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Garbage Disposals:

What To Avoid Feeding Them Garbage disposals are an increasingly popular way to efficiently and safely get rid of food waste; however, these systems are not almighty and, as any other home appliance, should be used carefully to ensure proper functioning for years to come.  The experts at Keep Smiling Plumbing and Electric have put together this useful guide to ensure you know exactly what you should avoid putting down your garbage disposal to prevent clogging and damage in your system and pipes!

The Ultimate List Of Things You Should Avoid Putting Down Your Garbage Disposal 


Most paints will harden when poured down the drain, creating clogs that won’t be easily diluted. Dispose of leftover paint appropriately and, if possible, clean your rollers and brushes in a bucket and safely discard the water! 

Coffee Grounds:

It is commonly believed that dropping coffee grounds down your garbage disposal effectively eliminates odors. And while this technique might work in the short run, it can also be highly detrimental to your system as it will accumulate and form a thick paste that could easily clog your lines.  There are plenty of safe products and remedies in the market to combat foul odors coming out of your disposal; just make sure to keep the coffee grounds away! 


Just because garbage disposals have the capacity to shred and dispose of food waste doesn’t mean they are made to pulverize anything and everything under the sun! While they can withstand grinding the occasional forgotten bone, we recommend you avoid getting rid of hard items as they will eventually damage the system, disrupt its proper performance or render it useless. 

Fibrous Vegetables

The long fiber strands found in vegetables like pumpkin or celery can easily get caught in the blades and accumulate over time, rendering your system inefficient. Please discard stringy pumpkin guts in the trash.  

Pasta And Oatmeal Oatmeal and pasta

All of the above will expand when in contact with water, just like they would while cooking. To avoid your leftovers from forming a mushy clog that could interfere with the proper functioning of your system, abstain from using your garbage disposal to discard your leftover pasta and oats. 

Nuts And Pits Fruit pits and most nuts are incredibly dense and hard, making it complicated for food grinding systems to fully pulverize them and potentially damaging the blades and overworking the engine. This could lead to an underperforming machine that no longer works properly. Consider planting or composting them for an eco-friendly alternative! 

Egg And Seafood Shells:

These shells are too dense and will not properly break down when going through the disposal mechanism, potentially causing blockage or damaging the system altogether. 

Harsh Chemicals Strong industrial cleaners and harsh drain unclogging products could be very damaging to your garbage disposal and drain line. Make sure to research the best ways to dispose of hard chemicals and only use garbage disposal friendly products to keep the blades clean, deodorize and clear out build-up and bacteria.  Miscellaneous Items Despite being called a garbage disposal, these systems are not built to process everything you would typically put in a garbage pail.

Bags, paper towels, candy wrappers and banana peels are just some of the things that don’t belong down the disposal.  Expert Garbage Disposal Solutions At Your Fingertips!  If you are an East Atlanta resident searching for a professional team you can trust for all your plumbing and electrical projects, look no further! The expert plumbers at Keep Smiling Plumbing & Electric have years of experience servicing and assessing garbage disposal repairs and will ensure your system is back up and running in no time. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a free consultation.