The garbage disposal is a great appliance to have in your kitchen. With just a switch, the disposal will pulverize and drain away any small scraps of food that you were too lazy to throw in the garbage. It’s convenient, quick and we all love it.

However, garbage disposals can be troublesome if they are not well-maintained. They can clog up and emit odors in addition to deteriorating overtime. To avoid a constantly malfunctioning disposal, it’s important to maintain it consistently. Here are some helpful garbage disposal maintenance tips from the pros at OnTime Service!

1. Don’t Put These Items in the Disposal

You might think that sneaking in some small scraps of food into the disposal is harmless. However, there are some items that should not go in your disposal under any circumstances. Here are some foods that should only be deposited in the trash:

Potato peels

If you empty out potato peels into your disposal and run it, you will end up with a starchy paste that will surely clog up your disposal.


The stringy fibers of celery can wrap around the disposal’s blades and create a blockage.

Coffee grounds

While coffee grounds can help eliminate odors, it’s best to leave them out. They can settle in the drain of the disposal and cause a clog. You can throw these in the trash, or you can use them to replenish your garden soil!

Egg shells

Eggshells have membranes that can wrap around the blades in your disposal and damage them over time.


This is a no-brainer. While your disposal might be able to pulverize small bones, it’s best to dispose of them in the trash. Bones can get caught in between the blades and reduce their lifespan.


Grease build up can be bad for your disposal as the thick substances will accumulate and completely block pipes. It can also lead to the release of unpleasant odors.

2. Consistent Maintenance

At OnTime Service, we believe that the best way to extend the lifespan of any appliance is to consistently maintain it. This philosophy applies to your trusted garbage disposal as well. It’s easy to take it for granted, but once it starts giving you trouble you will wish you had taken better care of it. Here are some easy ways you can clean and maintain it:

Remove Any Unwanted Items

When you run your disposal and it starts making a loud noise, there is a chance something like a bone or spoon is stuck in there. Turn the disposal off and manually remove the item immediately.

Drain Cleanse

Every month treat your disposal to a quick cleanse. Pour down 1/3 cup of baking soda down the drain then follow it up with 1/3 cup distilled white vinegar. The mixture will create some foam; leave it in there for 10 minutes then flush the mixture out with water. You can also use baking soda and vinegar to create a paste. Use the paste to clean around the mouth and rubber flaps or the disposal to get rid of any additional bacteria.

Use Ice Cubes and Rock Salt

With ice cubes and rock salt, you can remove the tougher grime and grease that has accumulated on the blades and the shredder ring. Pour about a dozen ice cubes into the disposal followed by a half-cup of rock salt. Turn the disposal and the faucet on and let them run for a few minutes until all the hardened grease has fallen away.

Add a Fresh Aroma

Pour some fresh lemon juice down the disposal to eliminate any odors.

3. Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using any harsh chemicals in your disposal such as bleach, ammonia and hydrogen peroxide (don’t ever use them together). Inhaling vapors of such chemicals can lead to coughing, shortness of breath and irritation. Either use home-made solutions or look for safer, non-toxic cleaners.

Call OnTime Service for All Your Plumbing Needs

If your garbage disposal gives you problems even after you have maintained it well, you might have to get in touch with one of the professionals at OnTime Service. Our plumbers will effectively diagnose the problem and provide you with helpful solutions. Call us today at 205-942-1405 or schedule a service on our website!