Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

484-246-6405 24 Hour Emergency and Same Day Service!

Family enjoys holiday dinner without clogging their garbage disposal

Tips for Not Clogging Your Garbage Disposal This Holiday


It’s the holiday season, and no matter how you celebrate and who you celebrate with, one thing is for sure– your house is sure to be filled with delicious food! The winter holidays are a time to cook and feast with your family and friends, and whether you’re hosting the party or just cooking some of your best dishes, the garbage disposal in your sink is sure to get a workout! However, the last thing you need at this time of year is a major clog gumming up the works in your kitchen. If it happens, the busy holiday will have to grind to a halt while you deal with the problem. No one wants that!


The number one thing you should keep in mind when it comes to your garbage disposal is clog prevention. While a disposal can handle plenty of scraps and kitchen waste, there are some things that you should definitely avoid putting into it. Here are some of the ways that you can do to prevent or deal with garbage disposal clogs this holiday!

Things to Avoid

Grease or Fat

Grease and fat are the number one enemies of kitchen drains everywhere. Animal fat, be it from poultry, beef, bacon, or any other tasty holiday dish you may be cooking, will be in liquid form at cooking temperatures. You may think that any liquid is ok to put down your drain, but the caveat is that animal fats become solid at lower temperatures and will stop up your pipes very effectively. Instead, pour your animal fats into an empty can and dispose of them in the garbage once they solidify!

Stringy or Fibrous Vegetables

Carrots, broccoli, celery, greens and other vegetables are all great sources of fiber. They’re good to include in your regular diet and on your holiday table, but they’re not good for the health of your garbage disposal! High-fiber vegetables can get stringy and tangled in the blades, stopping them from working properly. At this busy time of year, they’re better to avoid altogether.

Potato Peels or Starchy Foods

Starch is a funny substance. When it’s wet, it’s gooey and soft, but it can turn almost cement-like when it hardens. Anything with a high starch content, like rice, pasta, oats, or potato peels, runs a risk of creating major buildup in your garbage disposal and pipes, leading to clogs. These things are better composted or disposed of in the trash.

Coffee Grounds

Sometimes it seems that coffee grounds have only two purposes in this world– to make coffee, and to clog sinks. Particularly if coffee grounds get mixed with grease, they can cause serious issues in your kitchen pipes. They’re better thrown in the garbage, or you can find ways to repurpose them! Some people find it very effective to put coffee grounds into the soil of their plants to provide acidity and nutrients.


While the thin and brittle eggshells themselves don’t pose much of a threat to the powerful blades of a garbage disposal, the real issue is any residual egg white left on the shells. Egg white can get very sticky, and sticky is one thing that you don’t want your garbage disposal to be this holiday season!

Bones and Shells

Seafood shells like those from shrimp or clams and bones from your poultry can very easily get stuck in the blades of your garbage disposal, creating a clog and preventing you from getting anything else done until the clog is fixed. They belong in the trash instead of down the drain!

Poultry Skin

Turkey, chicken, and duck are all welcome dishes on the holiday table, but their skin is not welcome in your garbage disposal! Whether you take the skin off before cooking or after, in the garbage disposal it gets fatty and rubbery, making it hard to be broken down by the blades and stopping up the pipes. Toss it in the trash and keep your disposal working properly!

Have a Good Plumber on Hand

If you happen to slip up and clog your garbage disposal, don’t panic! All you need to fix the problem is to contact the plumbing experts at Schuler Service. We’ve seen it all, and we can help you get your disposal working again!

More to explore