A garbage disposal is a quick, convenient way to get rid of food scraps, but some leftovers and waste items can lead to bad odors, blockages, and clogged sewer problems that require professional service. Here are several items you should never put down the disposal.

What Should Stay Out of the Garbage Disposal?

1. Coffee Grounds

After a hectic morning making breakfast for your family, it may seem like a good idea to chuck used coffee grounds into the garbage disposal. Some people also believe throwing away coffee grounds in the disposal will reduce odors. However, the grounds will become a thick, pasty clump that can cause a clogged sewer or drain.

2. Eggshells

There's quite a lot of debate about putting eggshells in a garbage disposal, as some people think they help sharpen the blades. However, disposals don't really have blades; they have blunt tools that grind down food scraps. Eggshells have a sticky inner membrane that can get stuck to the disposal, leading to a malfunction or complete breakdown, so put those leftover eggshells into a compost bin instead.

3. Pasta

clogged sewer

The kids didn't finish their last bite of spaghetti, so tossing it into the disposal seems like a simple solution. However, consider how pasta reacts when exposed to water—it expands. It will continue doing so, even after it's been fully cooked. Pasta can swell and clog the disposal trap or the pipes, resulting in a backed-up drain or clogged sewer.

4. Oil and Grease

Bacon grease may be in liquid form when hot, but it will congeal and harden within a few hours. Cooled grease or oil can completely stop up a disposal, block pipes, and lead to a clogged sewer.


If you've got a blocked drain or clogged sewers, turn to the pros at Alaska Sewer & Drain LLC. They have over 30 years of experience providing sewage system solutions to residential and commercial clients in Anchorage and nearby communities. Their certified technicians handle everything from sewer line location to grease trap maintenance, as well as 24-hour emergency repairs on septic pumps. Call (907) 248-9557 or visit their website to learn more about their services.