There's a very common mis-conception that the garbage disposal in many of our kitchens can be used as a type of food process for all kinds of leftovers. In actuality - it's really meant to be used for very small amounts of food.

Can Fish Go Down A Garbage Disposal?

So, can you put fish down a garbage disposal? - If the fish is cooked and has no bones or very small bones and is broken into small pieces, then yes. Small scraps of cooked meat can be put into a garbage disposal. Raw or greasy meats or portions with gristle should never go down the disposal.

What Can Go Down A Garbage Disposal?

It does seem that the list of things that should NOT go down a garbage disposal is much longer than what you CAN put down there.

As you can see comparing this list here of what is safe to use your garbage disposal on and the list in the next section of this article of all the things to avoid putting in your disposal unit.

So, here's the short list of what is safe to put in your garbage disposal.

Cooked Meat - As we said earlier, if the meat is cooked and has no grissle, if it is in small scraps and if it has no bones then it's safe.

Fruit - Small scraps of fruit (no pits) are fine to put in your disposal unit. Citrus fruits and especially the peels are fine to put in your disposal.

Avoid putting banana peels in there though - they are too fibrous.

Vegetables - Small scraps of most vegetables are also okay to put in your garbage disposal. Not all vegetables should be put down the disposal mostly because they either are too starchy (which can create a clog) or they are too fibrous which can also cause a clog.

The list of vegetables to avoid putting in your disposal are...

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn Husks
  • Cucumber Peels
  • Lettuce
  • Onion Skins
  • Potato Peels
  • Sweet Potatoes

What Items Should Not Go Down A Garbage Disposal?

Utensils - I know, this seems obvious but you may not KNOW there's a utensil in the disposal so before you turn it on, clear out your sink of items small enough to get into the disposal.

Coffee Grounds - It seems as if coffee grounds are fine enough to go through the disposal with no problem. But the matter of fact is that after sometime, grounds can accumulate in your pipes and clog them.

Eggshells - There's a bit of a debate on Eggshells and Garbage Disposals. Some say they are okay, some do not. Again, the matter of fact is that the thin membrane inside the eggshell can wrap itself around the blades of the disposal.

Bones - Except for fish bones, it's recommended to NOT put bones down your garbage disposal. And don't be fooled into thinking you have an industrial strength disposal that can do the job - as of this writing - there is no such thing.

Pits and Seeds - You would never think of putting a marble down your garbage disposal, right? Well, some pits and seeds are just as hard as a marble so you can imagine the damage that these would cause to the blades of the disposal unit.

Grease - Most of us think of grease as liquid and assume it's okay to put down the disposal. But - we would be wrong. In general, garbage disposals CAN handle liquids but grease doesn't always stay liquid. Once it cools, it does solidify to some extent. And that is when the problems begin.

So, avoid putting all forms of oils and fats down your disposal.

Meat - Raw meats or greasy meat or meat with gristle should never go down the disposal. Not only can the gristle be too hard to grind, but the meat can become stringy and entangle around the blade.

Grains - This includes rice, pasta, couscous, quinoa, barley, millet and many others. Does not matter if it's cooked or raw - avoid putting this down your disposal. The problem with these is that they tend to expand the more they are exposed to liquids. So, they can continue to expand and clog up your pipes so avoid putting these types of foods down your garbage disposal.

Fibrous Foods - Most everyone hates it when we get the Silk from corn stuck in our teeth. All foods that are similar, such as celery and asparagus should NOT be put down your garbage disposal. These can readily get tangled up in the blades and wreck your disposal unit.

If you can follow the general guidelines we outlined above - you will be able to extend the life of your garbage disposal for many years to come.

If you have any questions about garbage disposal problems, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We Offer Garbage Disposal Services in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas

Fulton County, Bartow County, Cobb County, Paulding County, Cherokee County, Gwinnett County, and Douglas County.

Acworth GA, Atlanta GA, Austell GA, Cartersville GA, Doraville GA, Douglasville GA, Hiram GA, Kennesaw GA, Lawrenceville GA, Lithia Springs GA, Loganville GA, Mableton GA, Marietta GA, Powder Springs GA, Rockmart GA, Roswell GA, Smyrna GA, Tucker GA, Villa Rica GA, Vinings GA, Woodstock GA, and Surrounding Communities.