Most households often use eggs as part of their meals, which means they end up with many eggshells. Most people just throw the shells in a trash bin to dispose of them. However, can you throw them in the garbage disposal, and can they actually sharpen garbage disposal blades?

Eggshells do not sharpen garbage disposal blades because they are not strong enough to hone steel. However, some plumbers say that tossing eggshells in the garbage disposal helps clear food buildup in the grinding mechanisms. Others disagree and say eggshells can clog garbage disposal.

This article looks at whether it’s safe to dump your eggshells in a garbage disposal. Read on to learn how to safely dispose of your eggshells and keep your garbage disposal in good condition.

Is It Safe to Put Eggshells in the Garbage Disposal?

It is not safe to put eggshells in some garbage disposals. However, some manufacturers say their garbage disposals are strong enough to handle eggshells. It, therefore, depends on your model.

It’s not just garbage disposal companies who can’t agree on whether to put eggshells in the disposal; plumbing experts to are split in half over this debate. Both groups make valid points, and it’s impossible to discredit them.

One group of plumbers says that since eggs are rough and slightly abrasive, it’s okay to toss a few down the garbage disposal. The eggshells’ coarse texture helps clean the disposal’s grinding mechanisms. Although the shells are not strong enough to sharpen the grinders, they help clear food buildup. This frees the grinders to work more efficiently.

Another group of plumbers takes a different view and observes two major flaws in tossing eggshells down the garbage disposal. The first is the eggshells’ membrane.

Plumbers say the membrane sticks to garbage disposal grinders, lessening their efficiency. The second problem is that finely ground eggshells tend to build up in the garbage disposal and clog the pipes.

What to Do With the Eggshells Instead

Since tossing eggshells down the garbage disposal is clearly not a good idea, here are a few good ways to dispose of them safely:

  • Feed your garden: You can grind your eggshells into fine particles and feed them to your plants. Eggshells are rich in calcium, making them a great addition to your garden’s nutrition. However, you shouldn’t use them as a replacement for fertilizer.
  • Compost them: Unknown to many people, you can actually compost eggshells. Since they take a long time to decompose, you should speed up the process by crushing them first.
  • Feed chickens: It might seem strange to feed chickens with their eggshells, but it’s a great source of nutrients, and they seem to enjoy it. Just bake and crush them so they aren’t recognizable, then feed your chicken.
  • Throw them away: If you don’t have a garden, you can still get rid of eggshells the old-fashioned way. Throwing eggshells into the trash bin is as straightforward as it sounds and requires minimum effort from you.

Better Ways to Sharpen and Clean Garbage Disposal Blades

What people refer to as garbage disposal “blades” are a ring of teeth-like shredders. After prolonged use, they begin to dull, which can slow the effectiveness of the disposal. It’s therefore important to find a safe way to sharpen them and restore the disposal’s efficiency.

While there is no definitive way to sharpen your garbage disposal blades, cleaning them will improve efficiency and longevity. Below are some tips for cleaning your grinder teeth and keeping them from getting dull.

Using Ice Cubes

Many people believe using ice cubes on garbage disposals eliminates smells and sharpens the blades. As we’ve already established, garbage disposals don’t have blades, but you can still use ice cubes to clean the grinding components.

Throwing small ice cubes down the garbage disposal helps clean the grinders and clear any food residue. Ice is also not rough enough to damage the grinding components and usually melts as it cleans them.

Cleaning the Removable Baffle

Most garbage disposals have a baffle that can be removed easily and cleaned. Typically, it sits on the disposal’s collar.

To clean the removable baffle, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the baffle.
  2. Wipe off any food residue.
  3. Clean the baffle with water and rinse it.
  4. Replace the baffle.

While this method will not sharpen your grinders, it will unclog your disposal and make it more efficient.

Use Citrus Fruit

Citrus fruits are an excellent substitute for eggshells in cleaning your garbage disposal. Not only do they help clear any food buildup in the pipes, but they also neutralize any bad odors and leave your garbage disposal smelling fresh.

Here’s how to clean your garbage disposal with citrus fruits:

  1. Cut the fruits into small wedges.
  2. Turn on the garbage disposal and turn on the tap so you have a steady stream of water.
  3. Toss the fruits in, one by one. Once the fruit has disintegrated, turn off the disposal and the water.

If you suspect there’s a lot of residue food in the disposal, you can use something harder than citrus fruits. For example, you can cut a peach in half and toss it down the disposal.

Don’t Pour Grease Down a Garbage Disposal

You should not pour grease down the garbage disposal because it might clog the pipes. Grease sticks on the grinders and reduces their efficiency. It eventually builds up and clogs the garbage disposal.

It’s tempting to pile dirty, greasy dishes in a sink, rinse them off, and leave the rest in the dishwasher. However, doing so will be setting your garbage disposal up for a clog soon.

Grease is notorious for sticking in pipes and building up. Therefore, if you pour it down your garbage disposal, it will accumulate on the grinders and stop them from working efficiently. Eventually, it will clog the disposal completely and you’ll be forced to call a plumber.

The best way to dispose of cooking oils is to let them cool and solidify once you’re done cooking. You can now scrape the solid bits and throw them into the regular garbage.

Final Thoughts

Garbage disposal is an integral part of any kitchen. While putting eggshells down the disposal might help clear food residue in the grinding mechanisms, it might also risk clogging the pipes.

There’s no sure way of sharpening garbage disposal grinders, but you can increase their efficiency and longevity by cleaning them regularly.

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