Under the sink garbage disposal unit.

What Can You Put in Your Garbage Disposal?

While everyone loves the convenience of their garbage disposal, many make the mistake of treating it like a trash can. It can be super helpful to dispose of certain types of foods, but it certainly can’t dispose of everything that comes off a plate. If you want your garbage disposal to last, you need to learn what you can and can’t put in it. In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can and can’t put into your garbage disposal – you may be shocked. 

Coffee Grounds 

When you drop coffee grounds down your disposal, they tend to clump together – the same way they do when you pour water on them. When coffee grounds clump together, they stick to everything around them, including your disposal. Coffee grounds are notorious for sticking to disposal blades, the sides of pipes, and everywhere else. The more your pour into your disposal, the worse it will get. Always dispose of your coffee grounds in a garbage can to avoid messy clogs. 


You might think pasta is okay to put in your garbage disposal because it’s soft. However, pasta expands when it gets wet. Anything that expands when wet should not go down your disposal. Expanding pasta in your disposal may prove to be too unwieldy for your disposal blades to process properly, instead of grinding the pasta into tiny chunks. 


It’s true, your garbage disposal has blades. But they’re not powerful enough to break up animal bones. Running bones through your disposal is a great way to chip, crack, or completely break the blades in your disposal. Toss the bones in the garbage, and save your blades. 

Fibrous Vegetables 

Fibrous vegetables like celery and rhubarb tend to break down into long, stringy pieces. The long stringy pieces end up tangling themselves up in your disposal blades when you try to run it. Over time they can accumulate and lead to a disposal that does a poor job and even clogs. Do yourself a favor by keeping fibrous vegetables out of your garbage disposal. 


When you grind nuts up, you get nut butter. Everyone loves nut butter, but your garbage disposal doesn’t. Nut butter is sticky. A disposal lined with nut butter becomes nearly impossible to clean. The butter sticks to the sides and can lead to nasty clogs and even attract unwanted pests. 

What Can You Put Down Your Garbage Disposal? 

So far, we’ve covered a lot of things you shouldn’t be putting in your garbage disposal. You’re probably wondering what you can actually safely put in it. The good news is you can still put quite a bit in your garbage disposal. 

  • Non-toxic liquids 
  • Ice cubes 
  • Most fruit and vegetable scraps 
  • Small portions of leftovers (items not on the list) 

Need a Plumber? 

If you have a clogged garbage disposal, don’t worry. Chances are it’s a quick fix that we can take care of with our plumbing tools and know-how.  Top of the Line Plumbing provides top of the line plumbing services to Duval County, St. Johns County, Jacksonville, and the surrounding areas.

Contact Us Today!