Garbage Disposal Questions: Are You Using it Correctly?

Are you using your garbage disposal correctly?

Here are a few garbage disposal do's and don'ts to keep in mind.

Garbage disposals are incredibly useful parts of kitchen plumbing - after all, nothing beats the convenience of tossing a few vegetable scraps straight into the disposal when you're fixing dinner. But many homeowners don't realize that there are certain don'ts when it comes to using the disposal. Do you know if you're using yours correctly? Here are a few garbage disposal do's and don'ts to keep in mind:

Do use it for most food scraps

Garbage disposals are made to grind up and dispose of food residue left behind on dishes, pots and pans after you’ve already scraped leftover food into the garbage can. Vegetable scraps are ideal for your compost pile, if you have one. If not, then organics should go in the trash can, only leftover residue should find its way into your disposal. Run water before and after you use it to help the disposal flush waste all the way through your drainage system.

Are you using your garbage disposal correctly?

Don't use it for certain foods

One of the most common ways homeowners misuse their garbage disposals is by putting certain foods that aren't easily ground down the drain. Here's a list of things that should never go into your garbage disposal:

  • Fibrous vegetables, like celery
  • Poultry skins
  • Bones
  • Banana skins
  • Grease, fat or oil
  • Pasta, potato scraps/peels, and rice.

Follow this rule of thumb: If you aren't sure whether to put scraps in the disposal, just toss them in the trash or compost pile.

Do keep up with regular maintenance

Maintain the machine’s cleanliness and fight odor by regularly flushing it with water. Fill the disposal with ice cubes and pour in a cup of vinegar plus a sprinkle or two of baking soda, then turn on the disposal until all the ice is gone. Flush the sink and disposal thoroughly to rinse away the remaining grime. Repeat as necessary.