closeup of garbage disposal under sink

Summer Garbage Disposal Tips

Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

The garbage disposal is an amazing tool that keeps your day-to-day kitchen activities running smoothly. These gadgets are great for catching, grinding, and disposing of last night’s dinner scraps in an efficient and non-messy way.

From the kids’ never-ending snacks to backyard barbecues, summertime brings a lot of traffic to your kitchen, meaning your disposal is working overtime.

Throughout the years, though, many myths have popped up about the garbage disposal and how it can be used. These rumors have caused confusion about what the best practices really are for your disposal. So read on to learn more about your kitchen apparatus and how to properly use it.

What Not To Do

Let’s dive into the bad practices that can damage or break your garbage disposal.

Treat it Like A Garbage Can

It can not be emphasized enough that your garbage disposal can only handle a certain amount of food. It is important to remember that it is not a second garbage can, but rather a convenient place to dispose of the extra scraps leftover from dinner.

Dispose of Certain Foods

While your disposal does take on the responsibility of ridding you of scraps, it is not capable of doing so with every food type. You should refrain from tossing these items down the drain.


Fats, oils, and grease should never go down your drain. Even if they are in liquid form, they can leave behind residue that causes buildup in your pipes. Over time, this buildup may form a clog and turn into a real plumbing headache!

Pasta and Rice

Certain types of food swell as they sit in water, like pasta, rice, and oats. You can see how this may be a problem and cause some blockages in your plumbing system. So be sure to throw the leftover summer pasta salad in the trash!


After your cookout, you’re bound to have some leftover animal bones. These should never go down your garbage disposal as they are too hard for the system to handle. And while not exactly considered bones, tough seafood casings like clams should also stay out of the drain.

Other Foods

Some other foods that you should keep out of your sink are:

  • Potato peels
  • Celery
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Fruit pits
  • Nuts

What To Do

Now that we’ve learned the no-no’s, here are some things you should do to keep your disposal running the best it can.

Keep it Clean

A smelly drain can put a big damper on your kitchen ambiance. Keeping your disposal clean will help avoid unwanted smells and set the appliance up for a longer lifespan. Fill your disposal with ice cubes and salt and let it run for a minute. This mixture will help scrape away any leftover gunk on the blades and piping.

You can also pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain to kill that stinky bacteria. For an even better smelling drain, grind your favorite citrus peel for a fresher-smelling kitchen.

Keep it Running

Try to avoid dry spells with your disposal. Even if you don’t have scraps to grind up, run cold water and flip the switch every few days to keep the unit from rusting.

Use Cold Water

While it may seem like hot water would be the better option to keep things moving, we recommend using cold water. This will help any fats solidify and move through your piping better.

Drain Care in Framingham

If you’re in need of drain repairs or cleaning, make Endurance Plumbing, Inc. your call! Contact us at (508) 466-6691 or online to learn more.