While it might be called a garbage disposal, it’s important to note that not all kinds of ‘garbage’ should find their way down it. Feeding the wrong items into it can lead to bad smells, stubborn clogs, or even damage. While soft leftovers, vegetable scraps, and fruit peels are fair game for your disposal, here’s a list of 13 items that are better suited for your green bin, compost pile, or regular trash container.
Ever wondered why macaroni seems to expand when you boil it? Pasta, rice, and oatmeal will all continue to swell with water, even after going through the garbage disposal.
#2 Stringy Vegetables
Most vegetables can be put down the garbage disposal, but fibrous or “stringy” vegetables can tangle around the disposal’s blades. Avoid celery, lettuce, kale, asparagus, and onion skins.
#3 Potato Peels
Many people prefer peeling potatoes over the kitchen sink; however, disposing of those peels down the garbage disposal can result in a sticky mess.
#4 Chicken Skin
There are healthy reasons to remove chicken skin before cooking; however, remember not to put it down the garbage disposal.
While it’s true that grinding smaller bones can benefit the garbage disposal and drain, larger bones have the potential to jam or clog them. Therefore, it’s advisable to refrain from disposing of any bones altogether.
#6 Seafood Shells
Lobster, clam, oyster, or mussel shells can damage the disposal unit’s blade or cause a clog.
The thin membrane on the inside of eggshells can wrap around the blades. The eggshells grind down into sand that can clog pipes.
#8 Fruit Pits
Fruits can be put down the garbage disposal, but remember cherry, peach, plum and other fruit pits can cause damage.
Curious about crafting your own peanut butter or almond butter, perhaps with a sticky consistency? The process closely resembles what your garbage disposal accomplishes.