Avoid putting these down your garbage disposal

Waste-disposal-no-nosOddities in the garbage disposal can cause plumbing problems or damage your disposal, which isn’t easy to fix or cheap to replace.

To extend the life of your garbage disposal, avoid throwing these things down the drain.

There a number of better ways to use coffee grounds, and the thick, pasty clump is not ideal for your pipes. Instead of potentially clogging your drain with the grounds, sprinkle them around your plants or garden to ward off ants, slugs and snails.


Don’t try to clean up the remains of a backyard barbeque by putting bones into the garbage disposal. It’s likely they won’t even get past the blades, but if they do, you may quickly have a clogged pipe.


Avoid dropping handfuls of peanuts (or any other variety) down your disposal. If you’ve ever made homemade peanut butter, you know a cup of nuts mixed in a blender turns into a thick paste–great for sandwiches, not for garbage disposals.

Onion skins

The papery outer layer of an onion isn’t the problem; it’s the thin, slimy film that can cause a problem for your disposal. That membrane-like film found under the outer-most dry layer is often tossed into the disposal without a thought, but it is so small, it can pass through the blades untouched and get stuck in the drain. Enough pieces of this onion layer can act as a blockade, keeping other waste from passing through.

Egg shells

Egg shells are the heated debate of garbage disposal users. Some say the shells are good for the disposal, actually sharpening the blades as they pass through. Others argue the membrane lining (similar to that of the onion) can get wrapped about the shredder, causing it to malfunction. Better to be safe than sorry–use the egg shells as compost for your garden to keep pests away.

Celery (or other fibrous veggies)

You know how celery strings get caught in your teeth? Imagine those strings wrapping around the blades of your garbage disposal. The same goes for the inside of a pumpkin, corn husks and asparagus.


When you let grease sit in a pan, it solidifies. It will do the same thing inside your pipes if you pour it down the garbage disposal. You won’t avoid a clog by running water with the grease. Enjoy your bacon, but pour the leftover grease in a glass or tin container, allow it to cool, and then toss it in the trash.

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