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Should You Put Coffee Grounds Down a Garbage Disposal?

garbage disposal is great at grinding up food, but that doesn’t mean it can handle anything you throw at it. There are lots of items that people put down their disposals that really don’t belong down there. Aside from the errant fork, napkin, or loose screw that may find it’s way down in your garbage disposal throughout it’s life (trust us, we’ve seen some pretty odd things down there), the following things should never be put down a disposal:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Egg shells
  • Vegetable peelings
  • Meat bones
  • Grease

Things like coffee grounds may seem harmless, but even the best disposals will struggle with them. Because they are such fine particles, the blades in the disposal don’t have a job to do. Instead of grinding something up so it can go down smoothly, the blades just get coated with the coffee grounds, causing them to struggle to do their job on other foods and clogging a disposal and the drain. Vegetable peels and egg shells can cause the same complications. Potato peels, in particular, are very sticky and can get caught up inside the disposal.

Bones of any sort should be put in the trash instead of down the disposal because for as strong as the blades are, they are no match for bones or other hard items.

Grease should be collected in a container and disposed of in your regular trash instead of in your sink or down your disposal. While animal fat is a liquid when it’s hot, it quickly hardens when it gets cold. As grease gets firmer, it can clog pipes and result in stubborn garbage disposal blockages.

The last thing you want is to put food down your disposal and clog it, resulting in a stinky obstruction that you need to call a professional plumber to come fix. Instead, avoid issues ahead of time by choosing to put the right things down your disposal every time.

Additional resources:
Common Garbage Disposal Problems
Don't Do This to Your Drain!
Sink Repair for Beginners
Repairing a Blocked Garbage Disposal
Should You Use Lime Out in your Kitchen Sink?
Fixing a Leaking Garbage Disposal