The Dos and Don’ts of Garbage Disposal Use

February 15, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

Garbage disposals are highly convenient pieces of equipment to have in your kitchen, but they also tend to be one of the most frequently misused kitchen items in homes across the United States. Even if you’ve had a garbage disposal your entire life, there’s a chance you’ve been using it incorrectly, so it’s important to get a quick briefing in how you should be operating it.

With this in mind, here are a few dos and don’ts of garbage disposal use that can help you avoid having to spring for some unnecessary and expensive garbage disposal repair in St. Peters, MO.


  • Follow the instructions the manufacturer provides in the manual. Every garbage disposal is different in some ways, so you can’t just assume what you were doing with a previous garbage disposal will work with your current one.
  • Have the garbage disposal installed by a professional to avoid any issues that could pop up down the road. It’s crucial for the effectiveness of the appliance and for your safety that it be installed correctly the first time.
  • Use tongs and turn off the disposal to remove any items that fall inside.
  • Run cold water any time you use the garbage disposal to help grind up items with trace amounts of fat.
  • Check the disposal for any items that might have fallen into it before you run it, so you can avoid damaging the garbage disposal by hitting bottle caps, utensils and any other items that might have gotten loose.
  • Grind up citrus peels in your garbage disposal to help provide a fresh, clean smell to your kitchen.
  • Teach your children how to use the garbage disposal safely and make sure they know never to stick their hands down the disposal.


  • Don’t ever put your hand into the garbage disposal to retrieve items that fell in. You must turn off the disposal and use tongs or another similar type of item.
  • Don’t pour fats or grease down the disposal, as they will coagulate in the pipes and cause a potential blockage.
  • Don’t pour bleach or drain cleaner down the disposal, as they could damage your plumbing.
  • Don’t grind up garbage in the disposal with hot water, as it could cause grease clogs.
  • Don’t grind anything other than food scraps in the garbage disposal. Coffee grounds do not qualify as food scraps here—they should go in the garbage. While they are not going to damage the garbage disposal itself, they’ll likely build up in your plumbing and cause a blockage.
  • Don’t put excess amounts of foods in the garbage disposal, especially starchy foods like potatoes, pasta and rice. If you have large amounts of food, throw them in the garbage, and leave the garbage disposal to handle the smaller scraps.

These are just a few examples of some important tips for caring for and using your garbage disposal in a way that will not harm the system. Contact Crews Appliance Repair for more information about garbage disposal repair in St. Peters, MO if you have further questions.

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