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Foods Not to Put in Sink Garbage Disposal

Updated on August 9, 2012

A kitchen sink disposal can be a great tool and appliance to have in your kitchen, but you can't put everything down the drain.

Never put anything in your sink disposal that won't leak through a paper bag, and avoid stringy foods.

Replacing a garbage disposal or fixing a sink disposal can be expensive, so it's better to follow a few simple tips and rules about using them.

Never use hot water when running water when the disposal is running. Always use cold water. Cold water will help grease and oil solidify so that it can flow through the pipes harmlessly. (Never poor grease down the sink, but small portions cannot be avoided.)

Never pack the disposal. Make sure that anything you put down the sink is loose. If you pack foods in the pipes, the disposal will jam.

Run ice down the sink disposal to help keep the blades sharpened.

Never Put Pasta Down the Drain

  • Grease and Oil- Both can congeal and slime on the inside of the garbage disposal. Grease and hot water can case the pipes to melt.
  • Meat- Raw meat can become stringy and can wrap around the blades. Gristle can dull the blades.
  • Pasta and Rice- the starch can cause them to become slimy and wrap around the blades. You cannot break down rice or pasta (cooked or raw), as it will just swell when in contact with water, causing a clog.
  • Potatoes and Potato Skin- The starch in the potato can become a glue, wrapping around the moving parts of the garbage disposal, clogging the pipes.
  • Flour- When wet, the flour becomes glue-like. It will thicken and harden when dried.
  • Stringy, Fibrous Foods- Corn husks, celery, lettuce, asparagus, onion peels, and garlic ends, as well as other foods with stringy parts or paper skins can wrap around the blades and moving parts of the garbage disposal.
  • Fruit peels and Rinds- Thick, tough skin does not break down easily in a garbage disposal. Banana peels can actually cause your disposer to seize up and stop working.
  • Eggshells- Eggshells can be iffy. Some people do not have any problems, whereas others have had horror stories after putting eggshells down the sink disposal. Some have seen eggshell parts trapped under the sink, causing water pressure issues
  • Non-Food Items- Glass, metal, paper, plastic, string, rubber bands, rocks, cigarette butts, and bones can break a sink garbage disposal.


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