Residential Plumbing Woes: Debunking Garbage Disposal Myths

My blog focuses on teaching homeowners more about their plumbing, so that you can enjoy what you have and troubleshoot new problems.

Residential Plumbing Woes: Debunking Garbage Disposal Myths

21 April 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you are like most homeowners, you probably use your garbage disposal daily—if not multiple times per day. Unfortunately, most people do not know the mechanics behind the garbage disposal, and that has led to several myths about the device.

You might be surprised to learn that your usage or maintenance of your garbage disposal is all wrong. But once you know the truth, you can ensure proper usage and keep it running smoothly for many years.

So what myths are these? Here are four common myths about the garbage disposal:

1. Ice Cubes Sharpen the Blades

You might have heard that using ice cubes can sharpen the blades on your garbage disposal. If you have ever had troubles with the unit properly grinding down food, you might have thrown some ice into the disposal to let the blades sharpen.

Unfortunately, ice does not sharpen the blades. Like knives, you cannot sharpen the blade with ice. Moreover, the blades inside the unit are actually blunt—so ice does nothing for the blades or for your unit.

2. Always Use Hot Water

If you have ever poured grease or oil into your garbage disposal, you probably followed it by running hot water into the unit. It makes sense, as hot liquids will help dissolve the grease and oil—which will prevent any clogs. However, that isn't something you need to do.

Hot water can cause the garbage disposal to overheat, since it gets very hot just grinding up the food. Even if you pour grease down your disposal, it is best to use cold water to ensure your system doesn't overheat and fail.

3. It Can Handle Any Food

You have probably thrown all types of food into your garbage disposal. Food scraps, meat, and even leftovers have all seen their way down the drain. While a garbage disposal is durable, it is not foolproof. So you should avoid sending certain foods down the unit.

While it can handle soft foods, it can cannot grind up hard or tough foods. Corn on the cob, chicken bones, and popcorn are just a few items you should not send down your disposal. If in doubt, ask yourself one question, "Can it be chewed by human teeth?" If the answer is no, throw it in the trash instead.

4. Bad Smells Are Normal

Many people believe that a garbage disposal smells bad naturally. However, this is not true. A well-cleaned unit should have no smell at all. If you do notice a bad smell, it is likely that your unit needs to be cleaned. You can do this yourself with a bristle brush, or you can hire a professional.

These are just a few of the common myths floating around about the garbage disposal. Now that you know the truth, you can you use your garbage disposal safely and effectively. For more information, contact Quality Plumbing Inc. or a similar company.

About Me
Enjoying Your Plumbing

When you think about the fixtures in your home that keep you happy, you probably take that bathtub, sink, and toilet for granted. However, if you have ever been asked to live without one of these crucial fixtures, you probably quickly discovered how important they really were. That bathtub can give you relief after a long day at the gym, and that toilet can become the most important plumbing device in your home if you come down with the stomach flu. My blog focuses on teaching homeowners more about their plumbing, so that you can enjoy what you have and troubleshoot new problems.