Garbage Disposal Dos & Don'ts

March 11, 2010

Garbage disposals are great appliances to have.  But if you don’t operate or maintain it properly, it can require expensive repairs and cause drain nightmares.

Here are a few dos and don’ts to extend its life and prevent plumbing and drain mishaps:


  • Use a strong flow of cold water (never hot) when you grind food.

  • Grind peelings of citrus fruits to freshen up drain smells.

  • Grind some hard materials such as small chicken and fish bones.  The souring action created will clean the disposal walls.

  • Pour a little dish soap in the disposal after washing dishes and let the cold water run for a minute or so.


  • Pour grease or fat into your garbage disposal.  It will impede its grinding ability and eventually clog the drain.

  • Use hot water with your disposal.  Hot water will cause grease to liquefy and clog the disposal.

  • Put expandable foods like rice in the disposal.  These food expand like t hey do in a pot and will clog your drain.

  • Grind fibrous materials like corn husks or onion skins.  These fibers can tangle and jam the disposal.

If you do have a clogged disposal or drain, call a professional plumber to fix it before it becomes a major problem.


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Last Updated: June 07, 2024