Garbage disposals are a modern kitchen marvel. They help us efficiently get rid of food waste, keeping our sinks clean and preventing clogs. However, like any appliance, they require regular maintenance to function optimally. Let’s dive into the steps to ensure your garbage disposal stays in top shape.

AI Generated Image of Lemons in a Sink - A great way to freshen your garbage disposal.

1. Regularly Clean the Disposal:

  • Frequency: At least once a week.

  • Steps:

    • Turn off the garbage disposal and unplug it from the outlet.
    • With a flashlight, inspect the inside for any large, stuck items. Use tongs (never your hands) to remove any debris.
    • Plug it back in, turn on cold water, and run the disposal for a minute.
    • Pour a mixture of ice cubes and rock salt into the disposal and run it. This helps sharpen the blades and remove any lingering debris.

2. Freshen Up with Citrus:

  • Frequency: Once a month or whenever you notice unpleasant odors.

  • Steps:

    • Cut a lemon or orange into small pieces.
    • With cold water running, drop the citrus pieces into the disposal one by one.
    • The citrus not only cleans the disposal but also leaves a pleasant, refreshing scent.

3. Avoid Hard or Fibrous Foods:

  • Items to Avoid: Bones, corn husks, banana peels, onion skins, and fibrous vegetables.

  • Reason: These can dull the blades, cause clogs, or jam the disposal.

4. Always Use Cold Water:

  • Why: Cold water solidifies any grease or oils, allowing the disposal to chop them up before they reach the trap.

5. Regularly Check for Leaks:

  • Frequency: Once a month.

  • Steps:

    • With the disposal off, shine a flashlight around its base and the pipes connected to it.
    • Look for any signs of moisture or drips. If you spot a leak, it might be time to replace or repair your disposal.

6. Reset the Disposal When Needed:

  • Steps:
    • If your disposal isn’t turning on, it might have tripped due to overload.
    • Look for a small red or black button on the bottom of the unit.
    • Press the button. If it clicks, that means it was tripped and is now reset.

7. Seek Professional Help for Persistent Issues:

If you’ve tried the above steps and your disposal is still not working correctly, or if it’s making unusual noises, it might be time to call in the experts. CID Plumbing, your trusted Brooklyn plumber, is always ready to assist with any garbage disposal issues.



A well-maintained garbage disposal is a boon to any kitchen, ensuring efficient waste disposal and preventing sink clogs. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure your disposal serves you well for years to come. And remember, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals like CID Plumbing for expert advice and service.

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