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Can You Put Shrimp Shells in the Garbage Disposal? (No. Please)

Can You Put Shrimp Shells in the Garbage Disposal? (No. Please)

Shrimps are one of the treasures of the sea. They come packed with incredible minerals and nutrients many foods don’t have. 

Serving shrimps as dinner, lunch, or supper can make you regain your lost appetite. They taste great and blend perfectly well with diverse dishes. 

However, how people dispose of shrimp shells after eating has been quite a concern. Some feel it is right to empty shrimp shells in the garbage disposal. And you can’t blame them because it’s a quick way to dispose of such wastes. 

Surprisingly, how people dispose of their shrimp shells has generated a heated debate for a while now. While some persons believe there’s nothing wrong in doing that, others think otherwise. 

In this article, you’ll learn if it’s wrong or right to empty shrimp shells in the garbage disposal. Continue reading for more in-depth information. 

Read: Can You Put Lemons in the Garbage Disposal?

Is It Ok To Put Shrimp Shells in the Garbage Disposal?

No, it’s not ok. Let’s put it this way. Never let shrimp shells go into your home garbage disposal by any means. The truth of the matter is you can put the shrimp shells in the garbage disposal. But the moment you turn it on, you might regret your action. 

Several things could happen to your garbage disposal. Here are those:

1. It won’t grind all the shells

Your garbage disposal may not have the power to crush all the shrimp shells thrown into it. That’s because the shells are hard. If you’re so unlucky, it won’t even grind much before packing up.

2. Damage the impellers

Just because garbage disposals aren’t so expensive doesn’t mean you should mess up the one you have. If you maintain and use your disposal right, it could last you for many years. 

Putting shrimp shells in the garbage disposal can damage the impellers that help to tear food wastes into shreds. Keep this in mind. The disposal might be looking super solid and ready to devour anything, but it’s not. Shrimp shells can damage it. 

A Handy Tip:  Garbage disposal doesn’t have blades. Instead, what it has and uses to grind food waste are impellers. 

3. It doesn’t smell good

Have you ever left shrimp shells in your kitchen overnight? If you have, then you know how smelly they became in the morning. That’s what happens when you leave uncooked seafood like shrimp shells. And when they start decaying, you won’t be able to withstand the odor. 

Putting shrimp shells in your garbage disposal can do the same thing. The machine won’t be able to grind the shells completely. And when you leave the shells stuck in the machine for few hours or till the next day, the whole kitchen would start smelling bad

So, if you care about your kitchen’s smell, avoid dumping shrimp shells in the garbage disposal. Don’t forget the kitchen is linked to other parts of the house. The odor can take over most of your home, making your family and guests uncomfortable. 

4. Clog the drain

Since the garbage disposal cannot grind the shrimp shells completely, there’s a high possibility that the shells would clog your pipe. 

The shrimp shells would form a little ball and get your drain clogged. Thus, you have no choice but to hire a professional plumber to unclog your drain. But if you prefer doing it yourself, find a way to take the sink apart. 

Getting a plumber to fix the clogged drain and then finding means to repair the damaged garbage disposal machine is a big task. You may end up spending some reasonable amount of money before you know it. 

Can You Flush Shrimp Tails?

No, shrimp tails or shells have no business in your toilet. The fact that they don’t ever decompose makes it impossible. 

You can only flush things that decompose in the toilet. These include tissue paper and body fluid. Anything besides these two should be discouraged immediately. 

So, why can’t you flush shrimp tails down the toilet? 

1. Shrimp tails don’t decompose

It’s not advisable to through things that don’t decompose in the toilet. It might lead to buildup and then clogging of your plumbing. 

2. Not hygienic

Shrimp tails are kitchen waste. Thus, even though you cannot have them thrown into the garbage disposal, the toilet isn’t the ideal place to dispose of shrimp tails.

3. Your bathroom smell bad

Have you thought about what will happen when you dispose of the shrimp tails you left overnight in your toilet? It would be a disaster. You won’t be able to stand the odor that would emanate from the bathroom. 

How Long Do Shrimp Shells Last In The Fridge?

If you need to store your shrimp shells in the fridge, knowing how long they would last could prove helpful.

This question also concerns raw and cooked shrimp shells. So, we will answer both separately. 

Read: Can Apple Cores Go in the Garbage Disposal?

How long-cooked shrimp shells last in the fridge?

Your cooked shrimp, unshelled or shelled, can stay fresh in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. 

However, how you have it packaged also matters a great deal. It should be in airtight glass, plastic container, or wrapped in plastic. 

Bacterial grows on shrimps very fast. Under temperatures of over 40 degrees Fahrenheit, bacterial growth on shrimp could become double every 20 minutes. 

So, if you purchase your shrimp on a hot or sunny day, please request a cold pack or have them stored in a cooler when transporting the seafood home. 

Most retailers would even have the shrimps packed in ice. They do this to ensure the shrimps retain their quality before you arrive home. 

A Handy Tip: If you want your shrimp to store and remain fresh for long, ensure you purchase good quality shrimp. By good quality, we mean shrimp that has not started decaying. 

If the shrimps have started decaying before you store them in the fridge, they won’t last long in there before they start smelling bad. 

How long raw shrimp lasts in the fridge?

Raw shrimps, whether they have been shelled or unshelled, can remain fresh in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. 

However, it would help if you also took several measures to ensure your raw shrimps last long in the fridge. 

One is to package the shrimps properly. Please put them in an airtight container or neatly wrapped in a plastic bag. 

Additionally, store the shrimps in the lowest portion of the fridge that’s the coldest. Just ensure the temperature is within 40 degrees Fahrenheit or much lower. Otherwise, your shrimp won’t stay for long before it starts oozing out the offensive odor.  

What Can You Do With Old Shrimp Shells?

Nothing in shrimps is a waste. The shell, head, and tail are all loaded with delicious and salty flavor. So, don’t throw your old shrimp shells away. 

But the question is, what can you make with shrimp shells? Let’s find out. 

1. Bisque

Your shrimp shells are useful, and you can prepare delicious meals out of them. Bisque happens to be one of those soups you’ll cherish as a shrimp lover. Here, you have to cook the shrimp shells in butter.    

You can’t imagine how tasty this would turn out. When cooked in butter, the milk candies as the seafood’s sugar caramelizes. And it creates the desirable base for the creamy soup. 

2. Bouillabaisse Booster

Excitingly, you can save money by ditching store-bought fishes for shrimp shells. Shrimp shells are excellent for making bouillabaisse. And with all the deliciousness packed in shrimp shells, you can be sure that your bouillabaisse would be sweeter.  

3. Shrimp broth soup

What the shrimp broth does is terrific. It makes a lovable soup base. You can give it a shot with the sweet-and-sour soup, inspired by the Southeast Asians. 

4. Shrimp and grits deglaze

Here comes another top-ranking delicious meal you can prepare with your shrimp shells. The process is simple. Bu the fresher your shells are, the better. 

Shrimp shells are a wise choice for seafood stock. So, the next time you peel the shells off your shrimp, you shouldn’t be thinking about discarding them immediately.

If you don’t have an instant use for it, store it in the fridge. Then think of a special delicacy you think your family would enjoy. You can take a clue from the list of options here. 

Read: Can You Put Rice Down a Garbage Disposal? (Not Really…)

How Can You Get Rid of Shrimp Shells?

Instead of throwing your shrimp shells in the garbage disposal or flushing the tails down the toilet, you can dispose or use them in the most acceptable way. 

Here’s how to get it done. 

1. Get the shells frozen

Shells left in the bin would decay and start smelling. You surely don’t want that.

So, before the sanitation worker comes around, try freezing the shrimp shells. When the sanitation worker arrives, you can throw the shells into the bin to be disposed of immediately. 

2. Turn them into stock

You can use the shells to make outstanding stock after de-shelling your shrimps or store them in the fridge for later use.

3. Incorporate them into your garden

You can work the shrimp shells into your garden instead of throwing them into the bin. It will help in combating bacterial that attacks fruits, roses, vines, and tomatoes. 


So, can you put shrimp shells in the garbage disposal? Well, no! Please, don’t do it for the sake of your machine. Shrimp shells can damage the device. It can damage the impellers, break the machine or clog your sink. 

You can use shrimp shells to prepare a range of cuisines, so don’t throw them away. Instead, consider storing them for a while in the fridge.