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what is safe to go down my garbage disposal

We’ve all been guilty of peeling some vegetables or washing out a cereal bowl when, uh oh, some of the food scraps fall down the garbage disposal!

In this long list, we’ll go over 78 different food and non-food items to finally answer that big question, “is that safe for my garbage disposal?”

Breads, Cereals, Rice, and Other Grains

bread

Refrain from grain in the drain.

When it comes to breads, cereals, rice, and other grains, it’s a good idea to skip the garbage disposal. These foods can absorb the moisture in your pipes and expand, causing serious damage!

Can I put bread down my garbage disposal?

It depends on how much is going down. A slice of bread that’s been torn to shreds should be okay, but keep in mind that bread and grains can expand in your drains. This could lead to clogged drains and other major problems.

Can I put pasta down my garbage disposal?

You know how a small handful of pasta can fill up an entire pot after boiling? The same can be said about your garbage disposal. Pasta absorbs water and expands, which could lead to a very clogged drain! So, you should not put pasta down your garbage disposal.

Can I put cereal down my garbage disposal?

If you pour it slowly with lots of running water, then yes. Otherwise, the same issue with other grains expanding can occur. It’s recommended you use cold water as well to help keep it from releasing starch.

Can I put instant rice down my garbage disposal?

As Mitch Hedberg said, “rice is good when you’re hungry and want 2,000 of something.” It’s not so good for your garbage disposal. A few grains of instant rice are okay, but you don’t want to flush a bowl down.

Can I put brown rice down my garbage disposal?

The same rule for instant rice applies to brown rice. You can put a small amount of brown rice down your garbage disposal. Just make sure not to fill the whole thing up with it.

Can I put corn down my garbage disposal?

No, corn cannot go down your garbage disposal! The fibers in corn can get caught on the blades, resulting in a clogged garbage disposal.

Can I put quinoa down my garbage disposal?

You cannot put quinoa down your garbage disposal. Most garbage disposals don’t have the power necessary to fully break down the grain.

Can I put barley down my garbage disposal?

Barley will not break down in your garbage disposal.

Can I put oatmeal down my garbage disposal?

Whether cooked or not, oatmeal should never go down the garbage disposal. They can easily damage your garbage disposal by expanding with the water in your pipes.

Can I put oats down my garbage disposal?

Oats should never go down your garbage disposal. Oats are a lot more likely to slip through your garbage disposal and get caught in your pipes. This could lead to clogged drains.

Fruits and Vegetables

fruits and vegetables

Fruits and veggies depends on the medley.

Fruits and vegetables going down your garbage disposal could go one of two ways: either your disposal can handle the entire thing, or the food will render your disposal useless.

Can I put whole vegetables down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely no whole vegetables should go down your garbage disposal! Regardless of the power your garbage disposal may have, it won’t be able to break down every part of the vegetable.

Can I put celery down my garbage disposal?

Celery is not safe for your garbage disposal. The same fibers that get caught in your teeth can get caught in the blades of your disposal.

Can I put carrot peels down my garbage disposal?

You should never put carrot peels down your garbage disposal! The blades of the disposal may pulverize the carrot peels into a sticky paste, causing a clog.

Can I put onions down my garbage disposal?

Technically yes, but you may want to skip putting onions down the garbage disposal. There are certain parts of an onion that are safe for the blades, but a lot of times the unsafe parts find their way into your pipes.

Can I put potato peels down my garbage disposal?

No part of a potato should go down your garbage disposal. While a potato is soft enough to be broken down, it’s most likely going to form a paste from all the starch. It’s better to compost or throw away any potato peels or bits.

Can I put mushrooms down my garbage disposal?

Unless you like a smelly pipe, mushrooms shouldn’t go down your garbage disposal. The best solution is to compost or throw them away.

Can I put whole fruits down my garbage disposal?

Whole fruits are the worst thing you can put down your garbage disposal. Not only can your disposal not handle such a work load, you risk clogging your pipes with fibers, seeds, and other parts from the fruit.

Can I put a banana peel down my garbage disposal?

Because of their fibrous nature, banana peels are not safe for your garbage disposal. Like beans, they can end up caught around the blades and clog your sink.

Can I put an orange peel down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put orange peels down your garbage disposal. In fact, it’s encouraged! As long as you cut them up into smaller parts, orange peels can help add a fresh citrus smell to your kitchen.

Can I put a lemon peel down my garbage disposal?

You can put lemon peels down your garbage disposal, but do it sparingly. As with orange peels, they can add a quick citrus smell to your kitchen. However, you don’t want to make a habit of this as over time they can build up in your pipes. This is especially true if you put too many lemon peels down your disposal at one time.

Can I put an apple core down my garbage disposal?

No, you can’t put an apple core down your garbage disposal. Not only is it too tough for even commercial grade disposals to break apart, but the seeds could cause damage to your pipes.

Can I put fruit seeds down my garbage disposal?

Fruit seeds are some of the most damaging foods for your garbage disposal. If they’re small, then they can get past the blades and damage your pipes. If they’re large, then they can damage the blades themselves or worse, stop your disposal altogether.

Can I put avocado down my garbage disposal?

It depends on your make and model. There are some brands that claim to be able to handle the avocado (including the pit seed), but you’ll have to check your manual to be safe. When in doubt, just throw the avocado out… into the trash or compost!

Can I put tomatoes down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put tomatoes down your garbage disposal! Just don’t put a ton of them at once. If there’s too many at once, it could cause a pasty build-up that could prevent the blades from spinning.

Legumes and Other Beans

legumes

Legumes equals garbage disposal doom.

Legumes can become incredibly fibrous quickly. These fibers can get wrapped around the blades of your garbage disposal and clog your entire sink. It’s best to compost legumes, or throw them in the trash.

Can I put soybeans down my garbage disposal?

No, you can’t put soybeans down your garbage disposal. Beans can become fibrous, thus clogging your garbage disposal and pipes.

Can I put peanuts down my garbage disposal?

Whether boiled or not, you should not put peanuts down your garbage disposal. Their shells can be too tough and damage the garbage disposal.

Can I put chickpeas down my garbage disposal?

As the same with other beans, chickpeas cannot go down your garbage disposal. They can become too fibrous.

Can I put lentils down my garbage disposal?

Lentils should never go down your garbage disposal. In fact, try not to get them anywhere near your sink or dishwasher in general! They can easily clog your pipes by getting stuck to the sides of them.

Can I put dry beans down my garbage disposal?

Dry beans are one of the worst foods to put down your garbage disposal. They are incredibly fibrous and can expand exponentially in your pipes. Putting dry beans down your garbage disposal could lead to serious damage.

Can I put green beans down my garbage disposal?

No, you cannot put green beans down your garbage disposal. Not only are they fibrous like other beans, their skin is tougher for the blades to break through.

Can I put kidney beans down my garbage disposal?

Kidney beans are not safe for your garbage disposal. They can easily clog your pipes, especially if uncooked.

Can I put lima beans down my garbage disposal?

You should not put lima beans down your garbage disposal. Like all other beans, their fibers can get caught in the blades of the garbage disposal and clog your sink.

Can I put black beans down my garbage disposal?

Black beans should never go down your garbage disposal, even if they are cooked or from a can. Be especially careful when dumping cans of soup, as some do contain black beans in them.

Milk, Yogurt, and Other Dairy Products

dairy

Be wary of pouring down dairy.

Milk, yogurt, and other dairy products can be hit or miss when it comes to just your garbage disposal. However, it’s important to keep in mind that pouring dairy products of any kind down your drains is not recommended.

Can I put expired milk down my garbage disposal?

Technically yes, but is it worth the smell? If you are going to pour your expired milk down your garbage disposal, be sure to follow it with lots of cold water and dish soap to help alleviate the smell.

Can I put condensed milk down my garbage disposal?

Yes, condensed milk can go down your garbage disposal! Just be sure to run lots of cold water with it.

Can I put buttermilk down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put buttermilk down your garbage disposal. There’s even some talk of spoiled buttermilk being good for a septic tank!

Can I put oat milk down my garbage disposal?

As long as it doesn’t have actual oats in it, oat milk is perfectly safe for your garbage disposal.

Can I put almond milk down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can pour almond milk down your garbage disposal. Just make sure it doesn’t have any actual almonds in it!

Can I put goat milk down my garbage disposal?

Goat milk is perfectly safe for your garbage disposal. Though neighbors may judge you for drinking it!

Can I put cheese down my garbage disposal?

Technically yes, but you should skip putting cheese down your garbage disposal. It can sometimes get stuck on the blades and create a nasty smell.

Can I put stinky cheese down my garbage disposal?

Yes, but it’s suggest otherwise. Unless you really like the smell of stinky cheese, it’s better to just throw it away.

Can I put blue cheese down my garbage disposal?

It depends on the make and model of your garbage disposal. Some companies claim their disposals have no issue with blue cheese and others recommend skipping it. The best way to know is to consult your manual, or play it safe and throw it away.

Can I put cottage cheese down my garbage disposal?

As with all cheeses, it is recommended that you throw away cottage cheese, instead of pour it down your garbage disposal.

Can I put yogurt down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put yogurt down your garbage disposal! The only caution is if your yogurt have real fruit chunks in it. Then, you may want to consider otherwise.

Can I put sour cream down my garbage disposal?

No, do not put sour cream down your garbage disposal. Because of its high oil contents, it can wreak havoc on your pipes.

Can I put ice cream down my garbage disposal?

In general, ice cream shouldn’t be poured down any of your drains. The microbes inside dairy products could ruin septic tanks that use bacteria for decomposing. However, ice cream won’t hurt your garbage disposal (unless you have extra toppings/chunks of other foods inside it).

Meats, Fish, Eggs, and Other Animal Products

meats

Here’s a proposal: no meat in your disposal.

There are certain parameters where meats, eggs, and other animal products can safely go down your garbage disposal. However, you have to prepare them in order to avoid spreading bacteria or ruining your disposal.

Can I put raw beef down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely do not put raw beef down your garbage disposal! As the blades try to cut it up, they can easily become tangled and stop working. Throw away all raw meat in the original container or spill-proof bag.

Can I put cooked beef down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put cooked beef down your garbage disposal! Just make sure you cut them into small pieces.

Can I put spoiled beef down my garbage disposal?

Technically yes, but it is not recommended. If you cut the spoiled beef into smaller pieces, it can go down your garbage disposal. However, there might be a pungent smell!

Can I put raw pork down my garbage disposal?

You cannot put raw pork down your garbage disposal! Throw away all raw meat in the original container or spill-proof bag.

Can I put cooked pork down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put cooked pork down your garbage disposal! Just make sure there’s no large bones, excess grease, or large chunks when you do.

Can I put spoiled pork down my garbage disposal?

It’s recommended that you don’t just from smell alone. The spoiled pork shouldn’t cause damage to your disposal as long as you remove the bones, grease, and cut them into smaller pieces. However, there may be a smell afterwards.

Can I put raw chicken down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely do not put raw chicken down your garbage disposal! Raw chicken poses a huge threat of carrying salmonella, and tossing it in your disposal could spread that bacteria all around your sink and counters. Throw away all raw meat in the original container or spill-proof bag.

Can I put cooked chicken down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put cooked chicken down your garbage disposal! Just be sure to remove any bones and excess grease. It’s also a good idea to cut it down into smaller pieces beforehand.

Can I put spoiled chicken down my garbage disposal?

It depends on why the chicken spoiled. If it was raw chicken that went bad, then no. It’s better to throw away the meat in its original container or spill-proof bag. If it was cooked chicken that went bad, then it should be safe for your disposal as long as there are no bones, excess grease, and/or large chunks.

Can I put raw turkey down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely do not put raw turkey down your garbage disposal! Throw away all raw meat in the original container or spill-proof bag.

Can I put cooked turkey down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put cooked turkey down your garbage disposal! As with all cooked meats, be sure to remove any bones, excess grease, and large chunks.

Can I put spoiled turkey down my garbage disposal?

Spoiled turkey should go directly in the trash. Even if it’s been cooked, spoiled turkey shouldn’t be going down your garbage disposal.

Can I put raw fish down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely do not put raw fish down your garbage disposal! Throw away all raw fish in the original container or spill-proof bag.

Can I put cooked fish down my garbage disposal?

No, do not put cooked fish down your garbage disposal. Not only does it smell, but the skin and guts can make a pulpy mess around the blades.

Can I put spoiled fish down my garbage disposal?

Do not put spoiled fish down your garbage disposal! It can lead to a stinky mess that needs to be cleaned immediately.

Can I put raw eggs down my garbage disposal?

The yolk is safe for your garbage disposal, but the egg shell is not. The membrane attached to the egg shell can cause damage.

Can I put cooked eggs down my garbage disposal?

You can put cooked eggs down your garbage disposal as long as the shell isn’t attached.

Can I put spoiled eggs down my garbage disposal?

Yes, as long as you remove the shell and rinse with cold water and dish soap.

Can I put honey down my garbage disposal?

Yes, you can put honey down your garbage disposal, but it has to be dissolved first. It’s a sticky substance that could grab onto future food debris and cause a build up. This can be combated by dissolving it in a lot of warm water before dumping it down the drain.

Can I put animal bones down my garbage disposal?

It depends on the make and model of your disposal. Some brands claim that their disposals can handle even large animal bones, while others caution nothing larger than a chicken wing bone. To be safe, check your manual or throw the bones away.

Are egg shells bad for my garbage disposal?

Egg shells are terrible for your garbage disposal! Contrary to some internet rumors, egg shells will not “sharpen” your disposal’s blades. In fact, they can cause serious damage to them!

Can I put bacon grease down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely do not pour bacon grease down your garbage disposal! In short, it’s really bad for your pipes and generally not a good idea.

Oil, Butter, and Other Fats

butter

Oil of all types should stay out of your pipes.

Oils, butters, and other fats are never good for your plumbing system! They can expand with leftover moisture, solidify with temperature changes, and cause major clogging for your sink. It’s best to avoid putting all types of oils and fats down your garbage disposal.

Can I put butter down my garbage disposal?

You should not put butter down your garbage disposal. It might go down smoothly, but butter can expand with moisture and get everywhere on your pipes. On top of that, it could solidify in your pipes causing even more damage.

Can I put vegetable oil down my garbage disposal?

It’s not recommended that you put vegetable oil down your drain. Whether through the disposal or straight into the sink, you want to avoid oil in your pipes.

Can I put olive oil down my garbage disposal?

Do not put olive oil down your garbage disposal! It’s usually in liquid form, but it can quickly solidify when trapped in cold pipes. This can cause serious clogging of your pipes.

Can I put coconut oil down my garbage disposal?

Absolutely do not put coconut oil down your garbage disposal! It can stick to the sides of your pipes and cause clogging issues.

Can I put animal fat down my garbage disposal?

No, you cannot put animal fat down your garbage disposal or drain in general. This is true for all animal fat and grease.

Non-Food Items

coffee

Your garbage disposal does not dispose of all garbage.

Finally, let’s wrap up some internet myths of non-food items that can and cannot go down your garbage disposal.

Can I put coffee grounds down my garbage disposal?

Technically yes, but you risk ruining your pipes. The coffee grounds (whether brewed or not) won’t harm your garbage disposal. However, they can build up in your pipes and cause clogging.

Do coffee grounds sharpen my garbage disposal?

This has been an internet myth that’s been floating around for a few years. Unfortunately, it’s only a myth. Coffee grounds do not sharpen your garbage disposal blades. For the most part, they’ll just slip right by your disposal and straight into your pipes.

Should I run water when using my garbage disposal?

Yes, absolutely! For most items going down your disposal, you’ll want to run cold water. Hot water can be used for food items that don’t expand, such as tomatoes, orange peels, and lemon peels.

Will ice cubes help clean my garbage disposal?

Yes and no. There are some cleaning “hack” videos that show people putting a ton of ice cubes down their garbage disposal and letting it run. You don’t want to push too many ice cubes down there as they can clog your drain line.

If you want to use ice cubes to help clean your garbage disposal, it is recommended that you:
1. Put a small handful of ice cubes down your disposal
2. Turn your disposal on and run it with cold water.
3. (Optional) Place some small cuttings of orange peels into your disposal.

Can I put boiling water down my garbage disposal?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to pour boiling water down your garbage disposal. As long as there are no other food particles that shouldn’t be in your pipes, you’re fine to pour boiling water.

What Should I Do If My Garbage Disposal is Broken?

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Call Home-Tech, of course! Our technicians are trained in-house to deal with all kinds of mishaps, so there’s less worry when someone puts the wrong food down your garbage disposal.

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