Garbage Disposal Maintenance 101

Garbage Disposal Maintenance 101

Despite its name, a garbage disposal is not equipped to process all the food that can collect in a kitchen sink. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and dump the food in a garbage can. Here are a few items that can clog or break your disposal:

Vegetable and Fruit Skins 

Fibrous fruits and vegetable can wrap around your disposal’s blade and fry the motor. Foods like asparagus, banana peels, artichokes, fruit pits, corn husks and celery should be kept far away from a garbage disposal. These natural foods can also easily be composted and turned into great fertilizer as an alternative to throwing them in the trash.  


Grease is one of the worst things you can put down a drain or garbage disposal. Cooking oils, fats and other grease solidify quickly after being poured down a drain. This leads to faulty disposals, clogged drains and odorous smells. Instead, wait for the grease to harden and then throw it directly into the garbage can. 

Coffee Grounds

Ground coffee may seem harmless but it can quickly build up in your disposal and drains. The grounds can quickly build up as a sediment to line the insides of your pipes. 

Egg Shells 

Egg shells can harm your disposal in a couple surprising ways. The thin membrane inside the egg can easily get stuck in your disposal’s blades. Ground egg shells turn into a sand-like consistency that can clog disposals and drains. Add these leftovers directly to the trash or compost. 


This one may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how often bones are mistakenly pushed down the disposal. Bones big and small can cause extensive damage to your disposal’s blades and motor. Small pieces of bone can also become lodged in your plumbing leading to annoying clogs and slow drains. 

Pasta and Rice 

While this food isn’t as harmful as some of the others, pasta and rice can build up over time as they absorb water and expand in your disposal and drain. It’s better to err on the side of caution and send these leftovers directly to the trash. 

If you are having any last-minute drain clogs or other plumbing problems threatening your holiday plans, call or schedule service online with Cartwrights Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. Our licensed and insured plumbers are available 24/7 throughout Northern New Mexico.  

We are operating normally and continue to schedule service appointments for homeowners and businesses. Read more about the additional precautions we are taking to keep our customers and employees safe.