace the affected parts and components.

3. Cleaning Chemicals

Just like paints, the cleaning chemicals too should never be poured down the garbage disposal. In particular, stay away from the industrial-grade cleaners and harsh drain busters. They do wear your drains excessively.

If not mitigated in time, these harmful chemicals may also affect the entire drain lines. Rather than them, you are advised to make do with ice cubes to clean the blades of the garbage disposal. Complement this with some deodorant to break up any fine residual grease particles.

4. Fruit Pits Or Seeds

Though sharp, the blades of the garbage disposal are not firm enough to shred pits and seeds to their finer particles. That is why you should never attempt to slot these, right down your drains. Instead, make separate arrangements to dispose of them safely.

Put them in a trash can and throw them away as soon as is practically possible. Alternatively, develop a habit of consuming these fruits far away from your kitchen. That way, there will be no temptation of throwing them in the disposal.

5. Potato Peels

Potato peels are softer than the pits and seeds. Further to that, they can also be shredded easily by the blades of your typical garbage disposal. These notwithstanding, you are advised to refrain from slotting them into your disposal.

Reason? They impose too many strains on the blades of the disposal. Having the blades shred them hence has that impact of reducing their overall lifespan. Moreover, some potato slips are too thin as to easily slip past the disposal. They end up clogging the drains.

6. Fibrous Vegetables And Pumpkins

Apart from corn husks, several other foods do produce excess fiber. Examples are pumpkins, rhubarb, and celery. Other than high fibrous contents, they also contain long and stringy stalks which can choke your drains significantly.

You should never dispose of these stalks and fibers in your garbage disposal. If and when they do get in, they might strangle the motor and the blades. This way, they end up compromising the proper functioning of these body parts. If left unabated, the end result might be permanent damages.

7. General Kitchen Trash

A typical kitchen produces trash of all kinds on a daily basis. From banana peels to egg shells to soap droplets and bottles, the list of all manner of trash is virtually endless. No matter how minute or small these trashes are, never place them in the garbage disposal.

They do clog the drains and prevent the wastewater from traveling unhindered. With the passage of time, they may also begin stinking and emitting some foul stench. This brings along some hygiene-related disorders.

8. Onion Skins

Onions are perhaps the most widely used recipe in the typical kitchen. To cut them appropriately, you have to remove the outer skin. Many people never pay attention to where these skins are eventually disposed of. That is why a number inadvertently place them in the drains.

This, however, is not advisable at all. That is because the skins do clog the drains and prevent the smooth flow of the wastewater. Further to that, they also impose undue burdens on the blades of the motor.

9. Animal Bones

Needless to say, it is not advisable at all that you place animal bones in the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. These bones are tougher and take longer to biodegrade. Their contacts with the blades of the disposal also yield adverse outcomes.

They do spin the blades around and about continually. If they are lucky to go past the blades, they will hardly flow smoothly in the drain pipes. This definitely ends up dirtying your room and inflicting water damages.

10. Egg Shells

As noted earlier, egg shells are some of the most common trash in a typical kitchen. They too do find themselves in your kitchen drains. However, this ought not to be the case. Instead, you should dispose of them in your trash can.

The reason behind this is that the shells wear out the blades. Whenever they come into direct contact, the pace of rotation of blades reduces significantly. Other than this, they also make the blades blunt with time.

11. Rice And Pasta

Generally speaking, the grains of rice and pasta are thin and slippery. It also is unlikely that they may be impacted with the blades of the garbage disposal. Furthermore, they also expand and become larger in size when soaked.

If and when this happens in the drains, they have the impact of clogging the same. Flushing these things down the drains is also impossible. That is because they retain their shapes intact under whichever circumstance. Just keep them off of your garbage disposal completely.

12. Hot Water

Many property managers recommend that you pour hot water in your kitchen sink. This they argue breaks down the grease particles and clear the drains of any residues that might block the smooth passage of wastewater. The same is however not advisable for the garbage disposal.

That is because the disposal uses a completely different approach to handle wastes. It chops them in finer particles using its blades. You hence have to use only cold water to harden the residues and make them easier to shred.

13. Dough

Even though the blades of the garbage disposal are sharp enough to cut through many items, they lack the ability to do so to some. The chief example of these is the dough. This is especially applicable to those with high gluten levels.

Such a dough can clogs your disposal. In addition, it is also slippery and sticky. Hardly will the blades of your disposal be able to handle them. If you must pour them in your disposal, soak them in very hot water first.

14. Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds often appear to be able to go down easily. However, they are a bit deceptive. That is because they pile up and impose some sediment-like sludge in your disposal. It is never easy to handle this accumulation.

That is because the sludge is often too dense, thick and solid. Moreover, they also emit some smells after staying idle for a while. This definitely is not a direction you will want to take. Just dispose of them through alternative means.

15. Grease And Oil

Grease and oil harden easily. That is because they are designed to stay fluid only in normal room temperature. Any slight reduction in the ambient temperature will cause them to solidify. It is this issue that makes them intriguing to handle.

When poured into your drains, they hardly ever make it past that. Instead, they harden and clog immediately. This way, they also make it impossible for other kinds of trash to flow smoothly. The end result is a dangerous backlog.

16. Medication

There is really no harm in disposing of the medication in your garbage disposal. They easily break down when mixed with water. In light of this, they easily dissolve and flow smoothly in the plumbing system of your home.

But there is a catch. They can easily infiltrate your fresh water supply system and poison it all together. The problem gets confounded if it spreads to the entire block in which you stay. You do not want to ruffle feathers with the relevant authorities.

17. Broken Glass Or Metal

You should never even entertain the thought of throwing glass or metal in your garbage disposal. These are hard substances which will damage almost the entire system instantly. Instead, dispose of them through ordinary channels.

In the unlikely event of them getting to your disposal, you just have to switch it off and dismantle it completely. Thereafter, get rid of the broken glass and metals safely before re-assembly. Put on a pair of gloves for your own protection as you do so.

18. Chicken Skin

Though great, the chicken skin is not safe for your garbage disposal at all. Other than containing germs which may endanger your life, the skin is also harmful to your drains. That is because it is difficult to shred to finer particles.

Subsequently, it clogs your drains considerably and impedes the smooth flow of water. Just place it in a garbage bin right in your kitchen. You do not want to experience unnecessary inconveniences and issues, do you?

19. Fresh Produce Stickers

Almost all fresh produce these days come with some stickers. These stickers showcase the logo, ingredients, nutritional information, and the weight of the produces, among others. Many people accidentally place them inside the garbage disposal.

However, this should never happen at all. By virtue of containing adhesives, these stickers can easily adhere to the various parts of your garbage disposal. Some are made of plastic which hardly breaks down. They also tend to clog your drains completely.

20. Bottle Tops And Corks

Lastly, come the bottle tops and corks. These substances are typically made of metal and latex rubber respectively. The materials mentioned are difficult to break down and also block the drains. You do not want them anywhere close to your disposal.

Due to their stiff nature, they hardly alter their shapes to fit the precise nature and shape of the drain tunnels. It is hence unlikely that you might impact them if you choose to flush your disposal using more water.


…we could go on and on and on, had that been possible. However, owing to the limited time and space at our disposal, we just had to stop there. Feel free to take over from where we have left especially if you deem this list incomplete.

Just to reiterate an earlier point, the garbage disposal is designed to handle your trash. However, its capability is somewhat limited. Take care that you do not give yours trash that is beyond its scope and capability. Would you implement these pieces of advice?