Keep Your Garbage Disposal Healthy – Plumbing in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Surrey, British Columbia

Garbage Disposal HealthA Vancouver garbage disposal can either be your best friend or your worst enemy in the kitchen. Proper use and maintenance will assure that your garbage disposal remains a smooth operator. There’s almost nothing worse than a clogged or inoperative disposal – and doesn’t it always seem to happen at  the worst times? There are definite do’s and don’t’s  of operation and maintenance!


  • Keep Garbage Disposal Clean! After washing dishes, add a drop of dish liquid to your disposal and let it run with cold water for a few minutes. If you’re noticing an especially foul odor from the disposal unit, cut a lemon and ‘dispose’ of this natural freshener to neutralize odors.
  • Run Garbage Disposal Regularly! To avoid rust and corrosion on the blades of your garbage disposal, run it at least once a day.
  • Use Only Cold Water! It is essential that you use only cold water when operating your garbage disposal. The primary reason is to solidify any grease or fats to allow for proper ‘chopping’ before the matter reaches the trap.
  • Grind Some Hard Items! Certain hard items ground in your garbage disposal act as scouring agents to clean your unit. Hard items that can be disposed of: small chicken bones; fish bones; egg shells; small fruit pits. Check manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Cut Large Items! Rather than trying to stuff large items, cut them into manageable pieces – dispose of smaller pieces 1 at a time, rather than forcing all at once.


  • Grind Non-Biodegradable Items! Your garbage disposal is intended for foodstuffs only – never place anything but food scraps in the unit! Including but not limited to: metal; plastic; paper; combustibles; cigarette butts.
  • Pour Grease or Fat into Garbage Disposal! While small quantities of grease and fat will ultimately wind up in your disposal, repeated intentional pouring of large quantities will congeal, accumulate and negatively affect the disposal’s operation. Additionally, this accumulation can clog your drains and the odor that accompanies fat and grease is highly unappetizing!
  • Grind Fibrous Items! The unit cannot cut fibrous materials and the fibers will wrap around the blades causing the unit to jam. Some examples of extremely fibrous materials include; celery, artichokes, onion skins and corn husks. Check manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Stop Grinding Until Job is Finished! Always be certain that all matter is thoroughly ground before turning disposal off. You can hear when the unit has finished its work; always turn disposal off first – then let cold water continue to run 15-30 seconds longer to wash any fine particulates down the drain.
  • Grind a Large Quantity of Potatoes! The starch in potatoes and potato peels will turn into a paste that will jam the blades of your disposal.
  • Feed Your Disposal ‘Expandable’ Foods! Pasta, rice and other dehydrated foods expand when water is introduced; this will cause undue expansion can cause jams and drain clogs.
  • Grind Coffee Grounds! Coffee grounds can accumulate in pipes and cause clogs. While not harmful to your disposal, it is best to NOT invite trouble down the line…
  • Grind Large Animal Bones! Large bones (pork, beef, etc.) will splinter and jam the blades.
  • Use Harsh Chemicals! Bleach and chemical drain cleaners can damage the blades on your garbage disposal. Check manufacturer’s recommendation for approved products.
  • Put Your Hand in Garbage Disposal!!!!! Never, ever, ever put your hand in a garbage disposal!!!!

Even the most lovingly maintained ‘pig in the sink’ needs professional care occasionally. Should  your garbage disposal develop problems that you can’t resolve, call High Mark – the Vancouver Plumbing in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Surrey, British Columbia!