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.
But what if you already clogged the garbage disposal with eggshells?
2 Ways to unclog eggshells 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 to clear 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.
PS: Do not put chemicals in your garbage disposal to unclog it. Drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that 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.