The most anticipated meal of the year is fast approaching! Grocery store aisles are packed with people making the necessary preparations for Thanksgiving. We spend hours preparing for the holidays every year, and if you have a garbage disposal, then you know how much it helps with clean-up.

It’s a magical thing to be able to watch something disappear down the drain. While it would be nice for your garbage disposal to be able to digest whatever you feed it, that’s simply not going to happen, no matter how strong it is. Before you start your holiday, cooking and giving your garbage disposal a hard workout, read this.

These 6 Thanksgiving dishes (some of them might surprise you!) can be bad for garbage disposal. Here’s why.

Mashed Potatoes

Starchy or fibrous foods, like potato peels, can wrap around the blade. For example, peeling your potatoes directly into the sink to flip that switch and watch them disappear could be doing your garbage disposal a major disservice. It’s best to just put those peels in the trash. What gets wrapped around the blade is not getting processed by the blade, and this will lead to a clogged drain.

Green Bean Casserole

This is sort of the same story… Green beans are a stringy, sort of fibrous vegetable that will wrap around the blade rather than get chewed up. Putting green beans down the disposal will also lead to a clogged drain. Other vegetables that should avoid contact with your garbage disposal on Thanksgiving are rhubarb, lettuce, kale, chard, asparagus, and more. Avoid anything stringy, fibrous, or starchy.

Macaroni and Cheese

Especially in large quantities, rice and pasta can cause serious problems if you put them down the garbage disposal. Once cooked, the pasta is soft enough that it can’t be completely processed by garbage disposal… But cooked or not, pasta or rice will expand in your drain and if you put them down the sink, they will eventually cause a clog.


Turkey should not come into contact with your garbage disposal for two reasons. One, grease, oil, and fat should never be put down your drain. When the grease cools, it solidifies in your drain, and like anything else, will then cause a drain clog. Worse, bones are a definite no for your garbage disposal. They’re too strong for both the motor and the blades and will end up getting caught in the blades or even burning out the motor.


Baking calls for eggs, but your garbage disposal doesn’t. Eggshells don’t do well in disposal because of the thin membrane on the inside of the shell. Garbage disposal can’t do anything with it, and it will end up wrapped around the blade. If you have a compost pile, eggshells can be composted instead.


Coffee and dessert go hand-in-hand, but once you’ve brewed a pot, don’t toss those grounds in the sink. While coffee grounds look like they’re going down the drain okay, the garbage disposal can’t do anything to them. Instead of just being rinsed away, they can get caught in the trap of the disposal causing a clog. It’s best to compost coffee grounds or just toss them in the garbage.

Avoid a Thanksgiving nightmare! Just put these things in the trash or compost them. Your garbage disposal will thank you.

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