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How to Properly Care for Your Garbage Disposal

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Garbage disposals: can’t live with them, can’t live without them. They come in handy anytime little scraps of food end up in the sink, but can be a pain when they aren’t working properly. Did you know there are do’s and don’ts to caring for your garbage disposal? Following these rules will help to keep yours running strong.


First rule to keeping your garbage disposal running is to keep it clean. You should also be cleaning your disposal regularly. Cleaning can also be as simple as pouring a little soap in and running the disposal with some cold water. Another cleaning method is to fill your disposal with ice cubes and rock salt. If you would like a deeper clean, consider making vinegar ice cubes to use instead of regular ice cubes.

Believe it or not, running your garbage disposal regularly can help to elongate its life. Using it frequently helps to prevent rust and erosion while keeping drain obstructions from forming. Always remember to run cool water while using the disposal. The water’s flow will help to push items down the drain after being chopped up.

Why cool water, you may ask? Hot water causes any grease or fat to melt, increasing the likelihood of a clogged drain.


To keep your garbage disposal running at full speed, you need to remember to only wash food down the drain. Do we even need to tell you this? Avoid grinding glass, plastic, metal, cigarette butts or anything combustible.

In addition, avoid grinding the following foods as they have been known to cause clogs: grease, corn husks, celery stalks, onion skins, artichokes, potato peels, pasta, rice, coffee grounds and large animal bones. And remember, never try to wash a large amount of food down the drain, regardless of what kind of food it may be. Section the food off and send it down the drain in small amounts, waiting for the previous section to fully grind before adding the next.

Don’t turn off the garbage disposal until the grinding is complete. After the grinding stops, allow the water to run for about 15 more seconds, flushing out any remaining particles of food.

Finally, never try to retrieve anything from the disposal while it’s running. Even when it is stopped, don’t use your fingers, always use pliers or tongs.

Following these simple do’s and don’ts should keep your garbage disposal running at full speed. If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on this post and we’ll get back to you. As always, request an appointment with us if you think your garbage disposal isn’t running at its best.