Can You Put Eggshells In The Garbage Disposal

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Finding the right method of disposal for your kitchen waste can be tricky, particularly if you are low on space or trying to recycle.

If you have a garbage disposal, it may be tempting to send anything food-related down the hole to save space and keep things clean, but not all food waste is garbage disposal friendly. One of the common questions is around eggshells, so we’ve got your answers covered here.

Can You Put Eggshells In The Garbage Disposal?

Please don’t. Think of your disposal as a big blender. The point is to chop up food waste to keep things in suspension. Egg shell fragments will settle out as they’re ground, and can cling to the sides of the disposal.

In addition, as they go down the drain they’ll settle in the bottom of drain pipes and may clog up the plumbing.

These clogs can cause major problems, including dishwasher backups and clogging further down your sewer line. Eggshells aren’t good for garbage disposals.

Do Egg Shells Sharpen A Garbage Disposal?

No. Garbage disposal blades are pretty sharp on their own. What eggshells do is break down into grit and cling to surfaces inside the system. In addition, when they leave the disposal on a tide of other waste and water, the eggshells settle out and clog up your plumbing further down the line.

Do Eggshells Damage Garbage Disposals?

garbage disposal under sink

Once chopped up and scattered around the inside of your system, eggshells probably won’t harm your disposal. However, if they have any protein still clinging to them, this can create an unpleasant odor. In addition, egg yolks contain sulfur, and this odor is beyond unpleasant over time.

How To Unclog Eggshells In Garbage Disposal?

If your disposal system is blanketed with eggshell shards, you may need to wipe it out with a kitchen sponge.

  1. Turn off or unplug the unit
  2. Pull the rubber sink seal
  3. Using a sponge (to avoid having a cloth that drapes down into the blade), wipe down the inside of the disposal to clean the walls of grit.
  4. Turn the unit back on and replace the rubber sink seal

SEE ALSO: How To Unclog A Sink

Another option for scouring out your disposal is to use ice and salt. This creates a sturdy grit that can really scrub the disposal well before it naturally breaks down and washes away. Fill the disposal with ice and pour a cup of salt over the cubes. Run the disposal while running cold water.

Many users recommend citrus peels for cleaning the disposal. This will freshen the disposal, but isn’t a great degreaser. If your disposal stinks, the source is either rancid grease or slimy bacterial build-up, and you’re going to need more cleaning power than citrus peels to address it.

So, What Do I Do With These Eggshells?

Compost them! There are many community gardens that are in need of great composting materials, and you can store your vegetable food waste and eggshells in the freezer until compost day.

There are also many buckets and countertop containers that will hold your food scraps until you’re ready to drop them off.

You can start an indoor compost system for your own houseplants or patio plants. Eggshells are loaded with calcium, which is a great addition to many potting soils. You can run your food scraps through a sturdy blender every couple of days to make a slush.

This slurry of leftover coffee grounds and fruit peels will be quite wet. You will need to mix it with sawdust, soil or straw to create a dry mixture.

Creating an indoor compost bin can be done with the help of worms. Worm farms take some study and a bit of monitoring, so you can figure out what your worms like best. The levels of moisture and the temperature need to be watched.

Don’t overload them on acidic products such as coffee grounds or orange peels, and put your worm bin in a spot where you can keep the lights on so the worms will stay inside the dark soil of your worm bin. If you store the bin in the dark, the worms may migrate out.

Final Thoughts

Garbage disposals are useful tools for cleaning up leftover produce, but they shouldn’t be used for general trash. Avoid putting anything down there that will leave a fatty or gritty residue. Use plenty of cold water to keep ground food products in suspension, so that your drain will flush efficiently.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara is a food writer that has been editing and authoring articles for KitchenSanity since its founding. Her writing offers personal experience from experimentation with food and recipe creation. If you’re looking for simple tips, she will make your journey in the kitchen straightforward with a dash of fun.