residential plumbing garbage disposal

What CAN’T Go Down the Garbage Disposal?

Your garbage disposal might be more sensitive than you realize. The worst time to find this is out is when you’ve already throw in something you shouldn’t and now you need to call a 24 hour plumber. To avoid harming your residential plumbing system, take note of these items which should never go down your garbage disposal.



When you finish your next DIY project, be sure to toss your latex or oil paint in the trash, instead of washing it down the sink. When it comes to cleaning brushes and rollers, it’s best to wash these in a separate container first, though they can be flushed down the sink if they are heavily diluted by water.

Cleaning Products

Dish soap and other normal cleaners are fine to use, but stay away from chemical filled cleaners such as clog-busting liquids and industrial-strength cleaners. The strong chemicals in these products can erode your pipes, enter the municipal water system, and make your family and neighbors sick.

Coffee Grounds, Pasta, and Oatmeal

Many people use coffee grounds to make their garbage disposal smell better, but this can end up causing more harm than good. When dumped down the sink, coffee grounds will end up exactly the way they do in the used filter. They clump together into a dense pile, therefore clogging your residential plumbing pipes.

It should be obvious that pasta expands when it comes in contact with water. Since water is one of the main items that goes down your garbage disposal, large amounts of pasta can end up expanding and causing you to need a clogged drain plumber to come by and clear it out.

Oatmeal can be similar to pasta and coffee grounds because it expands when wet. If uncooked oatmeal ends up down the drain, it can expand and cause a clog. If it’s already cooked, then it can create a solid mass like coffee grounds do.


Although garbage disposals include several blades for chopping up food waste, they aren’t meant to handle extremely hard objects such as bones. A small chicken bone will likely be okay, but an entire plate of chicken bones or larger bones can become a problem quickly.

Onion Skin, Egg Shells, and Potato Peels

Onions and eggs both have a very thin layer of membrane inside the dry outer shell. If this membrane goes down the disposal without being cut up first, it can act like a cargo net and catch all the other items you throw in after it.

Similarly, potato peels are very thin and can also slip past the disposal and get caught in the residential plumbing pipes.


North Georgia’s Residential Plumbing Expert

Even when you try your best to take care of your residential plumbing system, accidents can happen. Whether you’re worried about something small that went down the drain, or you have an active clog, give Hulsey Environmental Services (a Blue Flow Company) a call. We offer emergency plumbing service as well as scheduled maintenance to avoid major issues before they happen. Contact us online to schedule your appointment.