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Keep These Clog-Causers Out Of Your Garbage Disposal

Can a Garbage Disposal get clogged?

Don’t understand why your garbage disposal is constantly breaking down? Or maybe you keep encountering backups and clogs in your kitchen sink but can’t quite figure out the cause? Either way—there’s one simple answer—you’re misusing your garbage disposal system.

Can a Garbage Disposal Get Clogged?

Yes, it is very possible and extremely common for a garbage disposal to become clogged. When incompatible foods—or worse, actual trash—make their way down your garbage disposal, your plumbing simply cannot process them.

Foods to Avoid Putting Down Your Garbage Disposal 

That’s why your plumbing revolts with slow drainage and pooling wastewater. Many food items should always be avoided. Below are some of the most common food items that end up clogging the garbage disposal.

Chicken, Fish, and Meat Bones

If you can’t cut it with a knife, it does not belong in your garbage disposal. Hence, chicken, fish, and meat bones should not be shoved down your sink. Yes, even fish bones. Although they are tiny and malleable, they can get stuck in your plumbing system and catch subsequent items coming down your drain.

Chicken and meat bones, alike, can actually break your garbage disposal’s motor. If these bones happen to land between the blades of your system, the motor will continue to run while the rest of your system is unable to rotate, causing the entire network to break down. If this occurs, you’ll need an entirely new garbage disposal. Keep all protein bones out of your sink; instead, toss them into your kitchen trash.

Coffee Grounds

If you brew your own coffee, you know that when coffee grounds get wet they clump together. When this occurs in your pipes—coffee grounds form one major clog.

Make sure you are not wiping spilled coffee grounds into your sink or rinsing post-brewed grounds down your disposal—you will end up with a sink full of pooling water, and you’ll have to contact a professional plumber to come and remove your clog.

Egg Shells

This may be the most debated topic when it comes to kitchen plumbing—can you, or can you not, put eggshells down your disposal? The simple answer: better not. The issue here is not actually the shell itself, but rather the thin membrane that lives beneath it.

Think of this thin membrane as a small plastic bag. As the membrane floats through your pipes, it will begin to collect food scraps and other substances floating around in your plumbing, creating a clog that can cause everything from slow drainage to full-on backflow.

Fibrous Vegetables

Celery is a great way to picture this issue. Think about peeling this fibrous vegetable. When you pull the peeler down the stem, stringy pieces are shaved off the stalk.

When celery and other fibrous vegetables, such as corn and asparagus, end up in your disposal system, they are shredded in the same manner. These little pieces get tangled as they pass through your system, forming a blockage. It’s best to throw any leftover vegetables into your trash.

Grease, Oil, and Fats

That salad dressing you have that just expired or that leftover oil sitting in your pan from cooking hashbrowns this morning cannot go down your drains. Excess oils must be disposed of elsewhere.

Pouring oil down your sink will harm your plumbing, as the oil coats your pipes clinging to anything that passes as it dries. Always throw excess oils into your trash can. If you are worried about making a mess, pour leftovers into a used water bottle and then toss this into your trash.


When nuts are ground up and spun, they form a paste. Just think about peanut butter—that is one sticky substance you don’t want down your drain. When nuts are tossed into your garbage disposal they undergo a similar process, as garbage disposals have very similar characteristics to that of a blender.

Nuts that make their way down your disposal will turn into a thick paste, sticking to everything that passes. If you end up with this gooey substance in your drains, you’ll have to hire a professional for drain cleaning.


When starchy foods get wet, they expand. So, when spaghetti, rice, or bread finds its way down your disposal—you’re in for one big clog. These items will continue to grow until you have a complete blockage in your system.

For garbage disposal repairs and replacements and professional drain cleaning in Orlando and throughout Central Florida, reach out to Brownie's Septic and Plumbing, LLC by calling (407) 890-0116 or contacting us online! We are here 24/7 for your emergency needs.

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