How do I keep my garbage disposal running efficiently?

To keep your garbage disposal in good working order, use it the right way. First turn on cold water and let it run for a few seconds. With the water still running, feed scraps into the disposal in small batches. Let the water continue to run for about ten seconds after the food has been ground up to wash it away.

Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a new, state-of-the-art disposal capable of grinding poultry bones and avocado pits, you probably have an older, builder-grade model that can’t handle certain foods. To be on the safe side, avoid putting these things in your disposal.

  1. Cooking grease may start out as a liquid but it eventually hardens and can solidify in pipes with the consistency of candle wax.
  2. Coffee grounds, egg shells, and seafood shells easily stick to other foods, resulting in a clumpy mess that can clog pipes.
  3. Pasta, potato peels, beans, rice, and other starchy foods swell when exposed to water. They’ll do that in your pipes too.
  4. Celery, corn husks, and other stringy food items often wrap around blades.
  5. Artichokes, dense meats, and other tough foods are often too hard for blades to cut.
  6. Banana and apple peels typically slide past blades and can clog pipes.
  7. Any non-food items are a no-no.

It’s easy to clean and maintain your disposal to keep blades sharp and odors at bay. Pour two cups of ice and one cup of rock salt or white vinegar into the unit, turn on the cold water, and run it for at least ten seconds.

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