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garbage disposals dos and donts

Garbage disposal is a necessary kitchen appliance if you want to keep your kitchen organized and not overflowing with garbage and waste. It allows you to get rid of waste rather quickly without the need to lug bags of garbage out on the driveway daily. Most of us just scrape ours plate into the sink and let the disposal chew and wash it away. 

However, according to garbage disposal cleaners, that is not the right way to use your disposal appliance. Scrapes of food will block, clog, and causes your disposal to break down. All of this is followed by a long list of hefty plumbing and drainage nightmares. 

Clogged disposals are a major inconvenience with a costly repair proposition. 

Fortunately, most of the troubles associated with disposal are avoidable. Following a few best practices will keep your appliance in top shape and help it operate smoothly for many years. 

Below, we will list a few steps you should take and some to avoid. Remember, if all else fails, you can always get expert help from professional technicians. But for now, let us shed some light on the do’s and don’ts of using your disposal appliance.


  • Use Cold Water

Using cold water may seem counterproductive since hot water is better for breaking down food chunks. However, hot water can end up damaging your disposal drainage system. It causes greasy material to break and run down the drain, creating clogs there. Sometimes hot water can also cause your disposal to overheat. 

Using cold water enables that oil and grease become solid and move relatively easily instead of sticking to the sides. So, use cold water whenever you want to dispose of scraped food. 

  • Keep Your Disposal Clean

While this comes as no surprise, you have to keep your disposal clean. The purpose of the appliance is to dispose leftover food and garbage in the kitchen. That does not mean it will automatically clean itself. Many homeowners ask the question, “what clogs a garbage disposal?” while they forget to keep the system clean. 

After you are done using it, pour a little soap or dishwashing liquid and let it run for few minutes. Using a cleaner with cold water is an ideal combination, as it will clear the drain of any oily residue. Regular cleaning will keep the disposal maintained and increase its operative life. 

  • Use it Regularly

Use your disposal appliance regularly. Many homeowners think that the selective use of disposal will make it last longer. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Selective use increases the chance of rust and corrosion. If your disposal starts to go down that route, no disposal technician can help you other than suggesting a replacement. 

Regular usage of disposal keeps all of its parts in running condition and prevents waste from obstructing the mechanism. 

  • Do Keep Granular Bits Away 

Avoid disposing of grains, seeds, coffee grounds, eggshells, bits of glass, plastic, or popcorn kernels. Never dispose anything that can break into granular bits as they get caught in the shredder ring. This leads to jamming of the mechanism and trips the breaker. You might flip the switch, but nothing will happen except that you’ll hear a buzz. 

These hard grains also damage the walls of your disposal unit and cause scratches on the drainage pipe. The best way to dispose granular material is in a trash bin. 

  • Cut Into Smaller Parts

Even if you use your garbage disposal to only dump soft food, make a habit of breaking it into smaller bits. This will make it easy for the disposal ring to work efficiently without stressing the mechanism. 

Besides cutting into smaller bits, do not chug in everything at once. Instead, put them at the disposal one at a time for easy disposal and machine efficiency. 


  • Do Not Add Anything Starchy

This might come as a surprise for some but avoid disposing any starchy material into the unit. Pasta, rice, potato peels, or mashed potatoes should not go down the disposal unless it is a small amount, that too from a rinsed plate. The starchy material will turn into a gooey substance that in turn clogs the system. 

  • Do Not Put In Any Hard Material Either

Besides starchy material, DO NOT put any hard material like plastic, glass, and bones. Garbage disposals do not have blades to grind hard material and cannot handle such stress. As mentioned above, hard material will also break down into smaller bits and cause clogs and jam the machine.  

As disposals do not have blades, they do not do a very good job cutting hard food. Dispose of hard material in a trash bin. 

  • Never Sharpen the Disposal Ring

Never, under any circumstance, try to sharpen the disposal ring. The disposal has metal pulverizers that do not act like blades. These pulverizers spin and weigh on one side. There is a grinder and spinning shredder ring that has sharp edges. 

The mechanism does not need sharpening, and if you try that, you will do more damage than good. If you feel like it needs maintenance, call professional garbage disposal cleaners for help. 

  • Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

While cleaning your disposal unit is a necessary part, avoid doing it using harsh chemicals. Bleach or heavy drain cleaners cause damage to shredder rings and pipes. Instead, use soap or soft cleaners that effectively work on the machine without causing issues. Use a mild cleaning agent or sanitizer occasionally to get rid of any mold or mildew that might accumulate in the disposal and cause harsh odors. 

Keep Your Disposal Working Properly

Keeping your garbage disposal unit operational for long requires you to practice some of the habits mentioned above. Remember not to try anything by yourself if you feel a disturbance with the unit. Instead, call My Guys to help identify and mitigate the problem professionally.  

Whenever you have any problem with your disposal unit or have a clogged drain, call us today and let our experts handle the situation professionally. 

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