Getting the most out of your garbage disposal

While garbage disposals are a handy appliance to have in the kitchen, it’s important to remember to not use them as just another trash can.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your garbage disposal and for keeping the unit running efficiently.

It’s always best to use cold water when operating the garbage disposal. Water should be running at all times the disposal is on. Cold water works better because it solidifies grease and fatty foods. Hot water can cause the disposal to overheat.

Small scraps of food on your plate after dinner are ideal for a garbage disposal. Avoid putting large amounts or big chunks down the drain.

As long as you are not trying to dispose of an entire loaf at one time, your garbage disposal can easily get rid of bread, which breaks up easily and dissolves in water. Make sure you use a steady flow of water as the bread could turn to a paste-like substance if the water flow is too slow.

The majority of cooked meats and vegetables can easily be disposed of in your unit, as long as you avoid including bones with the meat and the vegetables are not stringy.

Egg shells are fine to go down the disposal as long as you don’t overdo it. The shells generally break easily and their weight is not an issue to where they would sit in the drain pipe.

The combination of ice and rock salt will sound horrible going down the drain but together can help scrape unwanted items off the blades.

If you wouldn’t chew it up and swallow it, it is generally an item to avoid putting in the disposal. Items such as bones, fruit pits or small rocks can damage your blades and clog the drains.

Grease and oil don’t mix well with water so keep them away from your garbage disposal. When mixed with water, grease or oil will harden as the temperature cools and lead to clogs, not just in your immediate drainage pipe but in the septic system as well.

Garbage disposals can handle a very small amount of pasta or rice, but if you try to get rid of too much of either item, the water will just be absorbed and you will be left with a large lump that will almost certainly lead to a clog.

Stringy vegetables such as celery can be a nuisance as they can wrap around your disposal blades and slow down their ability to spin which will have a negative effect on overall efficiency of the unit.

Avoid vegetable and fruit peels, which are often harder than what we realize. Not quite as hard as trying to put a rock down the disposal but hard enough to create similar problems.

Glass, wood, cigarette butts, nut shells and plastic are all items you are better off putting in the regular trash can rather than the garbage disposal.

McAtee Plumbing, Heating and Cooling provides reliable service to six different states. Contact us today if you need help getting your plumbing or HVAC issues resolved this winter.

For Clarksburg, Fairmont, Morgantown, Weston, Charleston, Huntington and surrounding areas in West Virginia, call 304-623-3102. For Columbus and surrounding areas in Ohio, call 614-252-9400. For Detroit and surrounding areas in Michigan, call 313-277-9969. For Atlanta and surrounding areas in Georgia, call 678-367-0116. For Columbia, Charleston and surrounding areas in South Carolina as well as the Charlotte area of North Carolina, call 843-352-3116. Or you can contact McAtee by email at Visit our website at