How to Use a Garbage Disposal?

Garbage disposals are a great way to quickly and easily dispose of food waste. However, it’s important to use them safely and correctly in order to prevent damage or injury. Garbage disposal usage requires knowledge of what types of items can be put down the drain as well as proper installation, maintenance, and operation techniques.

In this article, we will discuss the precautions you should take when installing and using your garbage disposal for safe and efficient operation.

Following these simple guidelines will ensure that your garbage disposal remains in top condition and continues to work effectively for years to come.

garbage disposal usage precautions

Before Installation

Understand Garbage Disposal Basics

Garbage disposals are designed to grind food waste into small particles that can easily pass through the plumbing system. However, they should not be used as a waste disposal unit, and should not be used to grind anything other than food. To get the most out of your garbage disposal, it’s important to understand how it works and what should not be put into it.

Safety Measures to Take Before Installation

Before installing a garbage disposal, it’s important to take certain precautionary measures. Garbage disposals should only be installed by a qualified person and should be properly grounded according to local electrical codes.

Garbage disposals should also never be operated without a guard or drain plug in place. The unit should be checked for any leaks, and all connections should be tightened before use.

Make Sure Your Disposal Matches Your Sink

Make sure that the Garbage Disposal unit you are installing is suitable for your sink, as well as compatible with local plumbing and electrical codes. If you are unsure of the compatibility, consult a qualified professional.

Preparing for Garbage Disposal Installation

Before installing a Garbage Disposal unit, it’s important to make sure that the sink is properly prepared. This includes removing any existing plumbing, such as sink traps and garbage disposers, and making sure that the sink drain pipe is in good condition.

Garbage disposals should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and all connections should be properly tightened.

During Installation

Don’t Over-tighten the Mounting Screws

When installing a garbage disposal, it is important to not over-tighten the mounting screws. Over-tightening the screws can damage the garbage disposal and potentially cause leaks. The most appropriate degree is to finger-tighten the screws until they are snug.

Use Support Brackets to Secure Garbage Disposal

Once your garbage disposal is installed, it’s important to use support brackets to secure the garbage disposal unit in place. The garbage disposal should be securely mounted so that it won’t move around or shake during use.

Make Sure the Unit is Firmly Seated Against the Sink Wall

Your garbage disposal should be firmly seated against the sink wall to prevent any leaks or movement during operation. The best way is to use a metal washer between the garbage disposal unit and the sink wall. The metal washer will provide extra stability and help prevent any leaks.

When Finishing Up Garbage Disposal Installation

Check Connections and Garbage Disposal Operation

When the garbage disposal unit is installed, all pipes and connections should be checked for leaks.

Additionally, it’s important to check the operation of the garbage disposal before using it. Make sure that all parts are securely in place and that the unit is properly connected to the wiring.

Before Use

Know What Can and Cannot Be Put Down Garbage Disposal

Before using a garbage disposal unit, it’s important to know what can and what cannot be put into the garbage disposal. Garbage disposal units should only be used to grind food waste into small particles that can easily pass through the plumbing system.

Only biodegradable food waste should be placed in a garbage disposal. This includes vegetable and fruit peelings, small bones, eggshells, and coffee grounds can be put down garbage disposals.

Avoid putting fibrous (celery, artichoke leaves, banana peels etc), stringy, and hard items such as eggshells, celery stalks, fruit pits, bones, grease, coffee beans or grounds, rice, pasta, potato skins and fruit rinds into garbage disposal units. These items can cause clogs or jams in the garbage disposal and cause damage to the garbage disposal system.

Also, avoid putting metal items such as silverware, coins or aluminum foil into garbage disposal units. These can cause a very loud noise and could potentially damage the garbage disposal motor.

Turn it on and off Correctly

When using a garbage disposal, it’s important to follow the proper procedure. Begin by turning on the garbage disposal unit and letting it run for a few seconds before placing food waste into it. This allows the unit to properly dispose of the food waste and prevents clogs from occurring in the pipes.

Once you have finished grinding the food waste, turn off the garbage disposal and let the water run for a few seconds to flush out the drain pipe. This helps to ensure that all of the food waste is flushed out and there are no clogs or build-up in the pipes.

When Put in Use

Run Cold Water When Using Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals should also never be operated without water running through them. For long-term use, always run cold water while the garbage disposal is in use. Cold water helps to solidify food particles so that they don’t stick to the blade.

The running water also helps to flush out any food particles that may be stuck in between the blades of the garbage disposal. This will help to keep the garbage disposal unit running smoothly and prevent clogs from occurring in the pipes.

Note If hot water is used, it can melt the food particles and cause a clog in the pipes. So, never use hot water when using the garbage disposal.

Cut up Large Food Waste into Small Pieces

When putting food waste into the garbage disposal unit, make sure to cut it up into small pieces. Garbage disposals are designed to grind small food particles into a slurry that can easily pass through the plumbing system.

Large pieces of food waste can cause clogs in the pipes, so make sure to cut them up into smaller pieces before putting them down the garbage disposal.

Avoid Overloading the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposal units should never be overloaded with food waste as this can cause a clog or jam in the pipes.

Besides, it’s best to feed food waste slowly into the garbage disposal in small batches and wait until it is completely ground before adding more. This will ensure that the garbage disposal unit is able to properly process the food waste and prevent clogs from occurring in the pipes.

Use Garbage Disposal in Moderation

It’s important to remember that garbage disposal units should only be used in moderation. Too much use of a Garbage Disposal can cause damage to the machine, which may result in costly repairs or replacement.

Also, regular use of garbage disposal can cause clogs and jams in the pipes due to a buildup of food particles. So, use garbage disposal only when necessary and always follow the guidelines mentioned above for safe garbage disposal usage.

After Use

Keep Garbage Disposal Clean

Garbage disposals need to be properly maintained in order to maximize their efficiency and lifespan. After each use, make sure to run cold water and a few tablespoons of baking soda or vinegar through the garbage disposal unit. This will help to flush out any food particles and prevent them from building up in the pipes.

Regularly clean your garbage disposal every two weeks using a mixture of water and vinegar to keep it in optimal condition. This will help ensure that your garbage disposal is always running smoothly and efficiently.

Avoid Using Chemical Cleaner

Chemical cleaners may seem like a good way to clean your garbage disposal, but they can actually cause damage to the unit as well as clogs in the pipes.

Instead, use a combination of warm water and vinegar to clean your garbage Disposal. This will ensure that it is properly maintained and eliminate odors without damaging the garbage disposal unit.

Pay Extra Attention

Avoid Use Fingers to Pull out Clogs

No matter how careful you are, a clog can still happen due to large food particles or overuse of Garbage Disposal. In this case, never ever use your fingers to pull out the clog as it can be dangerous.

Instead, use a Garbage disposal wrench to remove the clog. Garbage disposal wrenches are designed for this purpose and can easily be found in most hardware stores.

If the clog is too stubborn, then it’s best to call a professional plumber for help.

Use Right Tools

Don’t attempt to take out the garbage disposal yourself unless you have the right tools and knowledge. It’s important to use the right tool for garbage disposal maintenance as it can damage or even break the appliance if done incorrectly.

Use a wrench, garbage disposal cleaning brush and garbage disposal cleaner for the best results.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your garbage disposal unit is working properly and that there are no clogs or jams in the pipes. Garbage disposal usage can be easy and safe, as long as you take the necessary precautions. So, make sure to keep these tips in mind and enjoy a safe and efficient garbage disposal experience.


Q: What precautions should be taken before installing a garbage disposal?

A: Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow any local codes. Ensure there is proper ventilation and that you have the right power source.

Q: When should I turn on my garbage disposal?

A: Before placing food waste in the disposal, it is important to make sure it has been turned on. This will ensure that all pieces are ground properly.

Q: How often should I clean my garbage disposal?

A: Garbage disposals should be cleaned every two weeks with a combination of warm water and lemon juice or baking soda and vinegar. This will help eliminate odors and keep the disposal running smoothly.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your garbage disposal is kept in optimal condition and you can avoid any potential hazards. With the right knowledge, your garbage disposal is sure to last for years to come!