It’s that time of year again! The kids are going back to school. You got them new backpacks, new shoes, and all of their school supplies. Now, it’s time to tackle their school lunches.

You wake up at six in the morning, make yourself a cup of coffee and then grab the Star Wars and Kim Possible lunch bags your kids picked out. And, just like that, the season of packed lunches and meal prep begins.

You grab the peanut butter, jelly, wheat bread, apples, popcorn, carrots, and cucumbers. You throw in a piece of their favorite candy and a small note, “have fun today, love you”, then you zip up both lunch pales, and go wake up your kids.

At the end of the day, you grab both lunch packs and prepare them for another day, and another lunch. You unpack the containers, shake them into your sink, and turn on the garbage disposal. It may make a weird sound, you may have to give it a little shove, but it goes down.

This is where we come in with the kitchen garbage disposal do’s and don’ts. When cleaning up after making your kids lunches, or at the end of the day, you must learn what can and cannot go down your kitchen disposal. Your disposal is not a trash can, although some use it as such. It is not made to break down incompatible substances, especially not in high volumes. So, we here at Steve’s Plumbing, have your back with this Back To School Disposal Guide.

A-Okay For The Disposal

  1. Citrus Rinds

  2. Fruit scraps without peels

  3. Leftover scraps of cooked meat

  4. Vegetable scraps without peels

Garbage Disposal No-No’s


The crust you cut off of your kid’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich cannot go down the disposal, nor can the leftover half he didn’t eat. Starches expand when wet, and when these foods go down your drain, they are sitting in water and will grow until your pipe is completed blocked. Your water will have nowhere to go but back up, and you will have a major drain disaster on your hands.


Nuts are a great, and easy, snack for your kids. However, under no circumstance should you wash them down your kitchen disposal. Think about how peanut butter is made—by grinding nuts into a paste. When you place nuts down your disposal, they undergo a similar process, as your disposal chops and spins. This sticky paste then lines your pipes, grabbing everything that follows. Masses will form and clog your disposal.

Fibrous Vegetables

We all put celery in our kid’s lunch from time to time. Just remember to not place the peels or scraps down your disposal. The strands on fibrous vegetables, such as this, create clumps and block your pipes.

Fruit Pits

If a fruit pit cannot be cut, in half, with a knife, do not put it down your garbage disposal. Putting hard fruit pits down your disposal can actually break the blades in your disposal, and cause irreparable damage. It’s best to just throw all food pits into your kitchen trash.

Salad Dressing

Let’s be honest, the real reason we eat salad is that we like dressing. When packing a salad for lunchtime, you usually place a little container with dressing inside the salad container, so your kid doesn’t have soggy lettuce by the time lunch rolls around. When cleaning this dressing container at the end of the day, do not pour any remaining dressing down your disposal. Additionally, if there is leftover, dressed salad, throw it in the trash.

The oils in dressings are incredibly bad for your piping. The oil will coat your pipes, grabbing anything that follows, causing severe clogs and backups. It is also incredibly hard to remove, as oil and water do not mix.

For all your garbage disposal repairs and replacements, contact Steve’s Plumbing, at (425) 979-7376. As a family-owned company, we more than understand the back to school lunch hustle. Let us help you keep your kitchen ready for lunch bagging season.