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15 items not to put down your garburator

January 18th, 2021

Have a garburator? Want to grind up anything and everything and have it go down the drain? Well, take it from the experts – not everything should be sliced & diced and washed down your pipes.

 Here are 15 items not to put down your garburator.


  1. Coffee Grounds: Coffee grounds turn into a thick pasty wad that can plug up your drains. Instead save them for your garden, which helps create nutrient-rich soil as well as keep critters out of your garden.
  2. Pasta: Pasta absorbs water and expands in your plumbing lines even after it’s chopped up from your garburator. While a few scraps from a plate shouldn’t cause an issue, disposing an entire serving of pasta into your drains is not a good idea.
  3. Bones: Garbage disposal blades aren’t strong enough to cut up bones. You will damage the blades and possibly destroy your garbage disposal.
  4. Oatmeal: Like pasta, oatmeal is a water-absorbing food. Oatmeal can collect further down in your plumbing lines and soak up water, expanding and plugging your lines.
  5. Nuts: Consider what happens when you grind up nuts. Think peanut butter. If you throw a bunch of nuts into your garburator this is exactly what happens. Leaving you with disposal lines that have a thick oily paste to potentially clog your lines.
  6. Onion Skins: While the inside of the onion is okay to put into the disposal, the thin skins can slip between the blades untouched, and become wedged in the drain, trapping other food items and causing a clog. Compost the outer layer of your onion instead.
  7. Eggshells: There is an old wives’ tale that eggshells will sharpen your garbage disposal blades which is not true. While the eggshells will not damage the blades, the inner membrane from the eggshell can get loose and lodge around the impeller or in the drain. Instead, use your eggshells in your garden – they are a fabulous fertilizer.
  8. Trash: Some things just belong in the garbage and not in your drains. Banana peels, candy wrappers, paper towel, cigarette butts, etc. The device is not a trash compactor, adding items such as these will lead to having to replace the unit.
  9. Pumpkin: When carving a pumpkin and the long stands get stuck to your hands. The same happens when you put it into your garbage disposal which clogs your drains.
  10. Potato Peels: Don’t overload your disposal with potato peels. While a few shouldn’t hurt, a large amount can jam up your disposal and it puts a lot of strain on the motor.
  11. Celery: Much like pumpkin, the stringy fibers can wrap around the blades and plug your drains or damage the disposal motor.
  12. Pits: Similar in texture to bones, pits cannot be chopped up with disposal blades. Save them for your compost instead. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up with a giant peach tree!
  13. Cleaning solutions: Harsh drain cleaners and industrial cleaning solutions should not be used in your disposal unit. They can damage the drains and the drain lines. Instead, use ice cubes to clean the blades and some lemon peels to deodorize the disposal. A little dish soap can be helpful if there is some grease build-up. Always make sure your unit is turned off before cleaning your disposal unit.
  14. Corn Husks: The robust fibrous husks and the stringy silks of the husk create a threat for the garbage disposal unit. Keep the task of husking your corn far from the garbage disposal. Instead, husk the corn straight into the compost.
  15. Grease: We’ve all heard the phrase, Don’t pour it, store it! Grease should never be put down any of your drains, including your garbage disposal. This is one of the leading causes of clogged lines. Keep a glass jar under your sink to collect grease drippings in.


Across Town Plumbing’s suggestion is to take out garburators as they cause more problems than they are worth.


PS: flushable wipes are NOT flushable – they will clog your drain lines.

Hear what folks are saying!

I have been working with Across Town Plumbing for about 4 years now almost on a daily basis. In emergencies, even in the middle of the night, they call back immediately and attend to the situation.

Ilona Hirsch
Res. Manager