Treat Your Garbage Disposal Well

The beginning of the New Year comes with resolutions of all kinds: weight loss, eliminating bad habits, pursuing abandoned hobbies, and more.

While New Year’s resolutions come in many varieties, the most common tend to center around healthy living or personal finance. A new year is a chance to reinvent yourself physically, emotionally, or even financially.

These new goals often result in your kitchen receiving much more attention than before- from attempting to eat healthy foods for your physical well-being, to committing to stay home and cook more often, thus saving money that was previously spent in restaurants.

Regardless of the reason, extra time in the kitchen often means that your garbage disposal can receive quite a beating in the first few months of the year. While it may seem like an easy way to get rid of any and all waste in the kitchen after cooking dinner or making that morning smoothie, your garbage disposal isn’t meant to handle all types of waste.

Increase the life-span of your garbage disposal by keeping these things out of it:


Families who make a commitment to eat at home more often try to replicate the kid’s favorites, including fries and hamburgers. These fun meals all result in the same thing: grease. For the sake of your plumbing, pour grease or oil into an old can before tossing it in the trash. Once these substances cool down, they harden into sticky goo that can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal and pipes.

Fibrous foods

Eating healthy often results in lots of fibrous foods, such as kale, celery, carrots, asparagus, and artichokes. Putting fibrous foods like these into your garbage disposal is a mistake; the fibers can get wrapped the blades, damaging the appliance.

Egg shells

Many people believe that egg shells are good for the garbage disposal because they supposedly sharpen the blades. Don’t listen to this rumor; throw your egg shells in the garbage, because the slippery membrane inside the shell can get caught in the disposal, damaging the motor. Aside from this, once egg shells are crushed they tend to take on a sand-like consistency, which can clog pipes.

Starchy food

Starchy foods like pasta and rice tend to expand when wet. Not only this, but their texture can turn into a gelatinous, gooey mess that will easily stick to your pipes and garbage disposal blades. Throw leftover starches in the trash to avoid a damaged garbage disposal or a clogged sink.

Bones and pits

Chicken bones, fruits pits, and other hard materials are too tough for the blades of your garbage disposal and can easily damage the motor. Always throw these in the trash can.

Coffee grounds

While these may make your sink smell nice, the leftover sediment can clog the blades of your disposal as well as harden in your pipes. Orange or lemon peels are a great alternative for keeping the drain smelling fresh, so empty that French-press into the trash to avoid a plumbing mishap.


The garbage disposal should be used solely for food items. Treating your disposal like a trash can will only shorten its life and increase your chances of needing a major repair. Items like cigarette butts, rubber bands, glass, string, paper, and more can easily damage the blades and motor of a garbage disposal. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t feed it to your kids, don’t put it down the disposal!

Cleaning supplies

Harsh chemicals like lye, bleach, and drain-opener should not be poured down the garbage disposal. The corrosive properties of these cleaners can greatly damage your garbage disposal. Should your kitchen sink become clogged, consult a professional plumber rather than resorting to a chemical cleaner.

Other helpful tips

Aside from disposing of the correct food items, there are some easy tips that can improve the functionality and extend the life of your garbage disposal. Never put large amounts of food into your disposal all at once, instead feed in a little at a time so the disposal has a chance to do its job without becoming overloaded.

Additionally, always run water through the disposal when putting food in it. The best way is to run water first, feed in the food, and then allow the water to continue running for fifteen seconds. This allows any remaining food particles to be flushed from the blades. Cold water is best!

As you settled into new habits and routines this New Year, treat your garbage disposal well to ensure a happy kitchen and a damage-free kitchen sink!