Garbage Disposals

September 8, 2023

What Items Can Go in a Garbage Disposal?

Contrary to what many bloggers tell you, garbage disposals can handle almost any food item with ease. It’s true! Download your owner’s manual, and you’ll see, if it’s food, it’s probably garbage disposal safe. There are a some rules and tricks to help prolong the life of your disposal, and improve drain health.

  • Only use for food items.
  • Never force large quantities of food in at one time.
  • Always run water down the drain when using.
  • Run water for several seconds after you have turned the disposal off.
  • Increase the disposal’s life span by using the trash for tough items.

General Garbage Disposal Rules

First, never put any non-food items in your disposal. Even organic items like dirt and plants won’t breakdown the same as food. This can damage the garbage disposal, and cause drain problems.

Next, avoid large quantities of any items, even food. Stuffing too much food into a disposal at once overworks the motor, and increases the risk of a jam or drain issue. If you have tons of food to get rid of at once, use the trash can. This will increase your disposals life span.

Finally, consider your disposals abilities. A high horsepower garbage disposal is more capable, and will last longer than a lower power model. If you have a cheap model, you may want to avoid dense food items like fruit peels. You may also want to keep the volume of food going in at one time low. A 1/2 HP disposal is common for a homes. 3/4 HP and above models are more effective if you want to dispose of tougher items.

Proper Drain Care

Often when people talk about items that you shouldn’t put in a garbage disposal, they are referring to items that are bad for your drains. Drain clogs can happen for a number of reasons, but they are most often caused by continually putting food items that should be disposed of elsewhere.

If you can reduce the amount of clog-causing items that go down your drain, you’ll have fewer plumbing issues down the road. To ensure healthy drains avoid these items in your garbage disposal, and drains:

  • Grease & Oils
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Egg Shells
  • Flour
  • Fruit Peels & Husks
  • Hair
  • Non-Food Items (dirt, paper, etc)