Whether you can put eggshells in garbage disposals is one of the controversial questions asked among many owners. Some people recommend using eggshells to sharpen garbage disposal blades while for some others say it is a big no. What is the truth behind this?
The truth is; you shouldn’t put eggshells in a garbage disposal, at least, not in bulk. Here is what InSinkErator says about this;
Both coffee grounds and eggshells are sedimentary in nature, if too much is placed in at one time, or if the plumbing is restricted, it can create a clog or a ‘slow drain’ situation. Too help avoid any problems, feed these materials into the disposer gradually, and utilize a strong flow of cold water to help flush it through the pipes.InSinkErator blog
What happens when you put eggshells in a garbage disposal unit?
If you put a single eggshell into a garbage disposal it will get ground and disposed of through the plumping without any problems. But if you add them in bulk they will either stick to the grinding components of the unit and jam it or clog the pipes.
The villain here is not the eggshell itself, it is the thin membrane inside the eggshell that causes all these problems. While the eggshell by itself can be ground without any problems this thin membrane tends to make things sticky. They bind themselves to the spaces between the grinding components making it difficult for water and other food wastes to go through. Over time, this will cause frequent jams in the garbage disposal causing it to stuck, and leading to many other damages.
It is ok to grind an eggshell once in a while but doing this frequently can cause the problems.
This is especially true for low powered garbage disposals. Since they are unable to grind eggshells to very fine sizes as top-end garbage disposals do, they will sediment and clog the pipes. Even if you run a large quantity of water, that won’t be enough to remove them.
As for top-end models that have more power and multi-stage grinding systems, they grind eggs shells small enough to prevent sedimentation to a certain point however, they too can’t prevent the thin membranes of eggshells from clogging the disposal.
Do eggshells sharpen garbage disposal blades?
First of all, garbage disposals do not have shape blades like in a Mixer grinder. Instead, they have a rotating plate that throws food against a stationary grind ring that fitted on the wall of the grinding chamber.
It is true that eggshells can cause a scouring action and clean the grinding components of a garbage disposal, but there are better ways to do this. Do not use eggshells to sharpen garbage disposal blades because they are more of a problem than a solution.
The best and simplest option to clean garbage disposal blades is by using a few ice cubes. They provide enough scrubbing action to remove any sticky food wastes, and they will melt away without causing any clogs.
Unclog eggshells in the garbage disposal
It is possible that you already clogged your drain with eggshells. Unclogging eggshells can be a mean task. The clog can be either within the garbage disposal itself or down the drain pipes. Here is what you can try;
Clog in the garbage disposal
If the clog is in the garbage disposal but you can still run the disposal unit, grind some ice cubes and salt in it. The ice cubes and salt combination can scrape off most of the eggshell membranes from the surfaces of the grinding components. Try this a few times and see whether the waster is draining properly.
Another option is to add baking soda followed by vinegar. First let the baking soda sit there for about ten minutes, and then add a cup or two of vinegar. Then after a few minutes run hot water. You can add some ice cubes and salt, and grind them as the next step. These should get rid of any eggshells from the garbage disposal.
Clog in the drain
If the drain is clogged you will have a tougher time removing it. You will have to remove the garbage disposal (if it is a single sink) and then snake out the clog using a drain snake. If it is a double sink, you can put the drain snake through the second sink.
The eggshells are more likely to sediment at the p-trap, so dismantling and cleaning the p-trap may solve the entire problem.
The best way to get rid of eggshells is to compost them. You can also put them in the trash can. Also here are 30 things you can do with eggshells instead (ignore the 30th point 🙂 )