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Things You Should Never Put In Your Garbage Disposal

The garbage disposal is one of the most underrated appliances in your home. It’s also one of the most dangerous. If you are not careful, you can end up with a hefty plumbing bill and an even bigger mess on your hands! You might think that anything goes down the drain, but this isn’t true. It is vital to take note of what can and cannot go down the drain!


It may seem convenient to clean your paintbrushes in the sink or dump the dirty paint water down the drain, but unfortunately, this can lead to clogs. The thinners and solvents in paint are what cause the clogs. Especially with oil, acrylic, or latex-based paints, they can dry in the disposal and build up! This build-up can cause some severe damage to your plumbing! The best thing to do is pour your dirty water into a jar, let it dry, and then throw it away after all of the liquid has evaporated.

Coffee Grounds

This is the number one mistake people make. Coffee grounds can build up and cause even bigger problems, such as slow drains. They also have an unpleasant smell if they sit down there for too long. Coffee grounds are dense and thick and can be a leading factor in why your drain is clogged.


If you have ever had to deal with a clogged sink, this is probably what caused it. Eggshells can be tough to dissolve, and they do not break down easily in water like many other items that go down the drain. If any pieces of eggshells remain stuck inside your pipes, they will act as sharp blades on the sides of the pipe, causing significant damage!


Leftover grease from cooking should never go in your sink either. First of all, it’s gross when it builds up inside of the pipes under your kitchen sink! Second, fat doesn’t break down quickly, so it is difficult to remove once it cools off and hardens, and eventually leads to major damage. The way disposals are made, they can not get rid of the fat and oil once it sets.

Pits/ Seeds

These are extremely dangerous for your garbage disposal. It is very easy to forget that an avocado seed or peach pit can be so hard once it gets stuck in the disposal blades! Then suddenly you have a broken appliance and who knows what else. Seeds from many other fruits can also cause damage, such as oranges or apples. Citrus fruit contains acid that dissolves things like eggshells but not pits/seeds found inside these items. This is why they should never go down there! Other fruit seeds that should not go down the disposal are limes, lemons, strawberries, and pears.

Animal Bones

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t realize that chicken or fish bones can cause problems in your disposal. It is important to throw them away before you do dishes! If you don’t throw them away before you do dishes, they will react against other things that go down the drain and create a clog.

Potato And Carrot Peels

These are other things that people often think, “it’s just a little bit of potato or carrot! What can it do?” When they go into the food disposal, they get ground up into tiny pieces that you might not see in there. They may start to clog your drain slowly over time because these peels don’t break down quickly. Another reason why this should never go down there is because water doesn’t reach all parts of the peel, making mold grow under the sink if left too long. 


Many foods should never go down a drain but instead be thrown away, such as bones/shells from chicken or fish, avocado seeds/peach pits, and other things like coffee grinds, etc. Remember that these items may be harmful and damage the disposal itself or clog your drain. This is why it’s important to know what not to do when using your disposal!