As a responsible homeowner, you want to make sure that your garbage disposal runs smoothly and efficiently. That means knowing what not to put down the disposal. Here are some things you should never put down your garbage disposal.

1. Eggshells

Eggshells may seem harmless, but they can actually do a lot of damage to your garbage disposal. The sharp edges of the shells can cut through the blades of the disposal, and over time, this can lead to serious problems. Additionally, eggshells can collect in the drain and create clogs. When these clogs become too large, they can cause the drain to back up and overflow. Finally, eggshells can attract pests like cockroaches. If you don’t want to deal with any of these problems, it’s best to avoid putting eggshells down your garbage disposal and instead dispose of them in the trash.

2. Coffee Grounds

You may think that coffee grounds would be okay to put down the disposal since it is a food product. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Coffee grounds can actually clog up your garbage disposal and cause costly repairs. Here’s why: Coffee grounds are extremely fine, and they can quickly collect and form a blockage in your pipes over time. The buildup of grounds can attract such pests as cockroaches and rodents.

Additionally, when coffee grounds mix with other food waste, it creates a sludge-like substance that can be difficult to break down. The grounds can also become trapped in the blades of the disposal, causing the unit to malfunction. Finally, some municipalities prohibit the disposal of coffee grounds in sewer systems because they can contribute to environmental pollution.

3. Potato Peels

There are several dangers associated with putting potato peels down your garbage disposal. First, potato peels can tangle up the blades in your disposal, making it less effective at grinding up food waste. Additionally, as the potato peels break down, they release starchy water that can cause clogs in your plumbing. Finally, the enzymes in potato peels can actually speed up the decomposition process, leading to foul odors emanating from your garbage disposal.

4. Onion Skins

Onion skins are made up of long fibers that can wrap around the blades of your garbage disposal. This can cause the blades to become damaged or even broken. In addition, the fibers can tangle up and cause clogs in your drain. If the clog is severe enough, it could even cause your plumbing to back up. While most people think that they can just reach in and fish out the onion skins, this is not always easy or possible. Once the fibers are tangled up, they can be very difficult to remove. In some cases, you may need to call a plumber to clear the clog.

5. Bones

Bones are one of the worst things you can put down your garbage disposal. They can damage the blades, clog the plumbing and cause serious injuries if you’re not careful. This is because bones are extremely hard, and, when they hit the blades, they can break them. If enough bones build up, they can also clog the plumbing. And if you’re not careful, you can easily cut yourself on the blades when you reach in to retrieve something from the disposal.

6. Grease

When hot grease cools, it turns into a thick, sticky substance that can cling to pipes and cause major drainage problems. Even if your garbage disposal is able to chop up the grease, it’s only temporary — the grease will eventually solidify and cause clogs further down the line.

Another reason to avoid putting grease down the drain is that it can cause your garbage disposal to malfunction. When grease builds up in the blades of your garbage disposal, it can prevent them from spinning properly. This not only makes your disposal less effective at breaking down food waste, but it can also be dangerous if the blades become stuck while the disposal is running. The best way to get rid of it is to pour it into an old coffee can or jar and then dispose of it in the trash once it has cooled and solidified.

7. Pasta

Most people are familiar with the fact that certain kinds of food, like pasta, can expand and swell when they come into contact with water. What many people don’t know, however, is that this same phenomenon can occur in your garbage disposal. When pasta is placed in a disposal, the strands can become entangled around the blades. At the same time, the pasta will absorb water from the disposal, causing it to swell. This can not only jam the disposal, but it can also lead to a clog in your plumbing. Additionally, as the pasta swells, it will emit starch into the water. This can cause more things to adhere to the sides of your pipes, further exacerbating the problem.

8. Fruit Pits

Most fruit pits are hard and dense, which means they can quickly dull or even break the blades of your garbage disposal. And if the pit is large enough, it can get stuck in the disposal and cause it to jam. Even if you’re careful not to put any pits down the disposal, the bits of fruit that do make their way down can start to decompose and create a nasty clog in your plumbing.

So what’s the best way to dispose of fruit pits? The best option is to put them in the trash. If you have a compost bin, you can also add them to that.

9. Celery

Celery may seem like a harmless vegetable, but it can actually do quite a bit of damage to your garbage disposal. That’s because celery is made up of mainly water and cellulose, which is a type of indigestible plant fiber. When these strings of cellulose hit the blades of your disposal, they can quickly wrap around them and cause them to jam. Even worse, the water in celery can cause it to break down and form a slimy paste that can coat the blades and clog the pipes.

10. Glass or Plastic

Glass and plastic can both break down over time and cause small pieces to end up in your disposal. These small pieces can then get caught in the blades of your disposal, causing it to jam. In addition, glass and plastic can also damage the inner workings of your disposal, making it less effective at breaking down food waste.

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