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Foods You Should Avoid Throwing in your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal system is a convenient way to dispose of kitchen scraps. Many people consider it as a very powerful machine where you can throw anything you like to throw in it. But it is not necessarily true. Aside from not throwing the obvious kitchen garbage in it like broken glasses, there are other things in your kitchen that you should not throw into your garbage disposal system to prevent it from failing or getting destroyed:


Fibrous and Starchy Foods

Foods that are very fibrous such as celery, asparagus, rhubarb, artichoke, lettuce, corn husk, onion skins, potato peel, and the like should not be disposed of in the garbage disposal. Instead, they should be thrown in the compost. These foods when grinded by the disposal system can easily wrap around the blades and prevent proper operation. They can also clog the drain.  You can throw them in but only in very small quantities.

Greasy and Oily Food

Greasy and oily leftover food should never be put in the garbage disposal. Grease, greasy foods, and oily foods can coat the blade with a film that can affect its effectiveness. They can also clog your drain once they all cool and solidify and eventually cause an unpleasant odor in your kitchen.

Egg Shells

The thin membrane on the shell can wrap around the blade of the garbage disposal and may cause the blade to stop working over time. The shell itself when grounded to sand-like consistency can clog the pipes of your disposal. It is best if you will compost egg shells.

Food that Expands with Water

Pasta and rice are two of the most common foods that expand with water and they should never end up in your garbage disposal. They can expand as they flow in your drain and can expand more over time, clogging your drain. They can also fill up and clog your disposal trap. These foods should also end up in your compost.


Even the toughest garbage disposal is not strong enough to process hard bones from chicken, beef, pork, or lamb. Only fish bones can go to your garbage disposal.

Pits and Seeds

Pits and seeds are hard to process and can dull the blade of your garbage disposal. They should end up in your compost instead. Avoid putting olive pits, avocado pits, and stone fruit pits such as pits from plums, nectarines, peaches, mangoes, apricots, and others.

Aside from these food items, make sure also not to put non-food items in your garbage disposal. No matter how small they may be like cigarette butts and the like, they cannot be broken down by the disposal into a size that can be washed down the drain. They accumulate inside the disposal, preventing it to function properly.

Just like other appliances in the home, your garbage disposal system also requires proper handling and use for it to function properly and to last longer. One way to do it is to avoid putting all the items listed above in your garbage disposal.

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