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Food Waste Disposer and Kitchen Sink

Can I Put This Down the Garbage Disposal?


Since the invention of the garbage disposal, many households rely on the appliance to dispose of food scraps, create less trash, and reduce kitchen odor. However, shredding the wrong materials in the disposal can be harmful, lead to clogs, or even result in a broken appliance. Below, read 8 materials to avoid putting down the disposal, but when in doubt, just throw it out! It will save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.


A typical rule of thumb is to just avoid throwing any non-food items down the disposal. With dining ware and fragile decorations, Kitchens are prone to breakages and it may be tempting to throw the shattered glass or ceramic particles down the garbage disposal, but resist that temptation.

Bones and Skins

You’ve just enjoyed your Thanksgiving turkey or Sunday football game wings and you want to throw the leftover bones and skin down the garbage disposal, should you? No! You may assume that the garbage disposal will easily be able to chop and dispose of the scraps, but that’s not the case. Bones are hard and can break the disposal and the skins can cause a clog. Instead, collect them in a compost bin.

Seafood Shells

Just because you didn’t have chicken or steak for dinner, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. After cooking a seafood meal, throw all seafood shells in the trash and not down the garbage disposal. Clams, oysters, mussels, crabs, and lobsters all have hard exterior shells that are not easily ground up in a disposal.

Fruit Pits

Similar to chicken bones, pits found in fruits such as peaches, avocados, and cherries are hard and not easily cut with a knife, meaning not easily ground up by a garbage disposal either. Sure, fruit peels are fine to send down the disposal (just take the produce stickers off first), but throw out the pits or add them to the compost bin first.

Potato Peels

Yes, we said fruit peels are clear to send down your garbage disposal, but the same is not true for potato peels. After peeling your potatoes, add the peels to the compost bin. If they were to enter the garbage disposal and pipes, the scraps can turn into a sticky mass that poses a clog risk.

Pasta, Rice, and Oats

More food items that should never be thrown into the garbage disposal to avoid clogs are pasta, rice, and oats. All three of those items absorb water and expand, which can cause inconvenient plumbing problems for you to resolve.

Grease and Oil

Disposing of grease and oil after a meal can be messy, smelly, and difficult, but dumping it down the garbage disposal is not the answer. Instead, empty it into a jar or can and dispose of it in the garbage. Dumping the substance into your disposal is only a clog disaster waiting to happen.


You may have heard to not discard your expired or unused medications by flushing them down the toilet and the same rule applies to the garbage disposal and drain as well. Over time, the medications can impact the water supply. If you’re looking to get rid of your medications, take them to the nearest pharmacy or drug take back site or add them with dirt or coffee grounds in a container and throw it out.

Choose Schuler for Repairs

Garbage disposals can make the clean-up after a meal quick and easy, as long as you don’t throw anything harmful into it. Trying to grind the wrong materials can drastically reduce the lifetime of your appliance or result in a plumbing call to relieve a clog or repair the disposal. But accidents happen and if you notice your disposal is not working as it should, call Schuler Service!

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