Like any appliance in your home, your garbage disposal requires some care. That means a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule.

How To Take Care Of Your Garbage Disposal

The majority of garbage disposals have a lifespan of 10 years. To get to that milestone and maybe even past it - follow these tips on how you can best take care of your garbage disposal so that it can work for you for a very long time.

Top Tips To Maintain Your Garbage Disposal

1) Don't go too long without running your disposal.

Ideally, you should run your disposal every day but if you live alone or don't eat home too often, you may not run it very much at all.

We recommend that you run it at least every 2 or 3 days.

If you don't have anything to put in the disposal, just run some cold water and run the unit for a minute.

You can even put ice cubes in your garbage disposal as it's running. This is a great way to knock off any food particles that may be stuck on the blades and possibly a good way to help keep the blades sharp.

2) Never, ever, ever put your fingers IN the garbage disposal

Although this is not necessarily a maintenance tip - it IS a safety tip and we feel obligated to mention it.

It may seem tempting to just reach in there for a spoon or something that has fallen into the disposal but even if the unit is turned off - it just is not a safe thing to do.

Instead use some long prongs or pliers along with a flashlight to find anything that may have fallen into the disposal.

3) Keep it fresh smelling

Put lemon or orange slices in your garbage disposal as it's running. This is something you can do on a regular basis (weekly or monthly) just to get that nice citrusy smell in your kitchen.

You can combine the ice cube method or the citrus method with a handful of course salt. The purpose of the salt is to "scrub down" the sides of the garbage disposal.

4) Don't use drain cleaners

Using a drain cleaner like Drano is not recommended. The reason is that the chemicals can be abrasive to the plastic parts and the metal blades in the unit.

5) Be smart and avoid putting the wrong things down your garbage disposal

There are quite a few things that you should not put down your garbage disposal. Here's the list.

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Banana Peels
  • Barley
  • Beans
  • Bones
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Coconuts
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Corn Husks
  • Couscous
  • Cucumber Peels
  • Eggshells
  • Flour of any kind
  • Grease and Fats
  • Grits
  • Lettuce
  • Meats
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Onion Skins
  • Pasta
  • Pineapple Rinds
  • Pits and Seeds
  • Popcorn (popped or unpopped)
  • Potato Peels
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Watermelon Rinds

I know this seems like a lot but to maintain a well functioning garbage disposal - we recommend that you avoid putting these down that drain.

6) Break up what you put in the garbage disposal

Before you put food items down the garbage disposal, break them up into small pieces. This will make it much easier for your disposal to grind them down.

7) Never run your disposal without running water

You never want to turn on your garbage disposal without some running water. The disposal runs better with water (it acts like a lubricant) and just keeps the blades in better condition. We recommend that once you turn off the disposal to keep the water running for another 10 or 20 seconds while the motor winds down.

8) Clean it every two weeks

Use the ice, citrus and rock salt method we mention above and then follow it up with a cocktail mix of 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and 1/2 cup of baking soda.

If you are having problems with your garbage disposal, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-505-8570. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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