News and Updates

What Can and Can’t Go Down My Garbage Disposal?

As you may have noticed, we talk a lot about garbage disposals.   It is also one of the things that we get asked about the most – both in the form of inquiries and in requests for repairs.  Oftentimes preventing damage to your garbage disposal is as simple as only putting down the drain materials that the garbage disposal can handle.  Then the question becomes, “What can and can’t go in my garbage disposal?”  Here is a quick (although not exhaustive) list of things that are better off in the trash than down the drain:

  • Animal Bones: Animal bones are one of the most common clog-inducing culprits.  Unfortunately, the blades of garbage disposals are simply not strong enough to break bones apart.
  • Rice and Pasta:  These seemingly innocent culprits can be responsible for a great deal of drain damage.  Rice and pasta swell when they come in contact with water.  As a result, regardless of the amount of water that you run down your drain, small pieces of rice and/or pasta will eventually collect in your garbage disposal trap and swell until the disposal is rendered useless.
  • Silverware: We’ve all done it – you are rinsing out a full sink at the end of the night and a knife, fork, or other utensil slips into your drain.  If you hear metal scraping when you turn your disposal on, turn it off as quickly as possible to avoid further damage.
  • Grease: Grease in its liquid form is harmless for your disposal.  Unfortunately, grease does not stay that way.  Eventually it will solidify and clog the disposal.  Avoid this by avoiding pouring grease down your drain at all.
  • Egg Shells: A common misconception that we hear is that putting egg shells in your drain will serve to sharpen disposal blades.  Not only is this not true, egg shells are actually key culprits of clogged drainage lines.

In general, when it comes to your garbage disposal, less is truly more.  When possible, dispose of garbage in the trash can instead of down the drain.  When using the garbage disposal, only put in small amounts of waste at a time and be sure to run plenty of water.  If you do end up needing help with a garbage disposal clog, call us at Nowthen Plumbing for a quick repair!