Things You Can and Can’t Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Things You Can and Can't Put Down a Garbage Disposal

As many of us may like to think that we can put anything down our garbage disposal, that isn’t always the case. In fact, there are many things that shouldn’t go down our garbage disposal. There are plenty of different foods and food items that will actually clog your garbage disposal, and you can quickly turn a brand new, perfectly good garbage disposal into a dud. The task to unclog your garbage disposal can also make you frustrated.

Garbage disposals can actually be pretty sensitive when it comes down to it. You need to be careful by making sure that you only dispose of approved foods that won’t wreck or inhibit your disposal. Let’s take a look at some of the food items that you should and shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal.

Things You Can Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Here are some of the best things that you can put down your garbage disposal.

✓ Citrus Rinds

Citrus rinds are actually one of the best items that you can put down your garbage disposals. As we all know, garbage disposals don’t always smell the best, but can we really expect that from a machine that grinds our food waste down to little bits?

The good news is that if you have any leftover citrus rinds you don’t have to worry about throwing them in the trash. Actually, it would be a much better idea to throw them in your garbage disposal. It serves the dual purpose of cleaning out your garbage disposal and making it smell pleasant with that nice citrus aroma. Limes, lemons and grapefruits are excellent natural cleaning components that you can use to clean out the bacteria that has been sitting in your disposal.

✓ Liquids

Liquids are another approved material that you can put down your drain. You may have already been able to guess that since your sink runs into your disposal, but you can also pour down other less-viscous liquids like juice, soda, milk and more. Actually, another one of the best ways that you can clean out your garbage disposal is by turning on the water while running your disposal, and then pouring a couple drops of dish soap down the drain. The dish soap will actually help bind some of the tougher debris in your disposal and help you get stray debris out of your disposal blades.

 Soft Foods

One of the best rules that you can make for your garbage disposal is that if a baby can eat it, it can go down your disposal. If anything is too hard, tough, fibrous or difficult to chew we would recommend that you don’t put it down your drain. Anything that is soft and could be easily ground up by your disposal blades are ideal.

 Cold Water

Many people think that hot water is the best to run down your drain, but you may be surprised to hear that could water is better to use. In fact, for your garbage disposal to work its absolute best, you should run cold water through your disposal before and after you use your dishwasher. Cold water will help clear out any excess waste that was left in the drain from the last time that you used it. It will also help clear out stray debris from your disposal as soon as you are done using it.

✓ Chopped up Foods

If you have any chopped up foods, it is much better to put those down your drain than large chunks of food. If you are in doubt about the size of the piece of food that you are putting down your drain, chop it up a little first before you throw it into your disposal.

 Ice Cubes

Ice cubes are another totally acceptable item to toss down your garbage disposal. They are also beneficial in helping you clear food residue out of you disposal blades. What is great about using ice to clear your disposal is that hard ice is great for clearing your drains, and it will melt after so it won’t block them.

Related: Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts


Things You Can’t Put Down a Garbage Disposal

Here are a few important food items that you should not put down your garbage disposal.


Celery and other fibrous vegetables are terrible for your garbage disposal, because they can get partially shredded and jam your disposal. Other examples of fibrous foods that you should not put down your drain include.

– Kale
– Chard
– Artichokes
– and onion skins

✘ Coffee Grounds

Coffee grounds are another kitchen item that you should not put down your drain. A few ground here and there to rinse off a filter is fine, but putting too much coffee grounds in your disposal can cause it to clog and jam.

 Fruit Pits

Most fruit pits are extremely hard and should not be put down your garbage disposal. They can really damage your disposal blades.

✘ Apple Cores

Apple cores are another hard piece of fruit that should be thrown in your trash instead of down your garbage disposal.

✘ Bones

Most bones are too large and too hard for your disposal to process. You don’t want to clog your drain or break your blades trying to grind them up.

✘ Potato

Potato skins are really fibrous and can easily get wrapped up in your disposal blades. They can easily clog your disposal.

One response to “Things You Can and Can’t Put Down a Garbage Disposal

  1. […] Learn more about what you should put and should not put in a garbage disposal. […]

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