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4 Ways to Save Food Scraps You Can’t Put Down the Disposal

5 min Read

When you’re washing piles of dishes, pots and pans it’s easy to let some coffee grounds or leftover chicken bones slide into the garbage disposal. We’re not judging—the garbage disposal is convenient and provides a quick, sanitary way to get rid of leftovers. How harmful could such small scraps of food even be?

The truth is, filling your garbage disposal with food scraps your drain can’t handle can be harmful in the long run, leading to problems such as bad odors, jammed disposal blades, and clogged pipes under your kitchen sink.

To avoid such problems, refrain from putting certain food scraps down the disposal. Instead, find some creative ways to save them or use them for something else! The experts at Mattioni are here to share some ways you can save food scraps you can’t put down the disposal.


1. Turn the Potato Peels Into A Crispy Snack

Garbage disposals use blunt blades to shred organic matter into small particle. This allows the matter to easily go down the drain without causing any clogs. But even some organic matter, such as potato peels, should not be put down the disposal. Potato peels are starchy and can create a thick paste if they absorb too much water, which can clog the drain and turn into an expensive plumbing problem.

Make sure to trash the potato peels, or even better, use them to make a crispy snack! Here’s a delicious recipe you can use:


  • Potato peelings
  • Two teaspoons olive oil
  • Half of teaspoon of sea salt
  • Black pepper (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 410 Fahrenheit. Line your baking sheet with non-stick foil.
  • Toss the potato peelings in a bowl with olive oil, pepper sea salt. Make sure the peels are thoroughly coated, then place them on your baking sheet and sprinkle sea salt if necessary.
  • Roast for 15-20 minutes and remove them when they look crispy. Serve them while they are hot!


2. Use the Oatmeal to Soothe Skin Irritations

If you’re cleaning out your pantry and spot a box of oatmeal past its expiration date, you might be tempted to throw it out—perhaps in your garbage disposal. Oatmeal has the tendency to expand after contact with water, which is why it is dangerous to put down your garbage disposal. Think of the oatmeal you make and eat and imagine it collecting in your kitchen drain and sticking to the pipes. That’s not a pretty sight.

Instead of tossing it in your disposal, use it to soothe any skin irritations you might have. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, oatmeal is used in many moisturizers, creams, and soothing agents to relieve any irritations caused by poison ivy, chicken pox or eczema. You can make your own oatmeal soothing agent by adding a bit of water to a cup of plain, organic, uncooked oatmeal. Let it sit for a while until in turns into a paste-like substance. Apply the paste to the itchy area and watch it work its magic!


3. Save the Coffee Grounds for Your Garden

This is another creative way to save food scraps you can’t put down the disposal.  Your drain can’t handle coffee grounds, because they can build up in the drainpipes and cause a blockage. But don’t toss out the grounds in the trash either. Instead, use them to replenish your garden soil. Used coffee grounds are high in nitrogen, calcium and magnesium and can help enrich your soil. They can also act as a natural pesticide to keep snails and slugs away from your plants, while attracting earth worms to aerate your garden soil.


4. Add the Eggshells to Your Skincare Routine

You might have heard that eggshells are good for sharpening the blades in your garbage disposal. While there are many opinions on this, it is best to be safe and avoid putting eggshells in the garbage disposal. Eggshells have a membrane that can wrap around the blades in your disposal and cause damage overtime, in addition to sticking to the pipes and eventually forming a clog.

Instead of dumping them in your garbage disposal or even your trash can, try making a face mask using leftover eggshells. Here’s a quick DIY method you can do this:


  • Leftover eggshells
  • Egg white from one egg


  • Gently wash the eggshells by placing them under a running water tap. Try to remove the membrane inside the walls of the eggshells.
  • Put the clean eggshells in a grinder and crush them completely. You can use your hands to crush them as well.
  • Place the crushed shells on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Baking the eggshells will make them germ-free.
  • After letting the crushed shells dry completely, grind them to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
  • Crack open the other egg and separate the yolk from the egg whites. Then mix the eggshell powder into the egg white and whisk properly.
  • Use the mixture on your face and allow to dry. Wash off with cold water and enjoy your newly nourished skin!


By following this guide, you can spare the nuisance that comes with a clogged garbage disposal and have some fun finding  ways to save food scraps you can’t put down the disposal. If you have any concerns or questions about the plumbing or garbage disposal in your home, you can always contact the professionals at Mattioni Plumbing by sending us a message on our website or by calling 610-400-8510.

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