peeling potato over sink
peeling potato over sink

5 Sneaky Foods That Wreak Havoc on Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are extremely convenient when they work properly, but they can be a huge pain when they don’t. You don’t want to call a plumber and wait (and pay) to get it fixed, so follow these simple tips to pre-empt the problem yourself!


5 foods bad for disposal infographic

1. Eggshells

Eggshells and frustration go hand-in-hand. How many times have you cracked an egg only to have one tiny piece of shell get in there with the yolk? Then, with a steady hand, you carefully remove that piece of shell, which can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 7 ½ hours. The only thing that could lead to more frustration is tossing eggshells down the drain, which can lead to drain clogs. Eggshells create very tiny granular waste that will stick to any sludge in the pipe and quickly create a clog.

2. Coffee grounds

The trick here is to drink some coffee before you dispose of the grounds. Being sleepy and having grounds to dispose of can lead to coffee grounds in bad places (the drain, the artificial plant, your shirt pocket). Drink up, feel energized, and then toss them in the trash.

3. Rice, pasta, and other expanding foods

Rice, pasta and bread are all troublemakers. They’re like those little toys that magically expand into a big, fun, toy dinosaur after they’ve soaked in water for a while. The difference here is that the toys are fun, while rice or pasta expanding in your drains is the opposite of fun. These foods also tend to leave starchy residue, which can lead to problems. Throw them in the trash instead of the drain, and you should be in the clear.

4. Stringy veggies

Think pumpkin, celery, corn husks, and even some types of lettuce. The stringy parts can wrap themselves around the blades and become entangled in a stringy mess of a hug that causes resistance.

5. Cooking grease and oil

Just like you’re not supposed to have too much grease and oil in your diet, you shouldn’t have too much of it in your drains. It sticks to drainpipes and hardens, preventing water from flowing freely. Rather than pouring it into the drain, pour it into sealable containers, and then throw the sealed containers in the trash.