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Thread: Can you put egg shells down the garbage disposal?

  1. #1
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    Can you put egg shells down the garbage disposal?

    We were having a discussion about this yesterday. My dad says it will ruin the garbage disposal, but my mom says she has been doing it all her life. Just curious what everyone else thinks.

  2. #2
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    Re: Can you put egg shells down the garbage disposal?

    Originally posted by Kristine
    We were having a discussion about this yesterday. My dad says it will ruin the garbage disposal, but my mom says she has been doing it all her life. Just curious what everyone else thinks.
    My garbage disposal has been working just fine and I throw them down there all the time!
    Joe

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  3. #3
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    Re: Re: Can you put egg shells down the garbage disposal?

    Originally posted by HealthyinMN


    My garbage disposal has been working just fine and I throw them down there all the time!

    Me too!!!!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  4. #4
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    I think it might depend on what horsepower disposal you have, but I don't think eggshells really would cause even the least powerful disposal to be ruined. I mean, eggshells are supposed to be easily breakable, right? Hence the "walking on eggshells" adage? I would check the manual to be 100% sure if you're really worried - mine gave lots of examples of what should and shouldn't be put into it.

    That said, I too have put eggshells in my disposal with no problem whatsoever!

    Here's what my manual says:

    Your disposer is designed to dispose of food wastes including bones, fruit and vegetable wastes, pits, eggshells and coffee grounds. Large pieces of food like melon rinds should be cut into smaller pieces before putting into disposer.

    To avoid possible drain blockage, do not grind extremely fibrous material like corn husks and artichokes.

    If the disposer drains into a septic tank, grinding waste such as egg shells, lobster, crab and shrimp shells should be kept to a minimum. Grinding large amounts of this type of waste may require more frequent cleaning of the septic system.

  5. #5
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    Gee, I sure hope so...I've always put eggshells down the disposal.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  6. #6
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    I just found this article

    Home & Garden Television

    To print this page, select File then Print from your browser
    URL: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/rm_kitchen_...398069,00.html
    Garbage Disposals
    House Detective : Episode HDT-308 -- More Projects



    July 17, 2002

    House detective Robert Gallahorn inspects a home in South Carolina's "Low Country" to discover that the garbage disposal has rusted through and is leaking under the kitchen sink. The disposal needs replacement, but with proper operation, it's possible to extend the life of your garbage disposal.

    Garbage disposals typically last about 10 years. One of the main things the original homeowner in Summerville, S.C., could have done to get a few more years out of his disposal would have been to run it every time he put food into it. If food is allowed to sit in the disposal, the acids and oils in the food can eventually eat through the seals. When you run the disposal, always use cold water. Hot water dissolves fats and grease, then deposits them in your drainpipes and that could cause a clog. Here are some tips for maintaining the disposal:

    Run cold water for a good 30 seconds after turning the disposal off, to thoroughly rinse ground-up food down the drain.
    You can grind almost any food waste, but don't try to grind really fibrous food like onion skins, celery stalks or asparagus. On the other hand, ice and egg shells can actually help clean the disposal.
    Once a disposal stops doing a good job of grinding, or starts to leak, that's usually the ball game. Give it a little loving care, however, and you might get a few extra innings.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  7. #7
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    Me three! ;D

  8. #8
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    Oh, I didn't think I could put coffee grounds down there for some reason. Good to know!

    I have also heard that you shouldn't do potato peels. True??

    Terri

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by TLee4


    I have also heard that you shouldn't do potato peels. True??

    Terri
    I think that depends on your disposal. In the past when I have had powerful disposals, I put potato peels down no problem. In this house, management is cheap and they put in the smallest cheapest disposal they can ... there is NO way I can grind potato peels (I know, I've tried, I've plunged the sink )
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  10. #10
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    Oh the things I've tossed down there

    Warning: NEVER throw down 1# of gingerroot shreds
    I wanted to use my cuisinart to grind a huge load of ginger so I could freeze and use as needed...and anything "stuck" onto my blade I kept throwing down the disposal.
    uuuuummmmmmmmm, the roto-rooter man had to come on the weekend
    I would have been better off buying the ginger juice ($$$$$$$$$$$$$)
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  11. #11
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    Another thing that disposals don't particularly like is edamame pods.

  12. #12
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    I know a lady that made a HUGE batch of mashed potatoes and threw the peels down her disposal. The disposal backed up and threw peels all over her kitchen. A few peels are ok, but I guess 5lbs worth isn't.

    I occaisionally grind up an eggshell, but I normally just throw them in the trash. The same goes for large vegetable chunks. Smaller things I put down the disposal.

    The disposal doesn't like the aerator off the faucet.
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  13. #13
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    I used to throw everything in the disposal - egg shells and potato peels. I never had a problem until Thanksgiving one year. My DH, (BF at the time of the Thanksgiving-pull-apart the kitchen sink detour) runs the disposal until he hears it not grinding up stuff, turns it off and the water too. That is why the sink clogged, but I just couldn't tell him he was wrong. I always run the disposal longer and let the water run after I turn it off. I was also told by a home inspector that once a month I should fill the sink with cold water, let the plug out and then turn on the disposal. This will help flush out the garbage disposal and keep in running smoothly.

    Happy Grinding!

  14. #14
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    I've had two horrible experiences at clogged disposals. Both occured on holidays so the plumber charged us top rate! Once on July 4th, I was making my homemade Coleslaw and the cabbage clogged it. Then next time was on Christmas morning!!!!!!! I peeled potatoes for my mashed potatoes and the peels clogged it. I was told NEVER put anything string or potatoes, pasta, rice. Anything with gluton that can swell. He also told me coffee grinds and egg shells actually help clean the disposal. Wow, did I learn my lesson. The expensive way!!! Now when I peel something, I put the stopper in the sink!!

  15. #15
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    Ah, potato peels......on a holiday.......fond memories. I am glad to hear that so many people put egg shells down their disposals. I heard somewhere, not sure where, that egg shells tend to build up calcium on the blades. I avoid putting many things down my disposal anymore. A hundred years ago, when I was in junior high I thought I would help my mom and clean/desilk the corn on the cob. One disposal later and a week or two of being grounded taught me that disposals and corn don't get along. I don't put rice down there anymore; I always seem to back up with that. Sue

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by slawrence
    Ah, potato peels......on a holiday.......fond memories.
    I can relate. DH thinks that it might be the starch in the peels that clogs the pipe. I don't know if that's true, but we had to invest in a plumber's snake one holiday.
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  17. #17
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    I've only had problems with corn. Twice, I'm ashamed to admit. The first time was years ago when I lived in an apartment complex and called maintenance to come and fix it. The second time was just this summer, at my new house. As soon as the sink filled up, the memory of the "corn problem" of years ago came back to me. Luckily, my brother is a plumber so the fix was cheap. Needless to say, I didn't tell him that I remembered doing the same thing a few years ago!

    Interestingly, he did say to sporadically run ice cubes through the disposal because it sharpens the blades.

  18. #18
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    I grind eggshells in the disposal but if I have a whole bunch, I toss them in the trash.

    I freshen up the disposal with lime and lemon rinds--keeps it from smelling nasty.
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  19. #19
    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    All you people living in a house should be composting all that vegetable matter, not throwing it down the disposal.

    Come to think of it, even people in apartments can get a mini compost bin for the balcony -- your houseplants would thank you for it. :laugh:

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by Jessica
    I freshen up the disposal with lime and lemon rinds--keeps it from smelling nasty.
    DH tried this but he forgot that there were also seeds in there and now our disposal has been broken for weeks since we do not have the cash to buy a new one like I was planning on doing.

  21. #21
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    I've had bad luck with coffee grinds in the disposal. I had an apartment once that tended to share garbage disposal refuge with its neighbor, the dishwasher. It took me a while to figure out why so many of my clean dishes had coffe grounds in them ...

    But yes, I've always put eggs down the disposal, and I'm so happy to hear it was ok. <sigh of relief>
    --Mary Kate--

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  22. #22
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    Long time ago I put artichokes down the disposal, and boy was that a mess. Now I put most everything down unless I have a large amount and then I compost. I bought the heaviest garbage disposal I could find so that I can put most everything down. I never have had a problem with potato peels, but I don't put corn cobs down nor a whole bunch on celery, and needless to say no artichokes.

    Sami
    Don't give up, Moses was once a basket case.

  23. #23
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    Don't forget that there are different size and powered ones. There are 1/4 horsepower, 1/2 horsepower, 3/4 horsepower and 1 horsepower disposals. 1/4 horespower can barely handle anything, while 3/4 and 1 horsepower models can grind up just about anything. Also, the size of the disposal (as in ounces) makes a difference too. KitchenAid makes a 26 oz. capacity and a 42 oz. capacity. Obviously, the bigger the capacity, the easier to dispose of lots of potato peels, etc. without clogging.

    So take the size and power of your disposal into consideration. I have a 3/4 hp, 42oz capacity, so I can throw lemons with the seeds and pretty much whatever else I want in there. But I bought the bigger, more powerful one on purpose with that idea in mind.

  24. #24
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    Don't put peanut shells in there either. I did that once and had to call the plumber. It backed up in my shower (Don't ask me how that happens, but it does) and there were ground up peanut shells coming up into the shower. Had to admit to my husband that I ate all the peanuts!

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