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Five Frightening Ways to Ruin Your Garbage Disposal

October is a spooky time of year. Ghosts, ghouls and goblins adorn nearly every street corner and house in the neighborhood in preparation for Halloween. Horror movies play constantly on our television screens, regaling us with tales of vampires, witches and the undead.

But do you know what’s even scarier than the sights and sounds of Halloween? Expensive bills that are easily avoidable!


For those of us that have kitchen sinks with garbage disposals, we know they’re incredibly convenient and great for saving time and waste. However, there are a few things that can cause some real nightmares if you try to put them down your sink.

Leftover grease or oil

Although it starts off as a liquid, leftover cooking grease will eventually solidify in our pipes and wreak havoc on your plumbing if it’s poured down the garbage disposal. Get rid of cooking grease by letting it cool down in the pan and dumping it into a disposable container to be thrown away. It can also be saved and used in a number of helpful ways around the kitchen later on!

Egg shells

Egg shells can really do some damage to our disposals. When the disposal begins to grind away, tiny shell pieces will break off and build up inside the disposal. But it isn’t the shell that poses the biggest problem. The thin membrane on the inside of the egg can actually cling to the shredder ring and harden around it, preventing it from being able to spin. Opt instead to throw your egg shells in the trash. They’re also an eggscellent addition to any compost pile.

Coffee grounds

Much like egg shells, coffee grounds are pulverized into fine particles when thrown into our garbage disposals. These particles can get into the disposal’s tiny nooks and crannies, building up over time and creating huge problems down the road.

‘Stringy,’ starchy vegetables

Certain types of vegetables like celery, corn husks and even certain leafy greens can be tough for your disposal to take care of. The strings are made of tough bits of tissue that contribute to the structural integrity of the plant. Because they’re so tough, it’s difficult to break them down in the disposal and are better off tossed in the trashed.

Paper, trash or anything unorganic

This one may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating because of the devastating effects it can have. Anything that isn’t food waste (paper towels, plastic wrappers, etc.) should never find its way down your garbage disposal. It may seem silly – but trust us – we’ve seen just about everything!

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