Foolproof Method For Your Garbage Disposal Installation

Things You Should Not Put Down The Garbage Disposal

Let’s be honest, we love our garbage disposals. It’s a quick and sanitary way to dispose of food waste, keeping your trash cans cleaner and lighter — and it helps keep your food waste out of the landfill! Garbage disposals can get overworked between all the food we throw down them, and even the newer models have a simplistic construction that can get overrun. While we all know that you shouldn’t put grease or oil down our drains, there are certain foods that aren’t great for your disposal. These types of foods can cause clogs and overwork the disposal, causing you to have to replace them, which is time consuming and an expense you won’t want to cover if you can avoid it. So, let’s take a look at some things you should avoid putting down your garbage disposal

Coffee Grounds

For a long time there has been a common misconception that putting coffee grounds down your disposal is a great way to help dispose of any odors that might be arising from your sink. However, while the scent of coffee can help mask certain food odors, coffee grounds can actually cause you more harm than help. When coffee grounds are taken out of the filter and thrown down the drain they can turn into a thick, dense paste-like substance that can build up over time and eventually lead to a clogged drain. Instead of throwing coffee grounds down to clear out smells, try thinly sliced citrus rinds.


It doesn’t take a scientist to understand that pasta expands when it’s soaked in water. And with that thought, it’s best that you don’t put pasta down the garbage disposal. You may think that if it’s being ground up, what’s the issue? Well, even when its ground up, these pieces of pasta will still expand when they’re around water, meaning they can expand over time and take over your disposal. A few noodles won’t hurt anything, but we don’t recommend throwing that entire pasta casserole down your disposal.

Onion Skins

If you’re cooking with onions, the actual vegetable can be put down the drain, but we recommend that you save the skins for the trash can. The problem with onion skins is that they can get stuck on the blades and then act like a net and catch and hold on to other food particles. Not only does this lead to a smelly sink, but it also creates a barrier between the blades, causing them to get jammed up. Save yourself the time and money by just taking a few extra steps to the trash can; it’s a few seconds of effort that can save hours of work or an expensive visit from a plumber.


Peaches, avocados, and cherries are all some of our favorite foods, but they have extremely hard pits that can dull and break the blades of your disposal. A good rule of thumb is: if you can’t cut it with a knife, you shouldn’t put it down the drain. Don’t panic if you accidentally drop a small pit down the drain, but you won’t want to make it a routine habit


Need to get rid of food waste? Here are the best garbage disposals

With most of us spending more time at home and in the kitchen, trash is piling up. A good way to de-funk things is to put less garbage in the can by using a disposal.

Consumer Reports says a good garbage disposal pulverizes your food waste so that you can simply rinse it away. It just finished testing models that should make cleaning up your kitchen a lot easier

In Consumer Reports labs, testers put garbage disposals through rigorous challenges. To assess grinding performance, for example, testers measure equal amounts of bones and vegetable pieces to run through each garbage disposal.

The lower-scoring disposals leave larger scraps that could potentially block your drain. Consumer Reports also test for noise, measuring decibel output while the disposals grind a mix of bones and vegetables.

It earns an Excellent rating for grinding scraps, but it’s louder than other disposals tested. Some people prefer batch-feed disposals because they can’t be turned on until you load the chamber with waste and insert a stopper.



At the risk of stating the obvious, a garbage disposal is a device, usually electrically powered, installed under a kitchen sink between the sink’s drain and trap. The disposal unit shreds food waste into pieces small enough—generally <2 mm—to pass through plumbing. About 50% of homes in the US have garbage disposals; food scraps range from 10% to 20% of household waste.

A high quality garbage disposal will love grinding for about 10-12 years, depending on what you put in it and how well you take care of it.  Estimated life also is dependent on the quality of the unit itself.  A good 2/3 HP or 3/4 HP, with lots of stainless steel (particularly the entire grind chamber) is optimal. If you cheap out on a 1/4 HP or 1/3 HP model and overuse it, don’t expect the disposal to last very long.

What NOT to Grind

What NEVER to put in your garbage disposal: asparagus, artichoke leaves, banana skins, celery, chicken bones, coffee filters, cooked rice, egg shells, grease, green onion tops, onion skins, potato peels, shrimp shells, tea bags. Some items damage the appliance (bones), plug the drain piping (banana peels), or load up the local waste water utility.

Dead Disposal?  All May Not Be Lost

Make sure the disposal switch is OFF.

Common Issues and Recommendations

We inspect thousands of garbage disposals every year.  When our inspectors find an issue with a garbage disposal, it’s usually one of the following four:

The garbage disposal is leaking.

The splash guard is missing or deteriorated.

The wire clamp is missing.

The garbage disposal is excessively corroded.


What Not To Put in a Garbage Disposal

InSinkErator garbage disposals are designed to handle just about any type of everyday food waste.  But the topic of what not to put in a garbage disposal is alive and well, usually based on myths and old family stories rather than facts.

First things first, never place any type of fats, oils, grease in a garbage disposal, or down a sink drain for that matter.  Those materials collect inside the plumbing pipes and are usually the cause of many plumbing issues.

Household Foodwaste

InSinkErator disposals can quickly and efficiently grind most everyday food wastes, including leftover meats, vegetables and fruits, as well as food preparation waste.  The key to keeping a disposal working properly is to follow the proper operation steps and avoid filling the disposal with too much food waste at one time.

Coffee Grounds and Eggshells

There is often the question of using a disposal for eggshells and coffee grounds.  In fact, neither of these materials is harmful to a disposal, and will pass through it without a problem.  However, problems can arise with household plumbing – especially if it is older, or has not been cleared in some time.

Both coffee grounds and eggshells are sedimentary in nature, if too much is placed in at one time, or if the plumbing is restricted, it can create a clog or a ‘slow drain’ situation.  Too help avoid any problems, feed these materials into the disposer gradually, and utilize a strong flow of cold water to help flush it through the pipes.




Below are some tips about what you can put down your garbage disposal, and what should not be put into the garbage disposal and the sanitary sewer system. These tips help protect you and the environment too!


Do minimize the use of the garbage disposal. If you are able to compost vegetable waste at your home, you can dispose of material like vegetable peels, cuttings, stems, seeds, and coffee grounds by composting. Composting allows you to convert these waste items into a valuable soil amendment that you can use in your garden

Do dispose of liquid materials in the garbage disposal, if they are not hazardous or made of primarily fats or oils. Do dispose of solid items that cannot be composted in the trash. Do dispose of non-compostable items in the trash, instead of sending them down garbage disposal, where they must go to the Wastewater Treatment Plant and be removed through the water treatment process


Don’t put fats, oil and grease down the drain or in the garbage disposal. These materials (known as FOG) solidify in the sewer and cause blockages and sewer overflows. Materials like bacon grease, oil, and other fats should be poured into an empty metal can and allowed to cool and solidify. Then you can dispose of the can in the trash. If there is a small amount of oil or grease in the pan, you can wipe the pan out with a paper towel to remove the grease before washing. Find out more about FOG and how to prevent backups.

Don’t put hazardous materials, such as paint, unneeded medicine, motor oil, pesticides, solvents, and other cleaners, down the garbage disposal.

Tips To Easier Make Clogged Toilet

How to Unclog a Toilet Like a Plumber

Stop the Toilet Bowl From Filling Up.

If it looks like the water might overflow out of the toilet, Rod suggests taking the lid off the tank as quickly as possible and closing the toilet flapper. The flapper releases water from the tank and into the bowl. It looks like, well, a flapper. If you’re worried that your flush has a good chance of turning into a flood, take off the top before you pull the trigger. Then you can keep one hand close to the flapper while the other hands pushes the flusher. The minute it appears the water is rising, you’re ready to stop the deluge.

Get the Right Plunger

Once disaster has been averted, it’s time to unsheathe your plunger. To effectively use a plunger, you need a good seal between it and the toilet bowl. Funnel-cup plungers are the best plungers for this. They’re the ones with a flange, or added piece, extending off the bottom of the rubber cup.

Warm Up Your Plunger

Stiff, hard plungers don’t work as well as soft and pliant ones. Run your plunger under some hot water before you use it. This will soften up the rubber, which will help you get a better seal on the toilet bowl.

Plunge Correctly

Stick the plunger in the bowl and use it to form a solid seal over the exit hole. Rod said that most people only focus on the downward push when plunging. But the pullback is just as important. Give a few good up and down strokes with the plunger and flush the toilet. If the water clears from the toilet, then you’ve successfully unclogged it. If the toilet starts overflowing again, just close the flapper to stop water from entering the bowl. Repeat the plunge and flush sequence until your clog is gone.

Secret Plumber Trick: Add Hot Water and Dishwasher Detergent.

Add a few cups of hot water to the toilet bowl before you start plunging. After you pour the hot water in, let it sit for a few minutes. To put it mildly, the heat helps break the, um, stuff up. This will make unclogging the toilet with the plunger much, much easier. The heat from the hot water can sometimes break up the clog without plunging, so this could be a good tactic to use if you a clog a toilet at a friends house and you don’t want to face the embarrassment of asking for a plunger.


You Can Unclog a Toilet Bowl Without a Plunger

Plunger Alternative: Start With Dish Soap

As soon as the toilet clogs, learn how to unclog a toilet without a plunger and head to the kitchen and fetch some dish soap; the slippery soap should help lubricate the clogged pipe and allow the lodged debris slide down more easily. Pour about a half-cup into the toilet. If you haven’t got any dish soap on hand, chop a bar of soap into small chunks and drop the pieces into the toilet.

Plus, Check Out the Best Toilet Paper for Your Plumbing

We tested toilet paper breakdown and this is what happened.

Add Hot Water

If dish soap alone doesn’t do the trick for how to unclog a toilet without a plunger, adding water might move things along. Fill a bucket with hot bath water (boiling water could cause a porcelain toilet to crack), and pour the water into  the toilet from waist level. The force of the water could dislodge whatever is causing the clog.

DIY a Drain Snake Using a Wire Hanger

A more severe blockage could require manually moving the item. To do this without a plunger, unravel a wire coat hanger until it’s straight. Push one end of the wire into the clogged area. Prod the debris until it becomes free and flows down the drain. Voila! Another way to unclog a toilet without a plunger.

Plunger Alternative: Try This Mixture

As an alternative to using dish soap and no plunger, try this all-natural solution: Pour 1 cup baking soda and 2 cups vinegar into the toilet. Allow it fizz for a half hour. If clog doesn’t dissipate, try the hot water trick.


Unclog your toilet with this simple and ingenious trick — no plunger required

Most bathrooms have everything you’ll need

To perform this trick, you’ll need three things that can be found in almost any bathroom: soap, hot water and a vessel for transferring the water to the toilet bowl. Dish soap and a 5-gallon bucket work best, but if secrecy is paramount and leaving the lavatory would blow your cover, a small plastic waste bin and a few pumps from a hand soap dispenser will do just fine.

Mixing the magical potion

The objective is to get the liquid in the toilet bowl as hot and soapy as possible without letting it overflow. You can either pour (or pump) soap directly into the bowl and then add hot water, or you can mix the soap with the hot water before you add it to the bowl.

Carefully and gently add the hot water

Mixing everything up in the toilet bowl is the step requiring the most finesse. You want to raise the average water temperature and get the soap into every crevice, but you don’t necessarily want to create a slurry with what’s already in there.

If all else fails, time is on your side

The worst-case scenario is that the clog is wedged too tightly in place and the above steps don’t push it down right away. If that happens, you don’t have to call a plumber or head to the hardware store just yet.


The One Surefire Way To Unclog a Toilet

Clogged the toilet? Don’t panic. A toilet clogged with human waste is disgusting and can be embarrassing, but it’s easy to fix. I’ve unclogged countless stoppages for my family and friends, and during volunteer work. What I write here isn’t theory. It works.

The lower portion of the toilet is called the stool. If the stool is filled with water and getting close to overflowing the rim, shut off the stop valve that supplies water to the toilet. The valve typically is located to your left as you stand and look at the toilet. In rare cases, when the toilet isn’t close to a corner, it may be on the right.

Take a coat hanger and a pair of linesman pliers (or anything that can cut wire). Cut the hook off the coat hanger. Bend the hanger into a straight rod and use the pliers to bend a small one-inch-long hook into the wire’s end. Hook into the waste and break it up. Yes, this process is gross and may make you gag, but do you want to clear the clog or not?


Easier Ways to Clear a Clog

Heat Wave

When you notice a nasty clog, your best bet is to fill a pan with hot water. Heat it up on the stove or use the tap, but don’t let the water get to boiling point. Pour it down the drain and let it sit for a few minutes to see if it loosens the clog. You’ll know if your efforts were successful if you see the water start to drain. Then, give the toilet a flush or two. In many cases, the hot water is enough to break up whatever is causing the backup.

Dish Duty

If you need to kick things up a notch, borrow some dish soap from the kitchen and squeeze a generous amount, about a 1/4 cup should do, into the toilet bowl. Let the soap sit for 5-10 minutes so it has time to move down the drain and reach the clog. Then, add hot water (again, not boiling) to the bowl and give it some time to sit. In most cases, the soap will act as a lubricant and grease the clog in the toilet drain to get everything moving again.

Fizzy Fix

It’s time to channel what you learned in elementary school science! If your toilet bowl is already filled to the brim, either empty out some of the water or be prepared for a little overflow. Next, pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the toilet drain. When the vinegar and baking soda combine, the natural chemical reaction will bubble up and loosen the clog. After about thirty minutes, follow up with some hot water and see if it drains. If it does, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, repeat the process once more.

Brush Battle

This may seem a little unpleasant, but if you’re really in a bind and there’s no plunger in sight, grab a toilet brush and angle the bristles down the drain. Pumping up and down a few times should be enough to loosen things up so the clog clears in no time.