Common Mistakes to Avoid with Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals are a convenient and efficient appliance in any kitchen, but they can also be prone to issues if not used properly.

In this blog post, we will discuss the most common mistakes homeowners make with their garbage disposals and provide tips to avoid them. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the longevity and optimal performance of your garbage disposal while avoiding costly repairs.

Understanding What Can and Cannot Go Down the Disposal:

One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is not knowing what should and shouldn't be disposed of in the garbage disposal. 

Items that should never be thrown down the disposal:

  • Bones: They are too hard and can damage the blades or motor of the disposal.
  • Grease and Cooking Oil: They can solidify and clog the drain pipes, leading to backups and unpleasant odors.
  • Fibrous Foods (e.g., celery, corn husks): The long, stringy fibers can wrap around the disposal's blades, causing them to jam.
  • Coffee Grounds: They can accumulate and form a sludgy mess in the pipes, causing blockages.
  • Eggshells: Despite the myth, their membrane lining can stick to the disposal's components, leading to clogs over time.

 Avoiding Overloading the Disposal:

Many people tend to overload their garbage disposals, leading to motor burnout and frequent jamming. Feeding small amounts of food waste at a time into your garbage disposal is crucial for its efficient operation and longevity. Overloading the disposal with a large quantity of waste can strain its motor, clog the drain pipes, and potentially damage the blades.

To prevent these issues, it's advisable to cut larger items, like fruit peels or vegetable scraps, into smaller pieces before disposing of them. This allows the disposal to handle the waste more effectively. Additionally, avoid pouring excessive amounts of liquid or dumping a large pile of food into the unit at once. By gradually introducing small portions of food waste, you can ensure a smoother operation, reduce the risk of clogs, and prolong the lifespan of your garbage disposal.

Proper Maintenance and Cleaning Techniques:

Neglecting regular maintenance and cleaning can lead to foul odors, clogs, and inefficient performance. Firstly, regularly clean your disposal by running cold water and grinding ice cubes to remove debris and sharpen the blades. You can also freshen it up by grinding citrus peels or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. Avoid using harsh chemicals as they can damage the unit. Additionally, maintaining a regular cleaning routine and avoiding disposing of inappropriate items will go a long way in preserving its functionality. To ensure optimal performance, consider scheduling professional maintenance services. A skilled plumber can inspect the disposal, clean hard-to-reach areas, and address any underlying problems.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing the tips provided in this blog post, you can ensure the smooth operation of your garbage disposal and extend its lifespan. Remember, when in doubt, it is always best to consult a professional plumber like Mr. McGee Plumbing for expert advice and assistance. Take care of your garbage disposal, and it will take care of you!