Holiday Foods To Keep Out Of Your Garbage Disposal

The holiday season is here! And, nothing marks the holidays more than dinner parties and home-cooked meals. ‘Tis the season of turkey and ham, the season of cranberry sauce and latkes, and we are here to make sure your kitchen stays running smoothly throughout it all. The last thing you want is a backup in your sink or smelly garbage disposal when it’s your turn to host Thanksgiving dinner.

Here are the key holiday foods to keep out of your garbage disposal!

These Food Items Can’t Go Down Your Disposal

Thanksgiving Turkey, Christmas Ham, and Hannukah Brisket

Keep the meat out of your sink! It’s as simple as that. If there are small scraps left on a plate, those can go down your disposal; however, poultry bones must be thrown into your trash. Meat bones will harm your disposal as they are too hard to cut and get stuck in the blades. This can cause your disposal’s motor to breakdown completely. If this occurs you will need to replace your disposal system.

Stuffing and Potatoes

All starches expand when submerged in water. So, putting items with a high amount of starch down your kitchen plumbing will result in massive clogs, as high starch foods will turn into a thick paste and clump in your piping. Be aware that potatoes pose a further threat to your drains, as the peels can slip past the disposal and collect in the drain trap. Avoid drain clogs by peeling potatoes over your trash and throwing leftover stuffing into that bin as well.

Grease, Oil, and Fats

After cooking, it’s only natural to have oils left in your pan or dish. What do you normally do with these excess oils? Pour them down the sink? That’s what we are worried about. When oils and grease are washed down your disposal, they coat your piping, become sticky, and then grab onto other particles coming down your drain. Dispose of all these excess oils and grease into your trashcan. You’ll probably want to take the trash out right away; however, this is the better option when compared to the alternative—getting a clog in your kitchen drain during your holiday meal prep.

Vegetable Side Dishes

Those fibrous vegetables you use in your side dishes can harm your disposal. Green beans, spinach, and eggplant (for those of you making a faux turkey or ham) become extremely stringy when shredded. These strands then clump together in your pipes, blocking the water from flowing freely.

Fruit Pits

Fruit pie! It’s that time of the year again, apple, peach, and strawberry pie are prolific this time of year. Just remember to keep fruit pits out of your disposal! If you can’t cut the pit with a dull knife, neither can your disposal’s blades. Fruit pits can break your blades or clog your pipes. Contact a professional drain cleaning service to remove the clog and assess the damage.

Coffee Grounds

There’s nothing like a cinnamon-spiked cup of decaf coffee at the end of a dinner party. Just do not put the coffee grounds down your disposal. If you spill coffee grounds, wipe them into the trash, not your kitchen sink, and when disposing of your filter, drop that into your trashcan as well. When wet, coffee grounds clump together creating nasty clogs. You will need professional drain cleaning if this occurs.


When nuts are chopped and spun, they form a thick paste—just like peanut butter. They are a great snack to put out during your holiday shindig; however, make sure to throw any unwanted leftovers into your trash and not down your disposal. The gooey substance that results will grab food items washed down your drain, forming clogs.

If your disposal is malfunctioning call DoneRite Plumbing, at (503) 342-7782, for drain cleaning, repairs, and replacements.