What’s good for your body can be bad for your kitchen sink

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You probably know garbage disposals are not for actual garbage like paint, paper towels and wrappers.

But you may not realize there are several food items that don’t mix well with disposals.

To avoid breaking a disposal or creating a smelly, messy backup, the experts at family-owned Donley Service Center share the top items to avoid putting down the drain:

Pasta and Rice

  • Because they expand when exposed to water, pasta and rice can fill the disposal trap and gum up the inside.

Stringy Vegetables

  • Fibrous strings from celery, asparagus, pumpkin and cornhusks can get tangled up around the disposal blades. Certain types of lettuce can also stop the disposal from working.

Potato and Banana Peels

  • Peels can create trouble in two ways: they can turn into a chunky paste and cause the blades to stick and they can slide right past the disposal and clog the drain.

Pits and Seeds

  • Peach pits, avocado seeds and apple cores should never go down the disposal. Peach pits are strong enough to dent and chip the blades.


  • Eggshells can stick to the sides and, as other disposal friendly items are added, the shells can attach to the waste and lead to a clog.


  • Bones will either just spin around and around the disposal or if they do slip past the blades without harming the disposal, they won’t go through the pipes.

Coffee grounds

  • They attract grease, build up and create a thick mass that will clog your drain.

Grease and Cooking Oils

  • Both can clog your drain and require professional help. 

To keep the disposal working well:

  • Feed ice cubes to sharpen the blades.
  • Always run cold water when the disposal is on.
  • To counter odors, put lemon or lime peels or small wedges down the disposal.

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