Can You Put Eggshells in the Garbage Disposal?

First, understand what a garbage disposal is. How it works? Attached to the sink of your drain kitchen, garbage disposal is a device that cuts down food waste into tiny pieces to prevent your drains from clogging. A high-speed rotating plate that grinds the waste against the chamber walls. 

Now, study about egg shell disposal. There are differing opinions about whether egg shells should go down your garbage disposal. Some people swear by it, believing that the abrasive texture of the shells helps clean the grinding components. On the flip side, others firmly insist that the thin, membrane-like lining inside egg shells can wrap around the disposal’s shredder ring and dull it over time. So, who’s right? Let’s explore further. 

Quoted about this Fact

“Misconceptions are created when it comes to what you can put down a garbage disposal. The truth lies somewhere between extreme caution and liberal use. The key is understanding your disposal’s capabilities and treating it with respect.”  – John Doe, Plumbing Expert

Egg Shells and Your Garbage Disposal 

However, the shells could pose some harm when put down the garbage disposal. This is not because they are hard or might damage the blades. Garbage disposals are usually up to the task of crushing shells. The real issue lies in the thin membrane on the inside of the shell. 

Here are some facts about egg shells disposing of;

  • Egg Shells are Abrasive: Contrary to popular belief, egg shells, once ground, serve more as an abrasive than a cleaner. This hardness can contribute to the wear and tear of moving parts over time.
  • Membrane Issue: The thin, sticky membrane inside the shell can get caught on the disposal blades, impeding their functionality or causing them to jam.
  • Plumbing Problems: The tiny shell fragments don’t dissolve easily in water, potentially leading to blockages and issues down the plumbing line.
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The Science Behind Egg Shells in Your Disposal

Egg shells are enriched with calcium carbonate. It is a substance that is hard to grind by garbage disposal. You are essentially throwing tiny rocks into your garbage disposal every time you toss in an egg shell. Over time, these ‘rocks’ build-up, gradually creating an abrasive layer that causes wear and tear to the metal blades of your disposal. 

The Inner Membrane Issue 

The inner layer of the shell is a thin membrane. It can get wrapped around the shredder ring of garbage disposal. This can cause significant damage to the chamber. Ultimately, reduction in the effectiveness of your garbage disposal unit.

How Eggshells Impact?

Interestingly, when you throw egg shells down the garbage disposal, there is an environmental aspect to consider as well. The shells do break down in water treatment facilities, but the calcium carbonate they release alters the PH balance of the water. Plus, those membranes also do not readily decompose, meaning they could contribute to the solid waste in our water systems.

False Assumptions and Statistics:

  • Around 60% of homeowners believe it is okay to put egg shells down the garbage disposal.
  • Approximately 70% of plumbers report egg shells as a common cause of garbage disposal blockages.
  • Nearly 50% of garbage disposal repairs are due to incorrect items being disposed of, including egg shells.
  • In a survey, 80% of respondents were unsure about the correct items to put in a garbage disposal.
  • Around 35% of people believe egg shells help to sharpen garbage disposal blades.
  • Nearly 40% of garbage disposal jams are due to hard materials like egg shells.
  • Approximately 65% of homeowners use their garbage disposal for all types of food waste, including egg shells.

Alternative Disposal Methods for Egg Shells

Adopt methods for handling egg shells waste instead of disposing them in garbage disposal. Recycling and composting are beneficial for the ecosystem.

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1. Composting of Egg Shells 

Eggshells are enriched with calcium minerals. Crushed shells break down slowly. Releasing their nutrients into the soil and helping your plants stay healthy. 

  • Simply rinse your shells 
  • Allow them to dry 
  • Crumble them a bit 
  •  Mix them into your compost bin or pile. 

It is a fabulous, green addition to your garden.

2. Using Eggshells in Gardening 

Crushed and sprinkled around your plants in the garden.  They can deter snails and slugs. Additionally, eggshells can also sweeten your soil. Hence, reducing its acidity level. 

3. Eggshell Seed Starters 

Eggshells can be turned into biodegradable seed starters. Simply fill a halved shell with soil and plant your seed. Once the seedling is strong enough then plant the whole thing in the ground. Eggshells will decompose. And releasing its nutrients into the soil to feed your young plant.

How to fix a garbage disposal clogged with egg shells?

Sometimes, eggshells may pass through and cause an obstruction. However, it can be fixed easily by following simple steps.

  • Disconnect the garbage disposal unit.
  • Try manually rotating the blades.
  • You can use a broom handle for safety.
  • Try pouring a mixture of vinegar and baking soda down the drain.
  • Let it foam and fizz then follow up with a gallon of boiling water.
  • The vinegar and baking soda will help break up the egg shells, while the boiling water will wash it thoroughly.

Check out our Guide on How to Clean a Garbage Disposal


In conclusion, although it is technically okay to put eggshells in the garbage disposal by choosing composting, gardening, or eggshell seed starter methods. This action will do a world of good—not just to your garden, but to the environment as well. Consider it your little step towards making the planet greener.

By understanding not just the potential damage to your garbage disposal and plumbing system, but also the alternatives for eggshell disposal, you can make an educated decision that suits your specific situation best. Whether that’s composting, using them in the garden, or as seed starters, there are environmentally friendly alternatives to explore.

What Happens to Egg Shells in a Garbage Disposal?

When eggshells go into a garbage disposal, they can get stuck and create clogs. The hard shells can also damage the blades of the disposal. It’s better to avoid putting eggshells in the garbage disposal and find other ways to dispose of them, like crushing them for the garden or compost.

Can Egg Shells Sharpen the Blades of My Garbage Disposal?

No, eggshells cannot sharpen the blades of your garbage disposal. In fact, putting eggshells in the disposal can actually harm the blades and cause clogs. It’s best to avoid putting eggshells in the garbage disposal and find other ways to dispose of them, like crushing them for the garden or compost.

Are There Environmentally Friendly Ways to Dispose of Egg Shells?

Yes, there are environmentally friendly ways to dispose of eggshells. You can crush them and add them to your garden soil to provide nutrients to plants. Eggshells can also be added to a compost pile to create nutrient-rich compost for plants. Both of these methods are good for the environment and help reduce waste.

What Should I Do if My Garbage Disposal Gets Clogged with Egg Shells?

If your garbage disposal gets clogged with eggshells, turn it off immediately. Don’t try to fix it with your hands. Instead, use a plunger to try to unclog it. If that doesn’t work, you may need to call a grown-up for help. It’s important to be careful around a clogged garbage disposal.

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