“I love dealing with a clogged garbage disposal when I have company for dinner,” said no one, ever.

We are sure you also find the unexpected plumbing emergency embarrassing (and a little less exciting than the family vacation you were saving that money for).

So drop that corn husk, back away from the disposal, and take note of these tips to avoid killing your garbage disposal during your next big dinner.

4 Ways to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Working

1. You should never put the following foods down your disposal: cheese, grease, corn husks, celery, onion skins (anything fibrous), asparagus, potato peels, foods that retain water such as rice and bread, coffee grounds, and bones of any kind. We know it worked last time, but gambling with your plumbing eventually results in having to pay the ‘piper’ (pun intended).

2. You will extend the life of your garbage disposal by making its job easier. Cut larger food items into smaller pieces that are easier to grind. You should also put small amounts of food down the disposal at a time.

3. Run COLD water before, during and after you use your garbage disposal. Hot water will only cause grease to melt and will push clogs further into your plumbing when grease cools and hardens.

4. Sharpen your blades and sanitize your disposal in one step with frozen vinegar cubes. You can use regular ice cubes when you’re in a pinch. But if you need to freshen up your disposal before holiday gatherings, we recommend freezing vinegar in ice cube trays and putting several whole cubes into your disposal.

Oops. Did you still end up with a clogged garbage disposal? Give us a call. We’ll be right over. At A.J. Perri, we’re open 24/7/365.