Why You Shouldn't Put Onions Down The Drain

There's no denying we have a historical love-hate relationship with onions. While onions have immense significance in the culinary world and are considered the "bedrock of our cooking" (via The Kitchn), they can act like stone-hearted exes — bringing tears to your eyes. Fortunately, there are effective ways to cut an onion without crying, like removing the vegetable's root or rinsing the sliced pieces, which helps curb the tear-inducing chemical called syn-Propanethial-S-oxide. 

Since we already know what to do with an onion after slicing it, it seems some education can behoove us on how to get rid of the leftover vegetable properly. After all, many make the mistake of using the garbage disposal (or even the sink) without realizing that some things are never meant to go down the throat of a drain demon that tries to devour everything without any discrimination.

While the garbage disposal unit can happily get rid of diced or chopped onion waste, the problem arises when you put onion skins down the drain. If you have previously done it and nothing happened, we have a sinking feeling you might do it again. However, there's a good explanation for why you shouldn't.

Onion skins love to clog the garbage disposal

Onion skins are one of the primary culprits behind a clogged, smelly drain. This is because the onion's outermost layer has a thin membrane similar to an eggshell. Since we remove the thin layer and throw it into the garbage disposal unit, it can miss the grinder blades and get wedged in there, clinging to the sides. Worse, it can wrap around the lower part of the shoot or drain, and consequently, the thin membrane acts as a net and starts to catch more items that come after it to cause a blockage (via allrecipes). 

Consumer Reports has warned people about the foods or items they can't put down a disposal. They surveyed 1,040 Americans who owned garbage disposals and found that 59% of users throw away vegetable peels down the drain. 

Remember that your garbage disposal unit is only meant to get rid of food waste (not garbage), but some food items are drain killers. Who came up with the name "garbage disposal" in the first place? Avoid throwing bones, eggshells, corn husks, potato peels, shells, or fibrous vegetables in the garbage disposal. And if you hate slicing onions so much that now getting rid of them seems like a hassle, you can always consider these alternatives for onions.