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Having a garbage disposal in your kitchen can be a huge convenience. It saves time removing food waste, and since garbage disposals grind up food, they ensure that any food that goes down your pipes will pass easily. With all their advantages, it’s important to care for your garbage disposal to ensure they perform well and stay clean.

Know What Foods to Avoid
Garbage disposals have their limits, and just because something can go down it, doesn’t mean it’s not going to cause problems down the road. While you’ll likely find that some foods gum up your disposal more than others, it’s important to steer clear of some of the biggest problem-causers in your kitchen. Foods that are hard and can form a granular texture, as well as foods that have stringy fibers, should be tossed in the bin or the compost pile instead. Here are a few foods you should never put in your garbage disposal.

  • Bones
  • Coffee Grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Corn Husks
  • Potato Peels
  • Banana Peels

Best Practices for Daily Use
When using your garbage disposal, run cold water during the grinding process. Cold or room temperature water is not only better for the disposal’s mechanisms, but it will prevent any greases or fats in the food from adhering to the blades and building up. 

Prevent Odors
Odors are best addressed through prevention. The best way to prevent odors is to ensure that you don’t put any foods down the disposal that will adhere to the sides or on the blades and cause clogs. Beyond that, it’s important to clean your disposal regularly. You can use a combination of ice and rock salt to create a DIY cleaner or grab a store bought solution to ensure that your disposal doesn’t get smelly.