Your garbage disposal is probably one of the most abused and used appliances in your home. Usually, grinding up inappropriate items along with a lack of attention can result in unnecessary blockages, jams, clogs, and expensive plumbing bills. In fact, most garbage disposal issues can be totally prevented in many cases. With routine maintenance and proper care, virtually any homeowner can easily maintain their garbage disposal, save money on costly repairs, and extend its overall life.

Consider the following helpful tips on how to prolong your garbage disposal’s life and to avoid irritating jams and clogs.


1. Regularly run your garbage disposal.

It’s best to run your disposal periodically. Even if there’s nothing to actually grind up, just turn on the water and let it run every couple of days in order to work all the moving parts. Otherwise, it can rust, corrode, or freeze up. Also, any food leftover inside can eventually harden, resulting in an unexpected clog or foul odors.


2. Run cold water when using your disposal.

When using your disposal, run cold water rather than hot. While hot water is better for cleaning, it’s not ideal for your kitchen’s garbage disposal. Extremely hot water can actually melt down the food inside the disposal that you’re trying to grind, which can allow it to stick to the sides of the disposal. On the other hand, cold water will harden food, thereby making it much easier for your disposal to thoroughly grind it up.


3. Let the disposal run longer.

Once your disposal has completely finished grinding the leftovers, let it continue to run along with the water for about another minute or two. This will ensure that all the food waste is completely flushed down the drain in order to prevent any clogs or jams. If necessary, you can run a bit of dish soap and cold water down the drain once the food waste is ground. This helps keep the disposal clean inside and will ensure that nothing is left behind or sticking to the sides of your garbage disposal.


4. Always chop food waste into smaller pieces.

The typical garbage disposal can only handle so much waste and its motor and blades only have so much power. Therefore, if you feed it too much or too fast it’s likely going to jam. A good rule of thumb to follow: if you can reasonably chew up with your own mouth what you intend to put down your disposal, then it can probably handle it. For example, you would never throw in the exterior of a pineapple since you can’t eat that yourself.


5. Frequently toss in some citrus fruit.

Dish soap and water will greatly help in keeping your disposal clean and fresh. However, sometimes it’s a good idea to throw in a peel from a lemon, lime, or even orange to freshen up the inside as well. A citrus peel will help eliminate the excess food waste in your garbage disposal and diminish any foul odors as well.


Things You Shouldn’t Put Down a Garbage Disposal

  • Large Bones, Pits, or Seeds. These items can easily jam your disposal, dull the blades, or get lodged in the drain.
  • Potato Peels. Potato peels have starch that can stick the sides of your disposal, which makes it harder to flush down the drain.
  • Oil or Grease. Oil or grease can become hard inside a disposal and potentially cause unnecessary clogs within the drain.
  • Paper, Plastic, Metal, or Glass. These items can dull the blades or jam your garbage disposal.
  • Foods that Expand. Some foods expand, such as rice or pasta, and also have starch that can stick to the inside of the disposal. Furthermore, water can make them expand even more and potentially cause the disposal to clog.

Follow these simple tips to keep your disposal fully functional as well as clean. Use Alvarez Plumbing in Salinas as your leading resource for both garbage disposal and plumbing repairs to address any problems you can’t handle.


Alvarez Plumbing | Salinas, CA (831-757-5465)

If you are in need of any type of plumbing repair, then you should contact Alvarez Plumbing in Salinas, California. This company has the experience and knowledge needed to take care of serious plumbing problems.