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Can You Put Eggshells In A Garbage Disposal?

Eggshells are a common kitchen waste item, and there’s often debate about whether they should be put into a garbage disposal. Here’s a detailed look at the considerations and best practices for disposing of eggshells.

Putting Eggshells in garbage disposal

Potential Issues with Eggshells

  1. Clogging and Buildup: Eggshells can potentially contribute to clogs and buildup in your plumbing. The thin membrane inside the shell can wrap around the blades of the disposal, while the crushed shell fragments can combine with other debris to form clogs in the pipes.
  2. Grinding Mechanism: While garbage disposals are designed to handle a variety of food wastes, the grinding of eggshells can sometimes dull the blades over time. This may reduce the overall efficiency of the disposal unit.

Proponents’ View: Natural Abrasive

Some people believe that eggshells can actually help clean the disposal by acting as a natural abrasive. The idea is that the shells can scrape off any stuck-on food particles from the disposal’s grinding components. However, this benefit is debated, and the potential risks often outweigh the perceived advantages.

Manufacturer Recommendations

Many disposal manufacturers advise against putting eggshells into the disposal. For instance, InSinkErator, a leading garbage disposal brand, recommends avoiding hard items like bones, shells, and fibrous materials to prevent damage and maintain optimal performance.

Alternative Disposal Methods

  1. Composting: Eggshells are excellent for composting. They break down and add valuable nutrients like calcium to your compost, benefiting your garden soil.
  2. Trash Bin: If composting isn’t an option, disposing of eggshells in the trash is a straightforward and safe alternative.

Best Practices for Garbage Disposal Use

To ensure your garbage disposal runs smoothly, follow these tips:

  • Use Cold Water: Always run cold water while the disposal is operating to help solidify any fats or grease, making them easier to grind and flush through the system.
  • Small Quantities: If you do decide to put eggshells in the disposal, do so in very small quantities and run plenty of water to help flush them through.
  • Regular Maintenance: Clean your disposal regularly with ice cubes and citrus peels to maintain its performance and minimize odors.


While some people occasionally put eggshells in their garbage disposal without issues, it’s generally advisable to avoid doing so to prevent potential clogs and damage. Composting or disposing of eggshells in the trash are safer and more effective methods for managing this type of kitchen waste.

Eggshells to be put in a garbage disposal

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.