6 Tips to Avoid Trouble When Operating Your Garbage Disposal

Man installing garbage disposer

It’s time to introduce the world to proper garbage disposal care. This machine is a desirable kitchen gadget in many homes, but people don’t think twice about operating it. We want to ensure your disposer will last you many, many clog-free years.

Many people think garbage disposals work like a blender, with spinning blades chopping and breaking down the waste. In reality, there are NO blades involved. Instead, impellers (or lugs) mounted on a spinning plate continuously force food waste particles against a stationary grind ring. The grind ring breaks down the food waste into very fine particles – virtually liquefying them. After they are ground, the running water flushes the particles through the grind ring and out of the disposer and into your wastewater pipe.

Operating Your Disposal

  1. Run your disposal along with a moderate flow of cold water. Continue to run cold water for a few seconds after grinding is complete. This ensures that all food particles are well on their way down the drain.
  2. Avoid using hot water when grinding food waste because hot water will melt grease particles and then as the water travels down the pipes in your home it will cool and cause a blockage far from the sink. It is OK to drain hot water into the disposer between grinding periods.
  3. Never pour grease or fat into your disposal or drain. It will go down the drain easily, but then harden and stick to the pipes further down. It can then catch other debris that comes down the drain and create a nasty blockage.
  4. Grind a few ice cubes to clean the disposer of leftover food particles. If odor becomes an issue, grind citrus fruit peels to freshen up the drain area or use a disposal cleaner.
  5. Remember to do everything in moderation! Don’t stuff all of your veggie peels down the disposal at once. Too many peels can clog the pipes. Take it little by little until the waste is gone. Avoid clogging your pipes with starchy peels like potatoes and carrots by simply throwing them in the trash instead.
  6. Know what your disposal can handle. Different models can tackle different jobs. We carry models that are rated for gentle use like soft fruit peels and cereals as well as models that can grind nearly everything from corn cobs to chicken wings.

Food waste disposals can be an environmentally responsible alternative to transporting food waste to landfills and they can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.