November 16, 2015
By Mark Paup

How to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Well for Many Years

Updated January 18, 2024

Garbage disposal is one of the best labor-saving devices in the modern kitchen. Not only does it help dispose of food waste, but it also protects your plumbing by grinding down food particles so the pipes can handle them without clogging.

Garbage disposals will not last forever, and eventually, yours will wear down to the point where it will need a replacement. But you can delay that day by taking steps to keep the appliance in good shape. Below is some advice to keep your disposal working for as long as possible:

Don’t pour fats, oil, or grease down it

These liquids left over from cooking will not remain in liquid form for long. When they cool, they change into waxy solids that will clog up the components of the disposal and also lead to a build-up in the drainpipes.

Know which foods the disposal can and cannot handle

Not all food waste can go down a garbage disposal. Anything that your teeth cannot chew shouldn’t go into the disposal. This includes bones, gristle, and unpopped popcorn kernels. Rice and pasta will both bloat with water, causing trouble for the disposal. Fibrous vegetables, such as celery and onions, can wrap around the mechanical components and cause them to break down.

Always run water down the disposal when it turns on

Never run the disposal when it’s dry. This will place friction on the flywheel that will cause it to rapidly wear down. Make sure you have water running down the disposal when you turn it on.

Don’t use ice to “sharpen the blades”

The advice that you can sharpen the blades of disposal by pouring ice cubes into the hopper is false. Garbage disposals don’t use sharp blades, they have blunt impellers that force food particles against a ground ring. Ice cubes can potentially damage parts of the disposal.

If you do need a repair service for your garbage disposal in Des Moines, IA, call Golden Rule.

Contact Us Today for Plumbing Service!

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