A garbage disposal is a convenient addition to any kitchen. It helps break down food waste, prevent odors, and avoid drain clogs. However, plumbing problems can arise if you use the tool incorrectly. Here’s what you should know to make the most of the device. 

How to Use a Garbage Disposal

1. Avoid Some Items

The device is strong, but it isn’t designed to break down all types of waste. Starchy ingredients, like rice, pasta, and potatoes, expand when exposed to water, creating gelatinous messes that stick to the blades. Coffee grounds can also clog the pipes. Only send small pieces of food into the disposal and run cold water to help push the items down.

2. Maintain It

St. Paul, MN plumbingKeeping the device clean prolongs its life span and prevents plumbing problems. After you dispose of food waste, let the unit run for a few moments to dislodge any errant particles. 

About once a month, pour a mixture of cold water and dishwashing detergent inside, then rinse with cold water to clean out the system. Ice also serves as a cleaner for the appliance, as the cubes can knock any accumulated debris down the pipe.

3. Refresh It

To eliminate odors, combine half a cup of vinegar with some baking soda, then pour the mixture into the drain. Allow it to sit and foam for a while, then use hot water to rinse it away.

Shredding citrus fruit peels is another quick fix for unpleasant smells. Oranges and lemons create refreshing and lasting scents.


If you run into a problem with your kitchen sink, turn to Norblom Plumbing in St. Paul, MN. This family-owned and -operated company has proudly served clients throughout the Twin Cities since 1923. They focus on educating their clients on how to avoid common issues, and don’t consider a job done until the homeowner is 100% satisfied. Visit them online to learn more about kitchen plumbing, or call (612) 827-4033 to schedule an appointment.