Garbage Disposal Tips: 10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Disposal

garbage disposal tips to help prevent need for repairs

14 Mar Garbage Disposal Tips: 10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Disposal

Garbage Disposal Tips: 10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Disposal


Your garbage disposal is one of the most commonly used appliances in your home. There are good practices to keep in mind that can help extend the life of your garbage disposal, and minimize the maintenance needed. Our plumbers wanted to offer these garbage disposal tips to help keep your kitchen running smoothly.


Tip 1: Use Hot Water While Grinding Food

garbage disposal tips - hot water keeps grease at bay


Using hot water while grinding food in the garbage disposal can help homeowners avoid having problems with grease and clogs that can stick to the sides of the appliance and the pipes underneath the sink. While this might seem wasteful, it is one of the best garbage disposal tips because it will prevent a clogging problems.

Tip 2: Don’t Dump Grease Down the Drain


Leftover grease from frying bacon or making burgers can clog drains and slow down garbage disposals. Grease can build up on the sides of disposals and pipes to create clogs. Make sure to pour large amounts of cooking grease or meat fat into a metal can and place in the trash rather than dumping these items into the garbage disposal.

Tip 3: Avoid Dumping Bones or Hard Foods


Make sure to check the dirty plates before scraping the items into the kitchen sink to ensure that there are no bones or other hard foods on the surfaces of the plates. Broken blades are a common issue, and this is often due to having large pork or beef bones in the garbage disposal. In addition to bones, do not dump eggshells or the shells from walnuts and almonds into the garbage disposal. Eggshells, in any amount, can effect the performance of your garbage disposal.

Tip 4: Don’t Place Fibrous Items in the Garbage Disposal


Fibrous fruits and vegetables, like carrots or pears, can ruin a garbage disposal. One of the best garbage disposal tips is to throw produce peels, rinds and corncobs in the trash (or in the compost). We would recommend keeping all kinds of peels away from your kitchen sink drain. Other types of fibrous items include artichokes or large chunks of meat such as roasts and steak. Keep a trash bag available to throw away these types of foods. If chefs are peeling potatoes, then they should pour all of the vegetable peelings into the trash rather than the garbage disposal.

Tip 5: Add Waste Slowly to Prevent Clogs 


One of the less efficient, yet important, garbage disposal tips we can give you is to feed things into the disposal slowly. If you drop too much in the drain at one time, then the blades may stop, but you should never put your hands inside the opening because it could lead to an injury. Tear foods apart or cut items with a knife to add them to the garbage disposal rather than shoving a large piece of food into the drain.

Tip 6: Keep Paper Labels Out of the Drain

garbage disposal tips - keep labels out of the sink


When washing their dishes, it is essential to make sure that the paper labels from fruits, vegetables, jars or cans do not enter the drain. Paper materials can become wrapped around blade components and wear down the effectiveness of the garbage disposal. The plastic or metal lids from bottles and jars can also damage the blades.

Tip 7: Pasta and Rice Can Expand


Common foods that causes major disposal problems include cooked or uncooked pasta and rice. These types of food will absorb water and expand, create voluminous and sticky substance that clogs that are difficult to remove.

Tip 8: Pour Coffee Grounds in the Trash 


Another common household item to keep away from your drain is coffee grounds. The tiny granules will not dissolve, and the remnants will remain in the drain which can create clogs. Have a wastebasket near the coffee maker in the kitchen to make it easier to throw away the used coffee grounds. If that is an inconvenience, it would be worth it to take an extra few steps to put the grounds in the trash.


Tip 9: Keep Utensils Away


Keeping eating and cooking utensils out of the garbage disposal is one of the most obvious and well known garbage disposal tips, however should not be overlooked. This is the most common cause for broken appliances. Removing forks, spoons or spatulas from the drain opening is a dangerous task that at times requires calling a professional plumber. Inspect pots, pans, plates and casserole dishes carefully to make sure that the metal or plastic utensils have been removed. When you have a full sink, it is vital that you keep track of where the utensils are in the sink. It certainly helps to keep them all together, in one place.


Tip 10: Use the Garbage Disposal Frequently 


It is a good idea to use a garbage disposal unit frequently so that it remains lubricated. While a you may not need to toss food scraps in it daily, using it at least twice a week, can help avoid under-performing blades.


Benjamin Franklin Tyler is your trusted residential plumber. When a garbage disposal unit is not working, we can provide a routine or emergency service at your property. We do not recommend you to attempt a do-it-yourself repair or replacement as this is a dangerous and complicated appliance. Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing for additional advice!


Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Tyler serves the East Texas cities of Kilgore, Longview, Tyler, and Whitehouse with a team of certified plumbers. In addition to emergency plumbing repair, some of the plumbing services provided by the company include faucet repair, drain services, toilet repair, plumbing fixture installations, tub and shower installations, kitchen sink repair, faucet installation, water heater repair/replacement, and garbage disposal replacement. Call us today at (903) 730-6611 to schedule an appointment!