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Tips to Keep Your Garbage Disposal Clean

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Last Updated on: January 9, 2024

Your garbage disposal plays a big role in keeping your kitchen easy to clean and smelling fresh, but it can often be taken for granted. Over the years, you may start testing the capabilities of this wonderful kitchen tool by putting the wrong items down the drain or not keeping up with routine maintenance. However, if you want to keep away bad odors and make sure that your garbage disposal is running as it should, here are a few tips to help you out.

Be mindful of what you put down the drain

Just because it’s called a garbage disposal does not mean that you can put every scrap of trash down the drain. Here is a list of what you should NOT put in your garbage disposal:

  • Grease and oil: You will have some nasty clogs and gumming of the blades because grease will coat the disposal and then harden when it cools, leaving you with blades that can’t rotate properly.
  • Bones and hard substances: Pits of fruit, bones, and other hard parts of food and trash such as glass should not go in the garbage disposal because of the blade damage and clogging that can occur.
  • Foods that expand: Rice and pasta are two good examples of food that can expand in your pipes when soaking in water, and this can cause a clog.
  • Shrimp shells and banana peels: Foods like shrimp shells, potato peels, and banana peels should be disposed of other ways instead of the garbage disposal. Not only will they cause the area to smell bad, but they can damage the blades, cause buildup, and clog the pipes.
  • Strings and stringy veggies: Vegetables like celery that have a stringy element can stop the blades from spinning due to wrapping around them. Also, if you have food that was held together with a string, make sure you remove it before using the garbage disposal.
  • Garbage: Be sure you aren’t throwing your everyday garbage in the disposal like paper towels and to-go containers.

Some examples of items you can put down the drain are small pieces of food like scraps left on the plate after eating, bread and most cooked food that isn’t stringy or has bones in it, and eggshells.

Be sure to run cold water while you use the garbage disposal to make sure everything is getting flushed out like bad odors, and to avoid clogs. Cold water is preferred so that it keeps the motor cooled off as it works. You should also clean your disposal once a week with a long-handled scrub brush, and vinegar can be used to help get rid of odor causing bacteria.

Get a garbage disposal repair or replacement

Whether your garbage disposal isn’t working properly or it has reached its lifespan, let the experts at SSI get your kitchen back on track. We will diagnose the issue and then resolve it quickly using quality parts and techniques. Call us at (703) 968-0606 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you right away!

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