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5 Tips For Keeping Your Garbage Disposal in Top Shape

Garbage Disposal Repair Nashville TN

Your garbage disposal. You may not think about how much you rely on this small appliance every day, but we often put it through some tough tests with what we shove down our drains. It really doesn’t need strict maintenance to work properly, only sensible care. You may already know that certain foods, like banana and citrus peels, broccoli, celery, corn husks, and eggshells can tangle and stop the blades of your garbage disposal. But there are other things that can either help or hinder the performance of your disposal. See below for 5 best and worst practices if you want to make your garbage disposal last as long as possible.

DO run the garbage disposal every few days.

Even if you don’t need to use it, run it with cold water to keep the blades in optimal condition and wash out any food that may have stuck to the sides of the disposal.

DO use the wrench that came with your unit to untangle fibers wrapped around your garbage disposal blade, instead of your fingers.

Safety first. Instead of putting your hands down the drain, use the tool. You simply turn the nut at the base of the unit, then press the small red reset button in the center, and flip the switch to restart. If there is food stuck in the disposal, use a pliers to try to remove it, rather than your hands.

DON’T use bleach or commercial drain cleaner in your disposal.

Caustic chemicals can fly up and out of the disposal, even in future uses. This could result in bleach or dangerous chemicals being splashed in your eyes after flipping the on-switch. Instead, ward off odors with warm water and lemons. Cut the lemons up small so that it won’t put too much duress on the disposal.

DO clean your garbage disposal every two weeks.

First, fill it with ice cubes and a cup of rock salt, then run it for a minute for the natural abrasives to scrape away the gunk lining the inside of your disposal. Pour a cup of vinegar and a half-cup of baking soda into the disposal to kill bacteria, then (with the power off) scrub the flaps with an old toothbrush.

DON’T ever put these 15 things down your garbage disposal.

  • Fat, Grease, and Oil
  • Pasta, Rice, and Oats
  • Bones
  • Seafood Shells
  • Fibrous Vegetables (celery, lettuce, kale, onion skins, asparagus, etc.)
  • Potato Peels
  • Broken Glass or Metal
  • Eggshells
  • Chicken Skin
  • Produce Stickers (fruit peels are fine, but remove the sticker first)
  • Medication (can impact the water supply)
  • Fruit Pits
  • Coffee Grounds (they form a sludge buildup)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Nuts (forms a paste)

By following the DOs and DON’Ts listed above, you can get the best performance out of your garbage disposal and elongate its lifespan. And don’t forget, if you ever have problems with your garbage disposal or need a new one, we at Frog Air are here for you! Contact us anytime at

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