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Garbage Disposal Maintenance

by Product Specialist


Running a garbage disposal to dispose of food scraps comes in handy when cooking. However, homeowners that fail to use their garbage disposals properly frequently run into problems. Using these simple procedures will help to maintain your garbage disposal properly and reduce your chances of problems.

Operate Your Disposal Using Cold Water

  • Always run a disposal using cold water, which keeps food scraps harder and stiffer for grinding properly.
  • Let the disposal and water run for another minute or so after the waste is done grinding. This will help to assure that the blades are free of food scrapes and there are no scraps sticking to the water pipes.

Regular Use Prevents Long-term Problems

Running an empty garbage disposal ever couple of days helps to prevent corrosion and rust on the blades.

Foods to Avoid in Garbage Disposals

Although, garbage disposals work great for getting rid of several types of food scraps, some things shouldn't be put down a disposal.

  • Foods containing high amounts of starch like rice or pasta can stick to the disposal causing clogs.
  • Peach pits, seeds and large bones can become stuck in drainpipes, jam your disposal or dull disposal blades.
  • Potato peels are another food that sticks to the inside of a disposal, which can clog the drains and water pipes.
  • Oil and grease solidifies inside disposals causing drainpipe clogs.
  • Paper, metal objects, plastic and glass can dull or damage disposal blades.

Size Makes a Difference

Always grind small amounts of food in little pieces to prevent clogs and jams when running a garbage disposal.

Eliminating Unpleasant Odors

  • Occasionally, you should run a little mild dish detergent with cold water down the disposal to eliminate grease from the bottom and sides of the disposal, which can cause food to stick and cause clogs.
  • Running the disposal weekly with small slices of citrus such as lemons, oranges or limes helps to remove wastes in the disposal and eliminates unpleasant odors that may buildup in the system.

Garbage disposal maintenance is easy when you grind the proper food scraps, run it periodically and use a strong flow of cold water.