There are a lot of tricks that offer ways to improve your garbage disposal by putting things in them. One popular suggestion is using eggshells as a way to sharpen the blades on your disposal. Is this sound advice, or will it cause more problems in the long run? We've done the research and can tell you whether eggshells should go in the trash or if they're safe in the garbage disposal.
You should not put eggshells into your garbage disposal! An egg's membrane can cause damage by getting wrapped around or stuck under the disposal's blades. Eggshells can also build up and cause your sink to clog.
As you can see, putting eggshells in the garbage disposal isn't a good idea. Keep reading to learn more about how eggshells affect your disposal, how to get rid of eggshells stuck in this appliance, and if they even sharpen the garbage disposal's blades.
Eggshells Clog Drains
One of the biggest problems with putting eggshells in the drain is the potential for clogs. Eggshells break down very slowly. Even if they've gotten broken up by the garbage disposal, they can still collect in your drain.
One or two eggshells may not cause immediate damage. However, if you keep putting eggshells in the disposal, they'll collect and clog the sink. This can be easy or hard to fix depending on where the clog occurs in the plumbing system.
Damaging the "Blades"
While they are often referred to as blades, garbage disposals have something called impellers. These are blunt objects that can resemble the blades on a fan.
While the eggshells won't necessarily damage the impellers, the membrane can. This thin piece of the egg can get wrapped around the blades, which can cause your garbage disposal to stop working.
Signs of Trouble
If you've been putting eggshells in your sink, it's essential to be on the lookout for potential damages. Be sure to listen for any strange noises when you use your garbage disposal. This can be a sign that something is jammed in the unit. You should also pay attention to any smells. This can be a sign that food is gathering in the pipes instead of being washed away.
Finally, a common sign of a clog is that your sink drains slowly. If you notice any of these things happening, you'll need to fix the issue causing it.
How Do You Unclog A Garbage Disposal With Eggshells?
Once you've determined that there's a problem, it's time to work on fixing it! There are a few different methods that you can try:
If your garbage disposal isn't working, then you can try to reset it. The eggshell membrane or other stringy food could have gotten wrapped around the impeller.
You can generally find a reset switch on the garbage disposal unit underneath your sink. This button is usually red, although the location, design, and color can change depending on your particular brand.
Please take a look around your unit and then push it in once you find it. If this doesn't fix your problem, move on to the next potential solution.
Pushing the Blades Yourself
Another way you can get the impellers moving is by giving them a push. Some garbage disposals allow you to reach the blades with an Allen wrench. Check the area around your reset button to see if you can reach the blades.
Another way to reach the blades is by using a broom handle. You'll feed the handle into the disposal and very gently try to move the blades.
Please remember to turn your disposal off before attempting this! For safety reasons, it's also important not to reach your hands into the appliance.
Using a drain snake is an effective way to clear your sinks of any clogs. These tools are thin, typically plastic, objects. You can feed drain snakes into a drain, and the blunt teeth along their edges can pick up debris.
To use a drain snake, you need to insert it into the drain gently. If you use too much force, you can cause damage to the pipes. This is more likely to happen on older pipes, but you should still be careful, especially when using a higher-quality drain snake.
Once you reach the area the clog is in, you'll need to wiggle the apparatus around. This will help loosen the debris in the area. After a few moments of that, pull the drain snake back. Run water for a few minutes to help clear the pipes and test the disposal again.
Plungers are excellent for clearing all kinds of clogs! To unclog your sink, take a new plunger and create a tight seal around the drain's opening.
Then, work the plunger up and down. This forces air into the drain. Ideally, this will break up debris and force them down into the pipe. After a few pushes with the plunger, remove it and run the water again.
You may be tempted to use harsh chemicals such as Drano for your clogged sink. It's crucial to avoid these products as they can actually damage the components to your disposal.
Instead, you can use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to break up stubborn debris. To do this, pour a cup of baking soda into your drain. Next, you should pour a cup of white vinegar down the sink.
You may see foam coming from your drain, depending on how bad your clog is. Feel free to cover your drain with a stopper to prevent it from getting into your sink. Leave the mixture for approximately 30 minutes.
After the time has elapsed, you should pour a pot of hot water down the drains. Many people will suggest using boiling hot water. However, boiling water can damage your pipes! Try not to pour water that exceeds 140 degrees Fahrenheit into your pipes. This is generally around as hot as your sink can produce water.
If none of these methods were successful for you, it's time to call in some help! There could be a more severe problem with your disposal, or there's a drain further in the pipes. These situations will be best handled by a professional.
Do Eggshells Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades?
It isn't necessarily true that eggshells sharpen garbage disposal blades. There isn't any evidence to support this. Although, the belief could come from the myth that eggshells sharpen blender blades.
Regardless of whether eggshells sharpen any sort of blade or not, they cause more harm than not with garbage disposals if you find that your appliance isn't working as well as it used to try resetting the unit.
You can also keep your unit working better for longer by taking proper care of it. Remember to keep your disposal clean, avoid drain cleaners, and only put disposal-safe items into your unit.
What Can I Put In My Garbage Disposal?
In general, you're only going to want to put small food scraps into your garbage disposal. These appliances aren't designed to break up large foods or bones.
Some examples of garbage disposal safe foods are citrus rinds, cooked meat scraps, canned pet food, and many fruits and vegetables.
If you find yourself doubting whether or not it can go into the garbage disposal, you should put it into the trash can instead. Also, remember to run your appliance safely! Don't overstuff the disposal and always run water while it's in use.
What's the Worst Thing To Put Down A Garbage Disposal?
There are plenty of bad things that can be put into a garbage disposal. Here are a few items that can be considered one of the worst things to put into the kitchen sink.
Your garbage disposal shouldn't be breaking down any sort of plastic, glass, or paper. These items can damage the appliance and could cause clogs in your plumbing system.
Take a look at "Can A Spoon Break A Garbage Disposal?" for some important information on non-food items in this appliance!
Grease or Fat
Another thing to never put into your disposal is any type of grease or fat. These items will coat your pipes and cause clogs. Grease and fat in the pipes will eventually damage the entire sewage system to your house.
Peels or Stringy Food
You should also avoid putting any vegetable peels, fruit peels, and stringy foods into the garbage disposal. These items can easily get tangled up in the blades. If they do make it through the appliance, there's still a good chance that they can turn into a paste and clog your pipes instead.
It can be tempting to put eggshells into the garbage disposal. However, this can actually cause damage to your appliance. To keep your disposal running well, avoid putting eggshells into your sink.
Do you have a leaking appliance? Check out "Garbage Disposal Leaking From Bottom—What To Do?" for good advice!