DOs and DON’Ts of Garbage Disposal Maintenance

Garbage disposals are among the handiest tools in your kitchen. When washing dishes, it’s so convenient to scrape leftovers straight into the disposal, flick the switch, and watch those scraps disappear. However, most people abuse their disposal by forcing foods down it that it wasn’t designed to manage. Abusing your garbage disposal can cause it to break down, jam, or even clog your drains. To avoid these costly disturbances and keep your disposal running smoothly, here are some DOs and DON’Ts for maintaining your garbage disposal.


  • DON’T pour warm grease, oil, or fat down your garbage disposal or drain. As it cools, it will solidify and leave deposits that reduce the effectiveness of your disposal’s blades and clog your pipes if allowed to build up over time. Dispose of grease by scraping into the trash can instead.
  • DON’T grind extremely fibrous items such as corn husks, celery stalks, banana peels, or onion skins. The fiber in these items can tangle around the blades and jam your disposal’s motor.
  • DON’T put egg shells down the disposal. There’s a (sub)urban myth that egg shells sharpen the blades of garbage disposals when in fact the shell will be ground to a sand-like consistency that can easily cause clogs.
  • DON’T dump leftover pasta, rice, potatoes, or beans into the disposal. These food items will continue to expand when exposed to water inside the pipes even after being shredded to bits, creating clumps that will clog your pipes.
  • DON’T attempt to grind nuts inside your garbage disposal unless the concept of garbage disposal nut butter sounds appealing to you.
  • DON’T put large amounts of food down the disposal at once.  Slowly feed waste into the disposal a little bit at a time.
  • DON’T allow any non-food items such as glass, plastic, or metal products to slip down into the disposal. The disposal will not be strong enough to break down these items and attempting to do so will damage it.


  • DO keep your disposal clean by squirting some dish soap inside and running cold water for a minute after every use.
  • DO let cold water run while the disposal is in use. Cold water causes any grease or oils residues that get into the disposal to stay solid, allowing them to be pulverized by the disposal blades and thus preventoing them from causing clogs. Never run hot water during or after using your disposal.
  • DO use your disposal frequently. Frequent use helps to prevent rust and corrosion and keep the motor running smoothly.
  • DO continue to run the disposal with the water running after it seems everything is done grinding. This will help flush out any particles that may have gotten trapped from accumulating and becoming an obstruction

If you treat your garbage disposal well, it should perform well for you for a long time. But even a well-maintained disposal can develop problems simply from heavy daily use. In that case, contact Bonfe. Our trained plumbers can handle anything your disposal throws at them.

One thought on “DOs and DON’Ts of Garbage Disposal Maintenance

  1. Should I put some kind of cleaner down the garbage disposal on occasion? Like a drain cleaner? If so, what do you suggest?


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