A garbage disposal unit makes quick work of food scraps and other kitchen wastes. However, as plumbers point out, many homeowners tend to overestimate the power and features of their units. If you’re putting any of these items down your garbage disposal, you may be shortening its service lifespan.

Fibrous Foods

Veggies may be good for your health, but some of them can be very bad for your garbage disposal’s longevity. In particular, fibrous vegetables such as asparagus, artichokes, and celery can wrap around the grinding teeth of of the motor, potentially damaging it. If you can’t avoid putting these items into your garbage disposal unit, be sure to feed them in small batches and run cold water before and after use.

Plumbers Will Tell You to Never Put These Down a Garbage Disposal

Egg Shells

Have you heard that eggshells help sharpen your garbage disposal unit’s blades? If you have, it’s best to dismiss this notion ASAP. As a matter of fact, eggshells have stringy membranes that can also wrap around the shredder ring, causing them to malfunction. What’s more, the shells themselves are ground to a sand-like consistency that can then clog your pipes.


After enjoying a steak dinner, make sure to not run the leftover bones through your garbage disposal. The blades simply aren’t strong or sharp enough to work through the bone, which will only get caught in the unit. The only bones that you can run through garbage disposal are fish bones, which are considerably softer.

Grease and Oil

Lastly, don’t dump used oil and other greasy items down your garbage disposal. Greasy things form a film over the grinding teeth, rendering them less effective. Down the line, the grease will also begin to decay, and your garbage disposal unit will emit a foul odor. And if that weren’t enough, if the grease were to solidify, it can also clog your drains.

Your garbage disposal unit is one of the most convenient features in your kitchen, but make sure not to abuse its functionalities. With a little care and a good dose of common sense, you can prolong the life of this important appliance.

If your garbage disposal is experiencing problems, don’t hesitate to call a local plumber in Naples, FL to give it a look.