Your garbage disposal is likely one of the biggest workhorses in your home. It sees a lot of daily
mileage, disposing of meals and whatever else your family decides to throw down the sink
(whether or not that’s a good idea). This means your garbage disposal is prone to wear and tear
and may not work as effectively as it ages. Thankfully, some simple tips will help restore its
normal function and keep it running smoothly.
Know What It’s For
The first step in prolonging your unit’s longevity is knowing what you can and cannot throw into
your garbage disposal. Commonly accepted “no-no’s" include coffee grounds, eggshells, fruit
pits, bones, and kitchen grease. These all affect the blades, cause clogging, and prevent your
garbage disposal from efficiently working. Avoid putting these items down the disposal, and
coach your family to do so, as well.
Clean It Thoroughly
All appliances benefit from routine maintenance, and your garbage disposal is no different.
Periodic cleaning can help keep your unit running efficiently. Here's how to do it:
- Flush the unit with hot water. First, dislodge any stuck food or waste by giving it a good
rinse. Insert your sink plug and fill the sink base with a few inches of hot, soapy water.
Next, release the plug and let the water rush into your drain so it can go through the
- Next, add some ice cubes and some salt to your disposal. Take a couple handfuls of ice
and one cup of salt and pour them down your sink. Turn on the garbage disposal and run
the tap water while the ice and salt work their magic. This works to remove debris and
built-up sludge from your disposal, and ice cubes will naturally sharpen your disposal
- Now, give your unit a good scrub. Using a long-handled brush (never put your hand into
a garbage disposal), manually scrub any debris remaining inside. Once you’re finished,
you should have a nice, clean garbage disposal.
Routine maintenance tasks like these can help improve the overall life of your system. Add it to
your to-do list for the weekend!