Everyone loves a great meal but hates clean up that has to come after. The one thing that makes that duty less demanding is a garbage disposal. If not maintained and operated properly, your garbage disposal can clog and break causing a variety of expensive plumbing repairs.

The good news is that most garbage disposal problems are avoidable and the maintenance and care of your disposal is relatively easy.  Good habits today will prevent considerable drain and plumbing problems tomorrow! We have described do’s and don’t’s below.

Garbage Disposal Do’s:

  • While cold water is running, regularly drop a full tray of ice cubes through a running disposal. This will knock off stuck on debris from the sharp blades.
  • Pour 1 cup of baking soda down the drain. Pour 2 cups of white vinegar on top of the baking soda. This mixture will bubble and fizz. After a few minutes rinse with hot or boiling water.
  • Do cut large items into smaller pieces as to not overwhelm the garbage disposal.
  • Do let the disposal run for a minute with cold water after you are finished to be sure that all of the food has cleared, avoiding bacteria growth.
  • For added freshness, drop orange or lemon peel down the disposal.  This will give a great scent!

Garbage Disposal Don’ts:

  • Don’t ever pour grease, fat, or oil into your garbage disposal. This will clog your drains and ruin your disposal’s grinding ability.
  • Don’t use harsh chemicals such as bleach or drain cleaners to unclog your disposal. This can damage your unit.
  • Don’t put fibrous items such as celery, banana skins, or corn husks down your disposal, as it can tangle in the blades.
  • Avoid putting coffee grounds or starchy items into the unit.  It can clog your pipes.
  • Don’t grind large quantities of food at once.  Feed the food in a little bit at a time with the water running so that the scraps can flow easily through the drain.
  • Don’t grind any non food item such as paper, glass, metal, cigarette butts, or anything combustable.
  • If something is stuck, DO NOT use your fingers to remove it. Use tongs or pliers to avoid getting cut by the blades.