Egg Shells

Why You Should Never Put Eggshells Down Your Garbage Disposal

For many homeowners, the garbage disposal in the sink is an afterthought. It’s where the food waste goes because you don’t want it to stink up your trash can.

This is understandable. Nobody wants the unpleasant aroma of trash lingering in their home. But, many homeowners don’t realize that some foods should never be put into a garbage disposal.

Today, we’d like to highlight one food item in particular: eggshells.

For many families, eggs are a staple in the home. Consumed daily and prepared in countless ways. But, while you’re busy thinking about cooking your eggs, the shells are likely something you don’t put much thought into. Most homeowners simply toss them in the trash or the sink, while keeping the focus on not burning the eggs (again).

Below, we discuss some of the most common questions about eggshells, why you shouldn’t put them in your garbage disposal, and what you should do with them instead.

Can You Put Eggshells in the Garbage Disposal?

No. This is not a wise idea.

When they are ground up, eggshells can quickly turn into tiny particles that, in turn, may lead to a clog in your garbage disposal, or even in your pipes.

To help you visualize what could potentially happen, pretend for a moment that ground-up eggshells are like sand. Tiny particles that may flow with water, but may also clump together and create a blockage. When confined in small spaces, such as the inside of a pipe, it is more likely that the eggshell-sand will clump together.


Do Eggshells Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades?

This is unlikely. In fact, a garbage disposal doesn’t use “blades” to break down your food.

But, it is also worth noting that you will likely get different answers depending on who you ask. The general consensus is that eggshells will not sharpen any of the components inside the unit. In fact, these may actually cause more problems than you set out to resolve.

Try Using Ice

If you’re looking to sharpen the “blades” — they’re actually grinders — inside your disposal, you should try using ice. Any size or shape will work, as long as the ice is frozen solid. Avoid the softer flake or nugget ice, as those won’t pose a significant challenge to the unit.

The upside to using ice, is that nothing will be left behind that may cause issues or clog your disposal. Unlike eggshells or citrus peels, the melted ice water will simply go down the drain.





Is This the Same For All Disposals?

Probably not. The usage tips will likely vary for all brands, as well as all models manufactured by those brands. It would be wise to refer to the user manual for your model to get the precise answer.

However, despite what may be listed in the user manual or what type of waste your disposal is capable of handling, it is still wise to avoid putting eggshells down the unit.

Even with the best of the best garbage disposals, you will be unable to eliminate the potential problems that finely-ground eggshells may create inside your pipes. Over time, they may build-up and create a clog. This can lead to some very costly repairs.


What Can You Do With Eggshells?

While your average person may consider to them to be waste, eggshells have many uses. The below suggestions are simple and easy for every homeowner.

  • Dry, Grind & Add to Soil — You can use egg shells in your yard or garden to help replenish nutrients in the soil. For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that you grind your shells as fine as possible, and then sprinkle it around your yard or garden.
  • Compost — Similar to tossing them in your yard, you can also add egg shells to your compost bin. This will expedite the decomposition process, giving the compost a boost of calcium. For gardeners, this is an easy way to avoid your pepper important nutrient.
  • Use For Seedlings — Instead of buying a seed-starter pot, you can use old egg shells to start seedlings. This is not only an easy way to get kids involved with gardening, but the shell also acts as a natural source of food for your plants as it decomposes. More on that below.

What Are Egg Shells Made Of?

When broken down and analyzed, egg shells are comprised almost entirely of calcium carbonate.

With the same molecular formula as limestone, calcium carbonate is commonly used for calcium supplements, antacids and chalk.


Are Eggshells Good for Plants?

Yes, but not as a substitute for fertilizer or other liming material.

According to multiple studies, egg shells can be used to help supplement the soil with calcium. However, to have any meaningful effect, the shells need to be ground as fine as possible. Simply tossing the shells in your yard and crushing them with your hands or feet is not going to provide the soil with any sort of timely benefits. The decomposition process is incredibly slow.

With that said, there is no harm of adding large shells to your yard. While you may not replenish the soil as quickly as you hoped, there is no risk to your grass or plants.


One thought on “Why You Should Never Put Eggshells Down Your Garbage Disposal

  • Garbage disposals do not have blades. They have impellers that are not sharp, but blunt. So, putting ice or egg shells down the disposal to “sharpen” the blades will not do any good.

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