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  • Drain Surgeons

Garbage Disposal Do's & Don'ts

Garbage Disposals are a great tool. They make life so much easier but what a lot of people don't know is how best to care for their garbage disposal. Below is a comprehensive list of all of the Do's and Don'ts when it comes to Garbage Disposals.

garbage disposal, properly installed


Lets start with the Don'ts. There are a few really common things that people put down their garbage disposal that are actually really bad for it including:

  • Coffee Grounds: The problem with coffee grounds is that when put them down garbage disposal they act like a paste and clog the disposal

  • Pasta, Rice, Bread:The same problem applies to pasta, rice and bread. What you want to avoid is having something sticking to the pipes like a paste. With pasta, rice and bread the flour in it acts like a paste once it softens. It can also swell and clog the drain as well

  • Bones: Bones are one of the hardest naturally occurring substances on earth. Don't panic if a bone slips down the disposal every once in awhile but anything more than an occasional bone can really damage the grinding mechanisms in the machine

  • Nuts/Shells (including egg shells): Nuts and Shells pose a similar threat as bones do. They are simply too hard for the garbage disposal to process consistently. They will ware out the grinding mechanisms faster than you want

  • Pits, Seeds: Pits and seeds are usually too small to grind and make loud noises when put down the disposal. Do yourself a favor and just throw them away instead of putting them down the drain

  • Onion Layers: The inner layers of an onion are fine for the garbage disposal but the two outer layers are what you want to watch out for. They are fibrous and can get wrapped around the gears and/or act as a net in the drain. Both pose a problem.

  • Fibrous Veggies and Fruits: Fibrous fruits and vegetables pose the same problem as the outer layers of the onion. Avoid putting them through your disposal

  • Peels: Peels are bad for two reasons, they either bypass the blades and get stuck in the drain or they do get cut up and act like a thick paste once ground up. Both are bad fo the drain and will likely end in a bad drain blockage

  • Grease, Oil, Fat: Just like your average drain you need to be careful about what types of fat, oil and grease you put down the drain. The thing about them is that they look like a liquid but can harden and clog your drain if you aren't careful. You need to be aware of the same danger with your garbage disposal

  • Non-Food Items: It may seem easy to just use the disposal for everything but if it isn't biodegradable it can cause all sorts of problems so just don't do it. A basic rule of thumb is, if it isn't biodegradable don't put it down the disposal.


Now for the Do's. The best way to maintain your disposal is to treat it like a non-disposal drain. Basically avoid using it like a trash can and you should be okay. Another great way to maintain your disposal is to clean it regularly. One of the ways you can do that is by taking ice, a strong grease cleaning soap like dawn dish soap and hot water. First put ice and some soap down the disposal and run it. Once disposal sounds like it has run through all of the ice, stop the disposal and run hot water down the drain for a few minutes. If you do this regularly your disposal should hold up pretty well.

Customers often complain that their disposals smell bad. A great solution is taking one lemon, orange or grapefruit peel and running it through the disposal with some ice. The acid in the fruit will help to clean and deodorize the disposal. Another potential deodorizer is vinegar and baking soda. Simply pour a cup of vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda down the drain and let it foam for a few minutes. Then turn on the hot water and run your disposal for a few minutes. Both of these tricks should help deodorize your drain and leave your kitchen smelling fresh.

Please feel free to contact us if your disposal is experiencing any issues we would be more than happy to help.


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