What Can You Put Down a Garbage Disposal?

What Can You Put Down a Garbage Disposal? (Answered)

People need to understand that garbage disposals don’t come with blades that grind or liquefy anything you pour into it. It is not a blender or grinder, nor does it function as a manual grater.

You can’t just up and put anything you want into the garbage disposal. You should not also mistake your disposal for a garbage can where you throw drinks, plastics, food items, and all other things you can get your hands on.

Here are the items that can be put down the garbage disposal:

  • Small fish bones
  • Cooked meat
  • Leftovers
  • Ice
  • Vegetable scraps
  • Fruit scraps
  • Soft food scraps
  • Liquid food scraps that do not contain grease, etc.

This bad behavior of forcing various things down garbage disposal needs to stop because, at the end of the day, it makes our lives more difficult.

The purpose of garbage disposal is to ensure that your sewage or drainage system is not blocked or clogged by pieces of things that can be easily chopped or liquefied.

Can You Put All Things in a Garbage Disposal?

NO! Not every garbage belongs to your garbage disposal to avoid causing yourself headaches later.

Garbage disposal is not a garbage can that allows anything. There are even specialized garbage cans for different purposes.

There are designated things that can be put down your disposal, and these are things that can easily be liquefied, that won’t cause clogging, can easily mix with water, and even become water in themselves to freely go down your drainage pipes to whatever destination the pipes are directed to. You can’t and shouldn’t put all things there.

What Can You Put Down a Garbage Disposal?

Here are some of the things you can put down a garbage disposal, they are:

1. Fishbones

Fishbones are usually small and very soft. They can be easily grounded into debris or dust and can mix with water easily to go down the drainage system.

2. Meat that is Cooked and Soft

Cooked meat is soft and when they go down the disposal, it can be cut into tiny bits that would go with the flow of the water and not clog the pipes to restrict the flow.

Make sure that the meat you are putting into the disposal is not in one large piece. Ensure that whatever you have to put into the disposal are small pieces, if they are not, cut them into small, shreddable pieces.

3. Leftovers that Can Pass-Through

They contain tiny little food that can be dealt with by garbage disposal. However, be conscious enough to know the kind of things that constitute the leftovers you want to put down at the garbage disposal. Some of them might belong to the trash can instead.

4. Baby Food Scraps

Meals such as cornflakes, golden morn, or any other meal made of millet, beans, or corn can be put down garbage disposal as well, for obvious reasons. They can easily become water and go with the flow of water without any restriction.

5. Ice Water or Drink

This is almost the same as pouring water into the can, because invariably, ice if left untouched, out of a freezing condition, will liquefy.

The system of a garbage disposal will break the ice into pieces, making it easier and quicker for it to turn into water, and of course, water naturally goes down the pipe.

6. Vegetable Scraps

Make sure these vegetable scraps are cut into small pieces before you put them down at the garbage disposal. Vegetables are soft, and as long as they are in tiny pieces, they will not cause any problems to your disposal or your water system.

7. Fruit Scraps

Fruit is almost eighty percent water, according to scientists. They can be broken down into water by the garbage disposal system.

Fruits like apples, peaches, berries, oranges, etc. are a perfect fit for disposal. However, you need to be wary of fruits that have very tough endocarps, such as mango, peach pits, avocado seeds, etc.

8. Liquid Food Scraps

You can also put liquid food into a garbage disposal. Food like oat, pap, millet meal, wheat meal, matched potatoes, etc. can go into the disposal.

However, you should note that liquid foods containing grease or any form of oil are not qualified to go into the disposal system.

Do not forget to always clean your garbage disposal. You can use baking soda and vinegar to clean your garbage disposal.

Things You Shouldn’t Put Down on a Garbage Disposal?

No matter what you do, or how oblivious you are, there are several things that you must never put down on your garbage disposal.

There should never be an excuse whatsoever that might lead you to put the following things in a garbage disposal.

Non-food Items

Non-food items do not belong to the disposal. Things like steel materials, wooden materials (paper included), plastic materials, and any other thing that you would not eat should never be put at your disposal.

This is because disposal is like your digestive system. It breaks food down into liquid and digests them through the water pipes into drainage or sewage.


Or any other food at all that tends to expand once it contacts water and still does not break or liquefy should not be put in the garbage disposal.

Things like rice, bread, the pasta will only inflate and then stay in your garbage disposal system, causing clogging of water and blockage of the pipes.

Hard Bones

Meat bones should not be put at your disposal for the same reason. You don’t expect to digest a meat bone if you swallow it.

Garbage disposals are not strong enough to break down hard meat bones such as chicken bones, turkey bones, cow bones, etc.

Coffee grounds

In as much as coffee grounds look harmless, they look like they can liquefy and are even like debris or dust, it is a big lie! They gather up together and cause blockages to your water pipes. They belong in the garbage can, not the disposal.


As you well know, grease has a problem mixing with water. They will try as much as possible to avoid the water, thereby hanging around your pipes, causing blockages and clogging. At the end of the day, you have a messy situation.

Yam/Potato/Banana Peels

 Really? Don’t tell me you were thinking about this. What happened to your garbage can? That is where your yam peels, potato peels, onion peels, and whatever peels you might think of should be.

Don’t force your disposal to do jobs that it wasn’t made to do. It will break down and cause you problems that can be avoided. Please, don’t ever put banana peels down your garbage disposal.


Eggshells, nutshells, snail shells, seashells, and any other shells that you would be wary of cutting with a knife should also stay away from your disposal.

What Can You Put Down a Garbage Disposal to Make it Smell Better

What can you put down a garbage disposal to make it smell better is baking soda and vinegar. You can either use it to clean your garbage disposal to enable smell better.

If you don’t want to clean your garbage disposal with that, you can just pour ¼ cup of baking soda in it, then add a cup of white vinegar.

It will make a bubbling reaction that can help kill the germs or bacteria that bring foul smell from the disposal. After it must have bubbled for a while, run with water to perfect the process. No one wants a sink with a garbage disposal that smells so bad.

Final Thoughts

It is important to note that if you want an appliance or fixture in your home to function properly and function for a long time, you have to use it properly, as it has been designated to be used.

Do not force items down your garbage disposal that are not meant for such disposal. Ensure you scrutinize what you are putting down at your disposal and sort out the ones that should go to your garbage can instead. You can also and always clean your garbage disposal with salt and ice.