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Dos and Don’ts of Garbage Disposal Care and Maintenance

Garbage disposals are a convenient and popular appliance in many homes, but they require regular care and maintenance to function properly.

Garbage disposals can get pretty gross if not properly maintained. Over time, food waste can build up in the disposal, leading to unpleasant odors and clogs. In addition, bacteria and other microorganisms can thrive in the warm, moist environment of the disposal, which can lead to further unpleasant odors and even potential health hazards.

To avoid these issues and keep your garbage disposal from getting gross, it’s important to follow proper care and maintenance procedures, including regular cleaning and avoiding putting non-food items in the disposal. If you experience issues with your garbage disposal, it’s important to call a licensed professional plumber, like Precision Plumbing, to address the problem before it becomes more serious.

Following a few simple dos and don’ts can help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and avoid costly repairs or replacements.



  • Use cold water: Always run cold water when using your garbage disposal. The cold water helps solidify any grease or oil in the food waste, making it easier for the disposal to grind up and preventing clogs.
  • Use small amounts of food waste: Only put small amounts of food waste in the disposal at a time. This helps prevent overload and allows the disposal to grind the food waste more efficiently.
  • Run the disposal regularly: Running your garbage disposal regularly helps prevent rust and corrosion and keeps the parts moving smoothly.
  • Use a disposal cleaner: Use a disposal cleaner regularly to help eliminate any odors or buildup inside the disposal. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
  • Use a drain strainer: Use a drain strainer to catch any larger pieces of food waste before they enter the disposal. This can help prevent clogs and prolong the life of the appliance.



  • Don’t put non-food items in the disposal: Never put non-food items in the disposal, such as plastic, metal, or glass. These items can damage the blades and cause the disposal to malfunction.
  • Don’t put fibrous or stringy foods in the disposal: Foods like celery, corn husks, and artichokes have long, stringy fibers that can wrap around the disposal blades and cause clogs.
  • Don’t put hard items in the disposal: Hard items like bones, fruit pits, and shells can damage the blades and cause the disposal to jam.
  • Don’t pour grease or oil down the disposal: Grease and oil can solidify in the pipes and cause clogs. Instead, pour them into a container and dispose of them in the trash.
  • Don’t use chemical drain cleaners: Chemical drain cleaners can corrode the pipes and damage the disposal. Instead, use a disposal cleaner or natural remedies like vinegar and baking soda to clean the disposal.

Regular maintenance and care can help keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and prevent costly repairs or replacements. Following these dos and don’ts ensures that your garbage disposal has been functioning properly and safely for years.


Here are a few additional tips for maintaining your garbage disposal


  1. Sharpen the blades: Over time, the blades of your garbage disposal can become dull, leading to clogs and poor performance. To keep the blades sharp, grind ice cubes in the disposal regularly.
  1. Use citrus peels: To freshen up your garbage disposal, toss a few citrus peels (such as lemon or orange) into the disposal and run it with cold water. This can help eliminate any unpleasant odors.
  1. Check for leaks: Regularly check under your sink for any leaks or signs of water damage. If you notice any issues, contact a plumber to address them before they become more serious.
  1. Know when to call a professional: If you experience persistent clogs or other issues with your garbage disposal, it’s important to contact a licensed professional plumber for assistance. Attempting to fix the problem can cause further damage and may even be dangerous.

By following these tips and performing regular maintenance on your garbage disposal, you can keep this important appliance running smoothly and prevent costly repairs or replacements. 


Also, remember always to use caution when operating your garbage disposal and keep your hands and other objects out of it while running. With a little care and attention, your garbage disposal can provide you with years of reliable service.


If you continue to have problems, contact Precision Plumbing to get your sink back in working order. Our trained plumbers are ready to take on even the most clogged sinks and garbage disposal. 


Precision Plumbing Calgary, AB