5 Garbage Disposal Myths and and Tips for Maintenance

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Garbage Disposal

Most homes contain a garbage disposal to make after-meal clean ups easier. Garbage disposals can be both a blessing and a curse. While they make life more convenient, they are also difficult to maintain since they are hard to access. It’s important that you properly maintain your garbage disposal and listen to expert advice on what to do and not to do. 


If you are ready to schedule a plumber in Grand Prairie, give our team at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating a call at (469) 557-2703. 


Continue reading to learn more about garbage disposal myths and how to properly maintain your garbage disposal. 

Garbage Disposal Myths

There are many myths surrounding the use of garbage disposals. From using lemons to clean them to running hot water while in use, you’ve probably heard it all. Here is a list of the five most common garbage disposal myths. 

1. Any Food Waste Can Go Down the Garbage Disposal

Many homeowners assume that the garbage disposal can handle just about anything. However, this is not true. Here is a list of things that you should never put down the garbage disposal:


  • Coffee grounds
  • Shells, nuts, seeds and pits
  • Animal bones
  • Onion layers
  • Fibrous roots and vegetables
  • Egg shells
  • Oil, fat and grease
  • Potato peels
  • Non-food items


While it may seem like garbage disposals are equipped to process anything and everything, the truth is that they are sensitive. The above listed items can easily break, clog or stall your garbage disposal. Before throwing everything into the disposal, consider what you should throw in the trash first. 

2. You Should Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

You may have heard to pour ice, or some other hard substance, into the garbage disposal to sharpen the blades. This may come as a surprise, but garbage disposals don’t have blades. Instead, garbage disposals use many sharp teeth that spin at a high speed to process the food. 


However, putting ice down your garbage disposal is good for other tasks, such as helping to clean the disposal. This will help to keep your disposal from getting smelly. Even though ice can help with these things it is still true that the more you use your garbage disposal, the more you will wear it out. 

3. Use Lemons To Clean Your Garbage Disposal

Using lemons and limes to clean your garbage disposal does have some benefits, but probably not the ones you’re thinking of. If you need something to mask a yucky smell coming from the disposal, then lemons or limes are probably your best bet. However, if the bad odor continues to persist then you need to call for plumbing repair.


While lemons make great air fresheners, they can also cause harm to your garbage disposal. The disposal is mostly made up of various metal parts. As durable as this metal is, the acid found in citrus can actually corrode the metal over time. A lemon here and there won’t hurt much, but if you’re dumping citrus into your garbage disposal every week then you may end up with a bigger issue down the road. 

4. You Have to Run Hot Water When Using the Garbage Disposal

It makes sense to think that running hot water when using the garbage disposal will help to break up food particles. However, it can actually cause more problems. If you are putting grease and fat down the garbage disposal, the hot water will turn these into liquid form. This will cause them to easily travel through the plumbing. That is, until it all starts to cool and sticks to the pipes. 


Using cold water instead will keep the grease and fat in solid form, which allows the garbage disposal to grind it up into smaller pieces. These tiny pieces of fat and grease are less likely to cause any blockages. You should always choose cold water over hot when putting your garbage disposal to use. 

5. No Clog Means My Garbage Disposal is Fine

It’s easy to dismiss garbage disposal maintenance and service when there are no clogs present. Although, just because there are no clogs doesn’t mean that your disposal doesn’t need kitchen plumbing maintenance. Just like all of your other plumbing systems, maintenance helps to diagnose existing problems and prevent any future problems. 


Be sure to schedule plumbing maintenance so that an expert can complete a camera pipe inspection. In the meantime, if you notice anything strange going on with your disposal, call a technician straight away. 

Tips for Garbage Disposal Maintenance

To keep your garbage disposal in tip top shape, there are a few things that you should do. Take a look at these maintenance tips for your garbage disposal:

  • Know what not to put down your garbage disposal. The harder that you make your garbage disposal work, the quicker it will develop issues and require a replacement.
  • Be careful as to how you clean your disposal. Never pour chemical drain cleaners into your sink as it actually does more harm than good. Instead, use natural cleaners such as vinegar and baking soda. You should also be consistent as to how often you clean the disposal. Once every two weeks is the perfect schedule to follow for cleaning.
  • After your garbage disposal is done grinding up food, run the faucet for about 30 seconds to a minute to ensure that all waste has been flushed down the drain. This will help to prevent clogs.

No matter what, call a licensed plumber if there is a problem with your garbage disposal. 

High Quality Grand Prairie Plumbing Company

For reliable plumbing services, you need Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating. Our plumbing Grand Prairie team has got the knowledge and expertise to get the job done right the first time. When you hire our team, you can be sure to receive the best service possible. 

At Dial One Johnson we provide repairs, replacements and maintenance for all kinds of HVAC and plumbing systems.

To schedule an appointment with our team, give us a call at (469) 240-5618 or contact us online


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