The Do’s and Don’ts of Garbage Disposals

The age-old question: Can I put that in the garbage disposal? Many of us are keen on tossing in whatever will fit down the drain. Whether it be leftovers from last night's dinner, a group of eggshells from your French omelet, or coffee grounds from cleaning out your reusable K-Cup. Maybe you've flicked the switch of the disposal, bracing yourself for that awful grinding noise and thought to yourself "This one-time won't hurt…".

But could it? How resilient is your garbage disposal? Why has it stopped working as efficiently as it used to, and how can you fix it? Thankfully, Coleman Plumbing knows all the do's and don'ts of garbage disposals all too well. While it might be tempting to save yourself a trip to the trash can or the dumpster, properly disposing your waste will save you money and time later on.


Let's start off with the positives! Having a garbage disposal at your beck and call is incredibly convenient for homeowners and renters alike. In fact, its usually at the top of a homeowner's wish list when house hunting; and for good reason! Garbage disposals will take care of the waste that you don't want to stink up your trash can- but only to a point.

1. Clean Your Garbage Disposal
It's actually much easier than you might think to learn how to clean your garbage disposal. No, you do not need to stick your hand anywhere near the blades. Just use ice cubes! Running the disposal using ice cubs every so often will dislodge any debris stuck on the blades and is completely harmless to your disposal.

2. Run Your Water
It's important to keep your water running down the drain while you use the garbage disposal. The disposal is meant to act in conjunction with the plumbing system, and the running water will help get rid of any food scraps.

3. Only Throw in Disposal Safe Foods
The list you've been waiting for: What can I put down my garbage disposal? Actually, there's more than you might think.

  • Most fruit scraps (non-fibrous)
  • Most vegetable scraps (non-fibrous)
  • Cooked meat
  • Wet pet food
  • Ice
  • Sodas, teas, etc.
  • Citrus peel (This will also leave a fresh smell!)


Garbage disposals work incredibly hard to make our lives easier. It's important we treat them well! In order to keep your disposal at tip top shape, avoid putting the following foods down the drain:

  • Pasta, rice, and bread
  • Large quantities of eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit pits
  • Fibrous fruits and vegetables like celery, onion skin, artichoke, corns husks, etc.
  • Grease, fat, and oils
  • Nonfood items like plastic, paper, and wrappers

As a general rule, if you're unsure of whether or not it is safe to go down the drain, just throw it away. If you garden, have wildlife, or just want to help the soil around your home, composting is a great way to dispose of those fibrous, and leafy fruits and vegetables!  

Of course, we know things can happen. Slip ups are common, and sometimes we just don't know what is okay to go down the disposal. If you are having any issues with your garbage disposal, call Coleman Plumbing in Woodstock, Georgia for efficient service you can trust!  

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