19 Issues You Ought to By no means Put in a Rubbish Disposal

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Garbage disposal often gets a bad reputation. Some people think we shouldn’t be using them at all.

There is no doubt that the in-sink mills can be convenient and time-saving helpers, and many of us would find it difficult to do without them. But they can be sensitive. Many types of waste can get into them just fine, but you need to be careful with others.

Here are some items that should never be ground up when disposed of.

1. bones

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This one seems obvious. Imagine the blades at your disposal similar to the ones in your blender: would you toss a chicken carcass into your blender and expect it to be chopped up without any problems?

If your city is picking up food and garden waste, put the bones in this container.

2. Fat and oil

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Fry potatoes, donuts or bacon? Do not leave the leftover fat down the drain, whether it is for disposal or not. It will solidify and can mess up drains and pipes.

If you don’t want to save the oil for reuse, let it cool and pour it into a container that you will get rid of anyway. Then put it in your trash.

3. Avocado and fruit pits

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Avocado pits are kind of a rock in the kitchen waste world. The blades at your disposal will do next to nothing to crack open those solid pits. Instead, throw the pits in with your compost or garden waste.

4. Potato and carrot peels

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Potato peels aren’t as tough or fibrous as the outer coatings of many vegetables, but they can clog your disposal. Even when cut, shells contain so much starch that they can form a kind of paste that clogs the pipes. You say po-tay-to; I say don’t break this.

5. Corn husks

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You really shouldn’t be throwing away corn husks. The shells are fibrous and tough, and these fibrous threads can wrap around the disposal blades, tangling and jamming the motor. It could lead to a mess. Compost them or throw them in your food waste bin.

6. Onion skins

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Treat onion skins like corn skins. They look papery and thin – but like their stupid brothers, onion skins can get caught in the blades of a disposal and prevent them from turning. Composting is a much better option to peeling.

7. Salad

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Lettuce is a wonderfully healthy vegetable, but not so healthy for your garbage disposal. Not only can lettuce leaves be difficult to chop, but if you try to rinse them off with water, they can create a sticky, green slime that looks like something out of an “alien” movie.

“Salad” vows to compost salad leftovers in the future.

8. Banana peels

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Don’t mess around with monkeys: banana peels are not part of a disposal. Some experts say if you cut the shell into small pieces, the blades can handle it. But the same fibrous toughness that protects the soft banana fruit can destroy your disposal.

Instead, toss the bowls on the floor and wait for a clown to come over to dramatically slide on them. No? OK, well, just toss it in the compost bin or trash.

9. Pasta

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Cooked pasta and rice are delicious, but the leftovers can create a disposal dilemma. The whirring blades can crush these products into a starchy paste that clogs drains and pipes. Throw leftover noodles in your grocery bin – or better yet, save them for a day two snack.

10. Rubber

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If you’re stuck on Bubble Yum or Bazooka, give it a try. But never toss the sticky stuff near you.

The reasons are obvious: sticky chewing gum clogs the blades as securely as if you had injected glue into the sink. Wrap your gum in a small piece of paper and throw it in the trash.

11. Marshmallows

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Marshmallows seem like an odd item on this list – it’s not like the average person will provide them, and it’s not the kind of snack that has leftovers in it.

But maybe your marshmallows were a sticky topping made from grandma’s Thanksgiving sweet potatoes, or some other deliciously sweet and sticky recipe. Keep mallow trees away from disposal to keep your plumbing soft.

12. Coffee grounds

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What could be wrong with throwing coffee grounds in the trash? They are small, smell good and seem harmless.

But they clump together, don’t dissolve, and can cause a caffeinated clog. Instead, spread them over plants in your garden to repel insects and stimulate plant growth.

13. Eggshells

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Eggshells might be the most controversial item on this list. Opinions about whether they are available are rather mixed up.

Some say the clams actually act almost like an abrasive cleaner, breaking into tiny pieces, helping to rid the blades of the disposal of debris. However, others say they can be compacted either by completely clogging the drain or by sticking to the walls of the pipe and slowing its drainage.

After examining the evidence with eggs, it seems advisable to keep it away entirely.

14. Painting

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You would never pour paint down your drain, toilet, or waste disposal facility, would you? It may color your world, but it’s not healthy for your pipes and it’s bad for the environment.

Sure, some natural colors can tell pipes can handle it. The fact is, however, it isn’t that hard to let excess paint dry out and then check your neighborhood waste guidelines for proper disposal. Some companies accept scraps of paint if you’ve poured sand or cat litter into the can to make it a solid.

As you think about it, read “How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-To-Sell Things.”

15. Bread dough

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Even those of us who love to bake sometimes have dough to dispose of. Don’t throw it in the trash – bread dough is sticky and thick, and it forms a kind of mud paste that clogs the works.

If there isn’t much, scrape the extra batter into your compost bin.

16. Celery

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Celery is crispy and tasty and a staple food for dieter. But one place it doesn’t belong to is disposal. Those filiform, coiled strands that peel off the celery as you snack are like nasty little squid tentacles that can’t wait to twist around the blades of your disposal.

17. Pumpkin stem

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Halloween is a wonderful holiday, and carving a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern can be incredibly fun. But never toss the pumpkin stalks (or any other pieces you cut out – like those classic triangular eyes or the innards of thread-like pulp and seeds) down your drain. These are all thick and will fight your disposal blades to the death – and they will win.

The resulting repair bill will be creepier than any of the little monsters doing trick or treating.

18. Mussels with seafood

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You would never provide oyster, clam, lobster, and crab shells, would you? One rule to keep in mind: if your teeth can’t grind, don’t expect your disposal to do so. And there is nothing wrong with this advice.

19. Non-food items

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Here’s a tip that goes without saying: Never intentionally put down non-food items such as cutlery, zip ties, or rubber bands. Sure, they could slip into the sink when you’re washing a plate – if so, hit the off button ASAP. Better keep an eye on them so they don’t end up in an ongoing disposal.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, sometimes we get compensation for clicking links in our stories.

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