How to Keep You Garbage Disposal From Crapping Out on You


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A garbage disposal’s job is to remain out of sight, and make food waste disappear. So when it’s working properly, it’s easy to forget about it. This, in turn, makes it difficult to remember that your garbage disposal is an appliance that requires at least minimal maintenance.

But other than not putting non-food items and things like grease and oil down your garbage disposal, what else can you do? As it turns out, there are a few ways to keep your garbage disposal in tip-top shape and avoid a costly repair. Here’s what to do.

Always run water when using it

It’s not enough to simply flip the switch: Be sure that the water in your sink is running while you have the garbage disposal turned on. Think of it like taking a sip of water when you swallow pills—except in this scenario, food scraps are the pills and the garbage disposal and pipes are your throat.

Make sure the water is cold

And while we’re on the subject, always run cold water when running your garbage disposal: It’ll get the food moving while hardening/congealing any fats. Hot water, on the other hand, melts fats and softens foods, making it easier for them to stick to the sides of the appliance.

Run it every few days

Even if you don’t think that you have any food waste down there to grind up, run your garbage disposal every few days. This will ensure that any bits of food down there won’t harden, and that the disposal’s components don’t rust or corrode from not being used.

Keep it a bit running longer

After flipping the switch to run the garbage disposal, it’s usually pretty easy to tell when it has finished grinding up the food, based on the sound it’s making. But when it sounds like it’s done, don’t turn it off right away.

Instead, let the disposal (and the cold water) run for about another minute to make sure you give the waste a chance to move through the disposal pipe. You can also add a few drops of dish soap at this point to help clean the disposal and pipe.



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