Weber County
Brigham City
Salt Lake


One of the most useful appliances in your kitchen is tucked away in your sink cabinet. The garbage disposal makes clearing your sink handy, and it helps you keep some stinky scraps and food bits from clogging your drains or from filling up your trash can.

However, the disposal is often one of the most abused appliances. Many people can shorten their lifespan by not caring for them properly. To keep your sink disposal running effectively, follow these simple care tips.

1. Clean Your Disposal

Many people clean out their sinks. They might even contact a plumber on a seasonal basis to get the drains cleaned or the pipes cleared out. However, the disposal often gets forgotten about, and as a result, it can start to corrode or experience fatigue.

You should clean your garbage disposal thoroughly on a regular basis. Start by removing the black plastic flange that keeps dishes and large items from getting into the disposal space. Use hot, soapy water to clean grime and mildew build up from the flaps of the flexible flange. Set this piece aside to dry.

Next, use a bit of dish soap and a bottle brush to scrub the entrance to the disposal and to clean the surface blades. Scrub whatever you can reach with the brush.

To finish, you can run some water and soap through the disposal to help clean the mechanics on the way down. If you want to help the disposal smell fresh, then you can use a combination of vinegar and baking soda to eliminate lingering odors.

You might have heard that you can use citrus peels to clean your disposal. However, use this method sparingly and not as a regular cleaning method, as the acidity can cause eventual harm to the unit.

2. Avoid Grinding Harmful Items

Many people treat the disposal as a catchall for food items. However, your disposal should not process some types of food, and running these foods through the disposal can cause mechanical damage. Make sure you use alternative trash methods for these foods:

  • Cooking oil and grease. Cooking oil and grease (even in liquid form) will cool in the pipes and can coat your disposal with hardened fat. This makes it harder for the blades to spin properly. Over time, the buildup of cooled grease can cause clogs.
  • Bones and shells. Some people use eggshells as a way to clean the disposal, but other shells (like crab or lobster) should not go into the disposal. Bones will also break or jam the blades.
  • Seeds and pits. Even small amounts of fruit seeds and pits, like cherry pits, can wreak havoc on your disposal. Always through these in the trash.
  • Cooked or uncooked rice, grains, and pasta. Cooked grains may seem soft enough to send through the disposal, and small amounts are not an issue. However, don't send leftover rice or pasta down. They still absorb water and expand, gumming up the mechanics of your disposal. Uncooked grains work in a similar way and can cause clogs.
  • Peels. Citrus peels in small amounts can freshen your disposal, but starchy potato skins and the tough exterior of a gourd will clog your disposal. Banana peels are also too tough.
  • Stringy uncooked vegetables. Celery, for example, has tough strings that can actually wrap around the blades and stop them from working properly.
  • Non-food items: You should never try to grind non-food items like cardboard packaging or plastics, even if they are biodegradable.

If you avoid putting these foods down your disposal, then you can avoid clogging your system.

3. Use Plenty of Water

A common mistake that people make is not using the right amount of water when using their disposal. After all the food has gone down the drain, you should still continue to run water through the disposal for several seconds. This way, the water can flush out any remaining food particles.

You'll find the disposal runs more smoothly and that you have fewer unpleasant odors if you continue to run the water after using the disposal. When turning the disposal off, flip the switch before shutting off the tap so the disposal does not run dry.

Use cold water as well, especially if you suspect a clog. Hot water may seem to work better at first because it melts fat that could be in the disposal, but the fats will only solidify again as they cool, and clogs could get more severe as a result.

4. Avoid DIY Fixes

If your disposal is having trouble, then don't try to fix it yourself. These units are actually more complex than they seem, and you could cause injury to yourself or damage the disposal even more as you try to solve the problem.

A common DIY mistake, for example, is to use a commercial drain cleaner to help clear a disposal clog. These cleaners can be very hard on your plumbing and can actually damage mechanical components. Other DIY fixes for jams and clogs include forcing the blades open with a broom handle or pulling hard on stuck objects; either approach could result in making a bad situation worse.

Instead, contact us for appliance repair. We can provide the right replacement parts for your needs at Dick Kearsley Service Cent


520 S State, Clearfield, UT 84015

[email protected]

Hours Of Operation:

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday: Closed

Find Us On:


Davis/Morgan: 801-773-4836

Weber County: 801-393-1265

Brigham City: 435-553-4556

Salt Lake: 801-292-1636


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