Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips – At Your Disposal!

“Keep your hands away from there when I turn on this switch!”

My mother taught me this key garbage disposal usage rule at a young age.

Now while my hands continue to remain intact, the rest of what could and/or could not go down the drain remained a mystery… until now.

As my mom made sure I was aware, a garbage disposal is used to shred bits of food into teeny tiny pieces that can be rinsed down the drain without clogging the pipes. But how should you dispose properly to maintain the condition of your disposal?

Garbage Disposal Usage in 5 Easy Steps:

Step 1: Don’t fear the disposal! Use it every time you put food down the drain to prevent buildup and bacteria growth.

Step 2: Run cold water.

Step 3: Put scraps down the drain.

Step 4: Flick the disposal switch.

Step 5: Let the water run about 30 seconds after the disposal is done to rinse away any remaining food.

It really is that easy!

So I figured basically any of my food scraps could be scraped down that black hole, right? Wrong. This is the mantra I now use to determine what I can or cannot put down my disposal. Repeat after me:

“If it won’t biodegrade in time, please don’t grind!”


We’ve put together a quick list of “Do’s and Don’ts” to use at your disposal:

OK for the Disposal (in small amounts):

– Food scraps and citrus rinds

– Coffee grounds

– Cooked meat (avoid large chunks)

– Vegetable scraps

DON’T Put in your Disposal:

– Nuts and fruit pits

Large bones and shells (eggs, and even shrimp!)

– Banana peels

– Corn husks

Fibrous vegetables (asparagus, artichokes, etc.)

Spaghetti, rice (will absorb water, expand and clog pipes)


– Cigarette Butts

– Shells

– Broken glass (ouch!)

– Plastic (containers, bags etc.)

– Grease (solidifies and clogs pipes!)

Now that you’re a Garbage Disposal Debutant, you probably want to know what’s next for you and your dear disposal. Time for disinfecting!