infographic depicting seven foods that should not go down the drain​​

With the holidays rapidly approaching, many of us are spending time in our kitchens preparing tasty meals and treats for family and friends. It can be tempting to allow food scraps to go down the sink drain, but there are many types of foods that should NEVER go down your drain, even if you have a garbage disposal. Preventing these seven foods from going down your drain may keep your holiday celebration from being interrupted by a clogged drain!


While it might not cause a clog directly, oatmeal clumps and sticks to anything else it comes into contact within your pipes, acting like cement to bind sludge in your pipes together to form a clog. Oatmeal is also impervious to household drain cleaners, making it difficult to remove without an expensive call to a plumber.

Fats and oils

Fats, oils, and grease, the infamous FOG type of clog, are the most common cause of kitchen drain clogs. While it may seem safe to pour these in liquid form down your drain, they solidify as they cool, creating a stubborn greasy clog.


Even the sharp blades of your garbage disposal can’t handle thick bones such as those that come from chicken, lamb, or beef. They are too hard and dense for the disposal to chew properly. They will just get stuck in the flywheel and can even cause the blades to break. These are best disposed of in the trash. Fish bones are the only exception; these tiny bones can be put through the garbage disposal.

Pasta and rice

Starchy foods such as pasta and rice expand in moisture even after cooking and clump together. While a few strands of spaghetti won’t hurt anything, larger amounts of pasta can quickly get caught in your disposal trap, causing a clog in your garbage disposal!


Some people suggest running eggshells through the garbage disposal to sharpen its blades, but this is a mistake! The sticky membrane on the inside can get wrapped up in the disposal blades. Use a few ice cubes instead to sharpen the blades on your disposal.

Stringy, fibrous vegetables

These types of vegetables include asparagus and celery. These types of vegetables are difficult for your garbage disposal to grind up and the strings can get wrapped around the blades.

Coffee grounds

Coffee grounds can get stuck in your disposal trap and build up in your pipes over time. Eventually, this can lead to a serious clog.

In summary, you should think twice about adding any kind of starchy, fibrous, or clumping food to your drain, as well as any food that might be too hard for your garbage disposal to grind properly. When in doubt, dispose of these types of foods in the trash or compost and avoid an expensive plumbing bill! But, if you forget, call your local drain specialists at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing at 1-800-259-7705.