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Is It Okay To Put Eggshells In The Garbage Disposal?

Many people wonder if it is okay to put eggshells in the garbage disposal. This article will discuss whether or not this is a good idea and what the potential negative consequences could be of doing so. Come along with us as we explore this question!

Do not put eggshells in a garbage disposal as this can clog the drainage pipes. Even though eggshells can’t harm the garbage disposal, the ground-up eggshells will sediment in the drain pipes, and this will lead to clogs over time.

Eggshells to be put in a garbage disposal

The dilemma: Can you put eggshells down the garbage disposal

There are two schools of thought when it comes to answering this question. The manufacturers of some garbage disposals say it is safe to grind eggshells in their garbage disposal. InSinkErator, a leading company in the industry, says on their website that it is safe to grind eggshells in small quantities.

The opposing parties, including plumbers, argue that eggshells should be out in the trashcan, not in the garbage disposal.

Which one of them is correct?

Actually, both parties are correct. It is totally safe for garbage disposals if you put eggshells in it. The problem is with the plumbing of your house.

If your house plumbing is perfect, you can grind eggshells in your garbage disposal. However, for the vast majority of the houses, the plumbing is far from perfect. More often than not, there are problems with household plumbing that will cause the sand-like eggshell particles to sit in the pipes and catch everything coming their way. This will lead to drainage issues and clogs.

Some people claim that they never had any problems grinding eggshells in their garbage disposals. Those people may be either lucky to have a good plumbing system or unlucky enough to deal with the future clogs.

Do eggshells damage garbage disposals?

Eggshells do not damage a garbage disposal if put in small quantities. However, they can clog the garbage disposal if added in large quantities.

The villain here is the thin membrane you can see beneath the eggshells. It may look harmless, but this membrane will become a sticky paste when ground in large quantities. This mashed potato-like sticky paste will seal the small holes of the garbage disposal’s shredder ring, preventing food wastes and water from passing through. This will cause water and food wastes to back up into the sink, leaving you with a dirty mess to clean up.

Why do people say eggshells can sharpen garbage disposal blades?

The truth is garbage disposals do not have blades. They use blunt metal lugs mounted on a fast-running rotating plate to break the food wastes. There is no cutting action inside a garbage disposal; it is more like a ramming action.

What people say is that the eggshells’ abrasive action can remove the food wastes lodged on the disposal’s grinding components i.e., the blunt lugs and the shredder ring that covers the walls of the grinding chamber. While this claim is true to some extent, this can cause more problems than good, so it is not definitely worth doing it.

Instead of eggshells, you can use ice cubes to clean the garbage disposal. They provide the same abrasive action, and they also melt away, eliminating any chances of their residue blocking the drain pipes.

What to do if eggshells clog a garbage disposal and pipes

Plumbing professionals say that a lot of their time is spent on clearing the clogs caused by people putting the wrong items down the garbage disposal. Items like oils, grease, eggshells, fibrous vegetables, etc. block the drain pipes when ground. Here is a full list of items that you shouldn’t put in a garbage disposal.

Unclogging an eggshell clogged drain is a tedious task if the clog is serious. Dismantling the pipes and snaking the drain is the sure way to go. But since this method is so time-consuming, try these simple methods first;

1) Plunge the sink drain with a sink plunger

Take a sink plunger, the bigger the better, and plunge the sink. Cover the sinkhole with its cup and add some water to make the suction stronger. Keep plunging and pulling out water till all the particles are gone.

The sink plunger is a good way to clean an eggshell clogged drain because it creates enough pressure for clearing away any eggshell debris that may be blocking your pipes, so you can get back to washing the dishes in no time at all! However, this will work only if the clog is a small one.

2) Use baking soda and vinegar

You can also pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, followed by vinegar. The combination will create fizzing and bubbling, which can remove any clogs in your pipes.

However, this method won’t work for any large clogs that will require more aggressive methods.

If the clogs are major, it will be more than likely that you’ll need to call in expert plumbers or dismantle the pipes and clean them. Here is a detailed guide to unclogging the drain and garbage disposal.

PS: Do not put chemicals in your garbage disposal to unclog it. Drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals which can damage your pipes. These chemicals will also eat away the components inside the garbage disposal, thus causing them to fail early. Please note that the warranty under which your garbage disposal is covered doesn’t cover damages or corrosion due to the use of harsh chemicals.

How to dispose of eggshells?

While eggshells are bad for your plumbing, there are many good uses for them. Instead of putting them in the trash can, you can do any of the following;

1. Put eggshells in a compost pile

Eggshells are a great way to add calcium and some nitrogen to your compost pile. They are highly absorbent materials that quickly decompose, which means it’s an efficient addition to your compost. They will break down into the soil, adding nutrients for plants. You can also crush up the shells and sprinkle them on your garden beds or around roses to deter pests like slugs, snails, ants, weevils, and beetles.

2. Feed them to your chickens or other backyard animals

Eggshells are a great source of calcium, as well as other nutrients, for backyard animals such as chickens and rabbits. When you discard eggshells in the garbage, these nutrients go to waste. Instead of throwing out your eggshells after cooking eggs, grind them up and feed them to your chickens or other backyard animals!

Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth in humans, and it’s also beneficial to many types of livestock.

3. Use them as fertilizer for plants and flowers 

Plants and flowers need nutrients in order to grow healthy, vibrant leaves. One way to help provide these minerals is by using eggshells as fertilizer. The calcium carbonate in the shells helps plants absorb other nutrients like potassium and magnesium that are needed for growth. 

Eggshells can be ground up or crushed into a powder before being mixed with water. Pour this mixture onto the soil around your plants and flowers at least once every two weeks during their growing season (spring through fall). This will not only give them necessary nutrients but also deter pests from attacking your garden!

4. Crush the shells and use them to scrub pots and pans

Eggshells are a great way to scrub your pots and pans. They are durable, don’t scratch the surface of your cookware, and they’re biodegradable. The best part about using eggshells is that you have an endless supply for free!

You can crush them up in a plastic bag with a rolling pin or use scissors to cut them into small pieces. You can also put some salt on the eggshell pieces before putting them in the pot or pan with water. This will make it easier for you to remove any cooked-on food from your cookware once you’ve finished scrubbing it clean.

If you want to read further, here is a list of other things you shouldn’t put in a garbage disposal.

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My name is Thomas Anderson, author of DisposalQA. I have 15 years experience working as a plumber in CA, and this is where I answer common questions about garbage disposals.