No, you should not put rice down your garbage disposal. We all know that when you cook rice, it expands. In fact, it expands four times as much. So, it would seem logical that if you put rice (even cooked rice) down a garbage disposal it would expand a bit more. The starch in the rice can also make it sticky which then means you could end up with a large clump of rice clogging your water pipes. 

What Happens When You Put Rice In A Garbage Disposal?

So, what happens if you put rice in a garbage disposal? Well, rice is a water-absorbent food. What this means is that when it comes into contact with water, it will absorb as much of it as possible. The rice will then swell in size, and the starch in the rice will make it sticky.

This combination of factors can lead to a clogged drain. Rice down a garbage disposal is never a good idea!

Rice Expands

We're sure that you know by now that rice is a water-absorbent food. What does this mean? It means that when rice comes into contact with water, it will absorb as much of it as possible. The rice will then swell in size, and the starch in the rice will make it sticky.

This combination of factors can lead to a clogged drain.

Discard The Rice Instead

So, what should you do with that leftover rice?

The best thing to do is to discard it in the trash can instead of risking a clogged drain. If you do happen to accidentally put a little bit of rice down the disposal, don't worry - as long as you quickly turn on the water and run it for a few seconds, you should be good to go.

How Do You Get Rice Out Of A Garbage Disposal?

If you've accidentally put rice down your garbage disposal, don't panic! There are a few things you can do to try and get it out.

  • One way is to try and use a sink plunger to suction the rice out.
  • Another is to pour 1 cup of baking soda down the disposal followed by 1 cup of distilled white vinegar.
  • Yes another is to use a plumbing snake to clear the drain.
  • Finally, you can dismantle the P-trap under the sink just in case the clog happens to be there.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to act quickly, the longer that ball of rice is in there, the bigger of a clog it can end up becoming.

What Else Should You Not Pour Down The Garbage Disposal?

An example of the list of specific food and food items to avoid putting in your garbage disposal are...

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Banana Peels
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Bones
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Coconuts
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Corn Husks
  • Couscous
  • Cucumber Peels
  • Eggshells
  • Flour of any kind
  • Grease and Fats
  • Grits
  • Lettuce
  • Meats
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Onion Skins
  • Pasta
  • Pineapple Rinds
  • Pits and Seeds
  • Popcorn (popped or unpopped)
  • Potato Peels
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon Rinds

You can read more about what you should avoid putting in your garbage disposal in our article What Not To Put In Your Garbage Disposal.

Conclusion

It is important to be mindful of what you are putting down your garbage disposal, as some items can cause clogs. Rice and noodles are two examples of food that should not be put in a disposal, as they can easily absorb water and lead to a backed-up sink.

If you have any questions about garbage disposals or are having some problems with it, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.