Can You Put Citrus / Lemon Peels in a Garbage Disposal?

There’s no doubt that garbage disposals are one of the most helpful kitchen tools as they chop out the excess food substances after thrown into the sink and make them drainable.

But one of the disadvantages of garbage disposal is that the shredded food residues get rotten inside the garbage disposal, and pipes form a bad odor.

One of the most effective ways to get rid of such a stinking smell practiced by most people is dropping lemon or citrus, which forms a very fresh smell once it gets in contact with the garbage disposal blades.

The strong citrus smell of lemon covers the bad odor that is produced by the rotten food residues. And it is a beneficial technique to many.

But here, the question is whether dropping citrus or lemon along with their peel is beneficial or harmful to the garbage disposal.

And that is what I’m going to discuss in this article. Take a look!

Is It OK to Put Lemons in the Garbage Disposal?

Yes, you can put lemons in the garbage disposal. But it is better to either remove the peel or cut it into small pieces before doing so.

Lemons or citrus are cleaning agents. Putting them into the garbage disposal will also help in cleaning it. Lemon extracts are best for the job.

But if you’re planning to put a whole lemon along with its peel in the garbage disposal, there’s a threat of it leading to clogs.

Hence, it is better to shred the lemon or its peels into small pieces to dispose of the garbage.

Can Orange Peels Clog the Drain?

Orange and other citrus peels are generally considered safe for garbage disposal and don’t lead to clogs inside the garbage disposal, pipes, or drains.

But there are some limitations to that. If you put a large number of orange peels at a time, then there’s a fair possibility of it causing a clog in the drain. Not sure, but possible.

Moreover, if it doesn’t produce a clog in the drain even after putting a large number of orange peels at a time, so you keep on repeating it continuously. Then, the clog might take place later.

Hence, to prevent such circumstances, you need to avoid dumping orange peels in large amounts or continuously.

Also, it’s better to run the tap for a while before dumping the orange peels in the garbage disposal.

So that proper water flow is maintained in the piping and drainage system to wash away the orange peels instantly without any obstruction.

I would also recommend you run the water with a good force for about 30 to 60 seconds after turning the garbage disposal off.

So that if there are any peels or residues left in the garbage disposal, pipe, or drain, they can instantly wash away.

What to Do to Unclog Orange Peels from Drain?

Drains rarely clog due to peels of citrus-like oranges. Instead, they clog primarily because of the peels of vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.

But if in your case, orange peels are the reason for forming a clog in the drain, then you should try the following techniques to unclog it.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

Vinegar and baking soda have been constantly proven very effective and easiest solutions for unclogging garbage disposals, pipes and drains.

These are kitchen ingredients found in every home. They are not expensive and do not cause any mess to occur while cleaning the drain.

All you need to do to unclog the drain from the orange peel is to take half a cup of baking soda and drop it from the sinkhole.

And then, pour half a cup of vinegar, followed by some boiling water. That’s it.

The clog should break down after you’re done with this process. But if it doesn’t, you might have to try the following techniques that require plumbing reagents or tools.

Natural Bacterial Enzyme Cleaners

Toxic chemical drain openers are very dangerous to handle and are harmful to piping systems. Hence, the safest and best drain cleaners to go for are natural bacterial enzyme cleaners.

They use the catalytic enzymes of bacteria that form colonies to eat the organic matters that clog the drain, widening and protecting water flow.

They are more useful for preventing drain clogs rather than opening tough clogs that have already formed.

Therefore, if your drain is in the primary stage of forming clogs due to dumping orange peels, then you can try this technique to clean it.

But if the clog is too tough for these enzyme cleaners to handle, you’ll have to use the following tools to solve the issue.


A plunger is a very small and useful plumbing tool. It pumps the pipes forming a thrust of air pressure that loosens or removes clogs from pipes.

Therefore, you can definitely try plunging your piping system from the kitchen sink drainage hole using a plunger.

All you need to do is make sure that all other kitchen sinkholes are closed and then place the plunger on the draining hole of the sink.

Then plunge roughly for some time and check if you notice any changes. Check whether the water drained from the sink still comes back or not.

If it still does, then repeat the plunging process a couple of more times and plunge as fiercely as you can.

If it still doesn’t seem to make much difference, using the following tool is the only option.

Drain Snake

Now using a drain snake is literally the last thing you want to do. Because it causes a serious mess of things, and it might make your clothes really dirty and stinky.

Hence, it’s better to alert you that if you have OCD, this isn’t your job. So avoid doing this technique by yourself. But if you don’t, still make sure you’re wearing fine clothes if they get dirty.

There are two types of drain snakes. One is electric, and the other is mechanical. The mechanical one is a better option for the task.

Now all you need to do is to snake the drain that might have clogged. After that, the clog should get cleared. If not, then you might need to snake the P-trap as well.

And if nothing from the above works for you, calling a professional plumber would be the best option.

How About Putting Orange Slices in the Garbage Disposal?

You can put slices of orange in the garbage disposal as long as the slices aren’t too large to get trapped in the piping system.

Orange slices easily get shredded in the garbage disposal and smoothly drain away without any threat of forming clogs.

That is why putting orange slices in the garbage disposal is absolutely allowed.

Final Words

If you were planning to put lemon or citrus peels in your garbage disposal but wanted to make sure if it won’t cause an issue like clogging, I hope I could help with the information you needed. I’m happy to help!

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