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10 Tips for Keeping Your Garbage Disposal in Top Shape

Garbage disposals are a very convenient fixture in our kitchens. It’s great to have a quick way to dispose of waste, but if you are using your disposal like a kitchen catchall, you are probably cutting this handy appliance’s life short!

Let’s take a look at the proper use and maintenance of garbage disposals:

When it comes to caring for your disposal, you want to avoid over-taxing the blades with tough items, clogging the chamber, or dumping food waste that can clog your pipes. Follow these ## tips to keep your garbage disposal working well as long as possible.

ALWAYS Use Cold Water

Use cold water to flush your running disposal to avoid liquifying grease and sending it down the drain where it can harden and clog pipes.

DO Run the Garbage Disposal Every Few Days

Even if you don’t have any food scraps to grind up, you should run your disposal with cold water every few days to keep the blades from rusting from lack of use. This will prevent it from developing odors from small waste particles stuck to the blades, and any food that may be in the appliance from a previous use another chance to clear out.

DON’T Process Large Amounts of Food

Never shove large amounts of any food down your disposal. Add waste gradually and give the blades and motor time to process food in batches.

DON’T Grind Citrus Peels

Many people think grinding lemon peels will freshen their disposal. While this may be true for a few minutes, sending lemon and other citrus rinds down your disposal is harmful to the metal components as citric acid is very corrosive.

DON’T Grind Coffee Grinds

Your daily grinds seem harmless enough to flush down your sink, but the grounds actually commonly build up in the trap of the disposal causing damage and clogged parts.

DON’T Grind Fibrous, Starchy, or Hard Leftovers

Avoiding the most common culprits that clog or otherwise overuse your disposal will make it last much longer. A disposal is best saved for small pieces of food waste and soft foods.

OK to Put Down Your Disposal:

  • Fruit/Vegetable Scraps
  • Cooked Meat/Seafood Scraps
  • Small Bones
  • Water- or Vegetable-Based Sauces
  • Grains and Beans

NOT OK to Put Down Your Disposal:

  • Grease/Oil/Fat
  • Lemons/Citrus
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Starchy or Stringy Vegetables
  • Leafy Greens/Lettuce
  • Egg Shells
  • Popcorn/Kernels
  • Bones
  • Fruit Pits/Seeds
  • Banana Peels
  • Nuts
  • Pasta/Rice

DO Power Down Your Garbage Disposal to Repair or Check It

Ugh, the worst can happen when sharp, motorized blades are involved! ALWAYS unplug the unit or cut the power to the circuit breaker powering the unit before taking any action to clear or repair it.

DON’T Use Your Hand Inside the Unit

Use pliers or tongs to remove any scraps that may be stuck in your unit, never your fingers.

Cleaning Your Disposal

If your disposal is smelly or looks gross “down there” give it a safe cleaning regularly. Clean it by pouring 3-4 tablespoons of Borax down the drain and let it sit a few hours. Without running the disposal, flush the Borax away with hot water as a natural sanitizer and cleanser.

Need a Replacement?

If you’re garbage disposal has seen better days, we’d be happy to come replace it! We’re currently running a Winter Special

$75 OFF the purchase and installation of a new Badger garbage disposal.

garbage disposal

If your garbage disposal has seen better days – take advantage of our $75 Savings Special and get it replaced this winter!