A garbage disposal can be one of the most convenient appliances in your home. However, many people don’t realize that there is a right way and a wrong way to use these units. Improper use can not only damage a disposal, but also lead to annoying plumbing problems. If you want to get the most out of your garbage disposal, follow the six guidelines for proper use that we’ve listed below!

6 ways to ensure proper use of your garbage disposal

  • 1. Always use your disposal with running water. Running water from your kitchen faucet will help move waste into your disposal and down your drain. Without it, garbage can get stuck in your disposal or further down your pipe, which can lead to a clog.
  • 2. Only use cold water with your disposal. Cold water will solidify any grease or fat that makes its way down your drain. This will help your disposal grind them up and flush them away. Hot water, on the other hand, causes grease and fat to liquefy, which can jam your disposal and clog your drain.
  • 3. Don’t overload your disposal. Your disposal is only designed to handle a certain amount of waste at a time. When you’re using your disposal, feed small pieces of food down the drain one at a time. Make sure to break up large pieces of waste into smaller pieces before grinding them up.
  • 4. Make sure to fully grind all waste. In order to avoid buildups and damage to your disposal, you’ll want to make sure that food and waste are fully ground up and flushed out of your unit. After you hear the final piece of garbage ground up by your disposal, run your unit for an additional 30 seconds to ensure that it is clear.
  • 5. Remove small objects from your sink before use. Many people place dishes and silverware in the same sink that leads to their garbage disposal. In order to prevent damage to your disposal’s blades, remove any silverware or other small objects from your sink before using your unit.
  • 6. Avoid grinding waste that will clog or damage your unit. Certain types of food should never be put down your garbage disposal because they can lead to damage, jams or drain clogs. These include grease, liquid fat, uncooked fat trimmings, potato peels, expandable foods (like rice and pasta) and large animal bones.

If you have any questions about how to use a garbage disposal properly, or if you’d like a plumbing system serviced or installed in your home, contact Cabrillo, your Bay Area plumbing, heating and cooling company.