How to Avoid Misusing Your Garbage Disposal

The holiday season is a joyful time spent with friends and family that involves plenty of delicious food preparation. But with food preparation comes plenty of cleanup, leftover scraps, and food waste. So how do most residents deal with their food scraps and waste?

Many dispose of all food waste by washing it out and pushing it down their sink into their garbage disposal. Once inside, users will turn on the disposal, listen as food waste gets shredded, run water through it, and call it a day. However, as durable as they may seem, garbage disposals are not built to dispose of all food scraps and some food waste can even be detrimental. Disposing of the wrong types of food waste can lead to future clogs and other plumbing problems that can turn costly.

So what types of food waste are harmful to your garbage disposal and what steps should you take to prevent damaging it?

Below is a list of tips to avoid misusing your garbage disposal:

What to Avoid With Your Garbage Disposal:

  • Avoid non-biodegradable food waste.
  • Assure paper, plastic, glass, and other non-food-related articles do not go into your garbage disposal. These items can damage your garbage disposal as it attempts to blend and break it down.
  • Do not pour cleaning chemicals and hazardous materials into your garbage disposal. Aside from causing damage to your disposal, it can also be harmful to the environment.
  • Cooking oil and grease will slowly build up and accumulate within your disposal affecting the performance of your disposal and leading to clogs. Avoid pouring oil, grease, and fat into your disposal.
  • Do not use hot water when using your garbage disposal as this can cause oil and grease to condense and accumulate.
  • Steer clear of putting potato skins, onions, and fibrous foods into your garbage disposal. These foods can damage your garbage disposal and cause clogs.
  • Allow food waste to be completely shredded before turning off your garbage disposal. Once shredding is complete, run water through your disposal to wash out any remaining food waste and prevent it from accumulating.
  • Do not put large amounts of food scraps down the garbage disposal at once. Instead, feed it into your garbage disposal gradually to prevent it from jamming.
  • Keep bones, fruit pits, eggshells, coffee grinds, and other hard materials out of your garbage disposal as they can damage it and cause clogs.

Safe Practices for Your Garbage Disposal

  • Use your garbage disposal regularly to prevent parts from rusting and corroding.
  • Make sure to run cold water while using your garbage disposal as cold water makes it easier to dispose of oil and grease.
  • Condense larger food items by breaking them down into smaller pieces while feeding them into your disposal slowly to prevent jams and clogs.
  • Use ice cubes to help clean your garbage disposal by pouring out a few of them into your disposal at a time and grinding them until they’re fully broken down. 
  • Clean your disposal regularly by pouring dish soap into it and running cold water for 30-60 seconds.

Garbage disposals are handy appliances to have in your home. However, they require proper care and maintenance to last long and function correctly. By following these tips, you can extend the lifespan of your garbage disposal and get the best performance out of it. If your garbage disposal is not working correctly and you find yourself in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to call Core Plumbing at (858) 293-4065.