Garbage disposals are designed to shred food waste into small pieces so that they can easily pass through your plumbing system. However, while this invention can make life more convenient, it can also cause a few headaches and cost a lot of money. This is especially the case if you dispose of the wrong things. Let’s take a moment to discuss 8 things you should never put in your garbage disposal.

1. Pasta

If you enjoy pasta, then you probably have a few strands left over after dinner. When cleaning your dish it can be easy to rinse the leftover noodles down the drain. However, you should avoid doing this with large portions. Why is this? Well, when noodles come in contact with water, they expand. The more water that is flushed down the drain, the more they expand. So try to avoid this.

2. Onion Skins

There’s nothing wrong with putting chunks of onion in the disposal. However, there are certain parts of the onion that you should not put down the drain. Specifically, you should dispose of the outer layer manually. You see, this part of the onion is so thin that it tends to bypass the blades altogether and just sits in your disposal. And this means that there will be an odor that’s hard to get rid of.

3. Potato Peels

If you want to clog your garbage disposal, then try throwing a bunch of potato peels into it. This is another food that has an outer layer that is so thin that it tends to slip right past the blades. It’s okay to put a few peels into the garbage disposal. The problem comes in when homeowners try to pack all of their leftover peels into the drain.

4. Fruits With Hard Pits

Peaches, nectarines, plums, mangoes, apricots, and cherries are all delicious. But there’s another trait they have in common–they all have pits. And these hard, dense pits can present a huge and expensive issue if you throw them into your garbage disposal. If the food item has a pit that can’t be chopped with a knife, then it’s safe to assume that your disposal will not be able to grind it.

5. Harsh Chemicals

If you have ever struggled with garbage disposal odors, then you’ve probably used all sorts of cleaning chemicals to get rid of the problem. Here’s the thing, in your quest to get rid of the smell you may cause damage to your disposal. You see, there are some cleaning products that are too harsh for your drain. This is especially the case when it comes to industrial cleaners. So try to only clean your disposal with regular dish soap. And if you want to break down greasy buildup, add rock salt and ice cubes.

6. Bones

Does your family enjoy dishes that include fish or chicken? Well, before you throw those bones down the disposal, think twice. Sure, disposals are designed to grind food, however, just as is the case with pits, bones are an exception. They may be soft but they would require angle grinders. Your disposal may be able to handle the occasional small bone, but not groups of them.

7. Coffee Grounds

There is a belief that coffee grounds will get rid of odors. The good news is that this is true. The bad news is that it can ruin your drain. You see, coffee grounds are reduced into a very thick and dense paste. And over time, this paste can build up and clog your drain lines.

8. Nuts

Would you ever stuff a container of peanut butter down your garbage disposal? Most people wouldn’t because they understand that this thick paste would cause the same problems as coffee grounds. Over time, the peanut butter would build up and cause a clog in your drain lines. If you’re throwing nuts into your garbage disposal, you’re essentially adding peanut butter to the drain. This is because the blades grind the nuts and the water helps to create a paste. So save yourself the headache and throw your nuts into your nearest garbage can.


Garbage disposals can make cleanup simple and mess-free. However, it’s important that you maintain it. Save yourself time and money by properly disposing of the items on this list.


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