Things That Should Never Go Down The Disposal And Why

Unfortunately, most of us look at our garbage disposal as an invincible object. It will somehow gnaw through whatever we can manage to cram down the drain hole in the kitchen sink. But that is not what this device was designed to do. It is only meant to grind up small bits of waste that are rinsed from dishes and cookware. And along those lines, there are a few things that should never, ever find their way down your garbage disposal unless you are looking for a reason to have a new model installed.

Coffee Grounds

You might think that as small as coffee grounds are, there is no way that they could pose a risk to your garbage disposal. But you would be absolutely wrong. These small particles become very sticky when they get wet. Even though one coffee ground is tiny, a clump of them is large enough to create a nasty clog in a garbage disposal or drainpipe. Throw them into the trashcan, a bag of trash, or anyplace but the garbage disposal.


Just because pasta is soft, don’t think that it poses no risk to the health of your garbage disposal. The issue with pasta is that it expands when it gets wet and becomes very sticky. What looks like a small amount of waste gets bigger and stickier when it goes into the garbage disposal with a lot of water. And as the blades continue to turn and churn the pasta pieces, they get stuck in it. And once it hits your drainpipe, the problems only get worse. Never force pasta into your disposal or down the sink drain.


Even though your disposal is outfitted with some excellent blades, they are not designed to break up any bones. Instead, it is more likely that the bones will chip or shatter the disposal blades. Put bones in the trash and avoid any further complications.


When nuts are chopped, as they would be in a garbage disposal, they turn into a sticky, thick mess. Think about stuffing a wad of peanut butter into your disposal. You would never do it because it would stick to the disposal walls and the blades to create a nasty mess that will never be rinsed away. Avoid the potential damage to your disposal and the awful smell of rotting nut butter. Throw nuts in the trash.

Fruits And Veggies

Fruits and vegetables are often very fibrous, which is good for humans but not suitable for a garbage disposal. The long, stringy pieces get tangled around the blades and can damage the unit. Also, as they begin to rot, you will have a very foul smell to deal with until you can remove the offending particles. Fruit will also become clogged in your disposal and quickly begin to stink and draw bugs. Do yourself a favor, toss both fruit and veggie waste into the trash, and know that it will be gone for good.

Cleaning Chemicals

It makes sense to think that if your disposal is clogged, you can use a drain cleaner to dissolve the offending material. But that is far from correct. The chemical drain cleaner is more likely to cause additional issues as it destroys your disposal’s internal parts without removing the clogged food waste. If you cannot clear your disposal, never put your fingers, hands, or tools inside the disposal. Instead, call your trusted plumber to have the issue professionally repaired.

If you have questions about the care and use of your garbage disposal, call (512) 910-8123 to speak to a Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning pro. We will answer your questions and schedule a service appointment if we cannot provide you with instructions to correct the problem on your own. But for your safety, never try to pull anything out of a disposal without first disconnecting the power.

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