The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Your Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal is a helpful kitchen feature. When used properly, your garbage disposal can make kitchen-clean up simple. When used improperly, you can have a big stinky mess in your kitchen sink.

Like all appliances in your home if you take a few precautionary steps you can save yourself time, money, and plumbing headaches. But like anything in your house, if used incorrectly it can cause immediate or future problems. Here are a few tips to keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and to avoid potential problems.


  1. Keep your garbage disposal clean. Routinely run dish soap and water through your garbage disposal for about a minute to clean any debris that may be stuck. This also will help remove any pesky odors.
  2. Use cold water. If you use hot water, it can melt food, which will attach itself to the disposal’s blades. When you use cold water, it will allow the food to be properly ground and flushed through the pipe.
  3. Keep running the disposal after the food has been flushed. Letting your disposal run a bit longer will ensure that every bit of food and debris gets washed away.
  4. Grind up lemon or orange peels. The natural fibers of citrus peels will act like a sponge and help remove any pesky stuck-on debris. The citrus oils also help remove unpleasant odors.


  1. Do not put any non-food items in the garbage disposal, or anything that isn’t biodegradable. This includes:
    • Glass, metal, paper
    • Cigarette butts
    • Floss
  2. Don’t put any fibrous food into the disposal. This includes:
    • Celery
    • Corn husks
    • Onion skins
  3. Never grind animal bones
  4. Don’t put coffee grounds down the garbage disposal. This can clog your pipes.

We also recommend keeping your warranty and owner’s manual handy. Finding an accessible place for all appliance warranties and owners manuals can make do-it-yourself repairs less inconvenient.

If you find that you cannot repair your garbage disposal and you need a professional plumber, please call the experts in Colorado Springs at 719-419-8211 or in Denver at 720-408-7121 We have professional plumbers and technicians on staff that can quickly evaluate your garbage disposal problems. We can install a new one too!


6 Signs You May Need a New Garbage Disposal

  1. It won’t turn on at all, this one is pretty obvious but it’s worth mentioning. Sometimes hitting the re-set button on the side of the disposal will solve this problem but if it does not, you likely need a new disposal.
  2. The garbage disposal jams every time you use it, even for small food waste cleanups.
  3. You notice water leaking from the disposal.
  4. The garbage disposal makes a loud, metal on metal sound when in use.
  5. Even when you use the tips suggested above, there is always a foul odor coming from the garbage disposal.
  6. Food waste that used to grind up and flush away quickly now seems to take longer than usual.

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