5 Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Right

November 21, 2023 Published by Leave your thoughts

A,Human,Hand,Holds,The,Sewer,Lid,Of,A,KitchenMaintaining your garbage disposal in good working condition is essential for a smoothly functioning kitchen. A malfunctioning disposal can lead to unpleasant odors, clogs, and even costly repairs. To ensure your garbage disposal remains efficient and reliable, follow these five essential tips.

1. Watch What You Put In:

The primary rule for a healthy garbage disposal is to be mindful of what you put into it. Avoid disposing of hard items like bones, fruit pits, or large food scraps. Fibrous materials like celery and corn husks can also wrap around the disposal blades, causing blockages. Instead, focus on softer food waste like small fruit peels, cooked vegetables, and non-fibrous scraps. By being selective with what you put into the disposal, you can prevent unnecessary strain on the motor and blades, prolonging the lifespan of your unit.

2. Run Cold Water While in Use:

Running cold water while using the garbage disposal is a simple yet effective practice. Cold water helps solidify grease and oils, preventing them from sticking to the disposal and pipes. This can reduce the risk of clogs and keep the disposal blades clean. Additionally, the flow of cold water helps carry away food particles, preventing them from accumulating and causing unpleasant odors. Make it a habit to let the cold water run for at least 15 seconds before and after using the garbage disposal to maintain optimal functionality.

3. Regular Cleaning is Key:

Like any other appliance, garbage disposals benefit from regular cleaning. A quick and easy method is to freeze vinegar in ice cube trays and then run the cubes through the disposal. The combination of the cold temperature and the acidity of the vinegar helps break down food particles and eliminate odors. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to clean and deodorize the disposal. Simply sprinkle baking soda into the disposal, follow it with a cup of vinegar, and let it fizz. After a few minutes, flush the disposal with hot water. Regular cleaning not only keeps your disposal smelling fresh but also prevents the buildup of debris that could lead to clogs.

4. Be Mindful of Non-Food Items:

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth emphasizing that your garbage disposal is meant for food waste only. Items like utensils, plastic, glass, or metal can cause serious damage to the disposal blades and motor. Accidents happen, and small items may find their way into the disposal inadvertently. Always double-check before turning on the disposal to ensure that only food waste is present. Installing a sink strainer can be an extra layer of protection, preventing non-food items from accidentally entering the disposal. Being cautious about what goes into the disposal can save you from costly repairs and extend the life of your unit.

5. Address Minor Issues Promptly:

If you notice any unusual noises, slow drainage, or a persistent unpleasant odor coming from your garbage disposal, address the issue promptly. Ignoring minor problems can lead to more significant issues down the line. If your disposal is making grinding or rattling sounds, it could be a sign of a foreign object lodged in the blades. In such cases, turn off the disposal immediately and inspect it carefully. Persistent odors may indicate a buildup of bacteria or food particles, which can be eliminated with a thorough cleaning. Regularly checking for and addressing minor issues ensures that your garbage disposal continues to run smoothly and efficiently.


Your garbage disposal is a valuable kitchen appliance that can make meal cleanup a breeze when properly maintained. By following these five tips—being selective with what you put in, running cold water while in use, regular cleaning, avoiding non-food items, and addressing minor issues promptly—you can keep your garbage disposal running right. With a little care and attention, you’ll not only avoid the inconvenience of a malfunctioning disposal but also extend its lifespan, saving you time and money in the long run.

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