Five Myths About Garbage Disposals

Five Myths About Garbage Disposals

Garbage disposals have been around since 1927, though they were not sold commercially until the 40s and 50s. They are convenient for homeowners as a means to dispose of soft food waste; however, like anything mechanical, they do break down and require repair. Some of those repairs are a direct result of myths associated with their use.

Garbage disposals have been around long enough to develop their own histories. In addition to truth, myths have woven their way into our understanding of how they function. We have heard some outlandish myths in our time, and we want to help you avoid them. Here are 5 popular garbage disposal myths.


Five Garbage Disposal Myths

1) Garbage Disposals Love to Smell Lemon-Fresh

A lot of homeowners believe you should send lemons down the garbage disposal to clean it and get rid of funky smells. It is true that your sink and kitchen may smell lemon-fresh after grinding up lemons, they do nothing to actually clean the disposal. Furthermore, the citric acid can actually work to break down and corrode your disposals parts.

2) Garbage Disposals are Bad for the Environment

There was concern that garbage disposals sent food waste into the sewer system that put additional strain on water filtration systems. However, garbage disposals and wastewater treatment technology have improved over the years, so this is no longer a concern. In fact, is actually better for the environment and more energy efficient to treat food waste in water, rather than sending it to a landfill.

4) Garbage Disposals need to be Sharpened by Ice

One of the most pervasive myths about garbage disposals is that homeowners should sharpen their blades by grinding ice cubes. First, garbage disposals do not have blades; rather, a series of teeth that grind food waste down into smaller bits. Second, ice (or eggshells) would do little to sharpen blades; rather, if anything, they will wear out the components more quickly.

5) Garbage Disposals Need Hot Water to Function

While it is important to run water while you are using your disposal, it does not need to be hot. You can reduce the strain on your water heater by running cold water while using your garbage disposal.

5) Garbage Disposals Dispose of all Food Waste

Disposals are convenient for disposing of food waste; however, they do not accept all such products. There are several items that can damage your disposal and reduce its lifespan, including

  • Grease and oil: These should not go down your drains in any form, but they also break down your disposal.
  • Small but solid waste: Chicken bones, eggshells, and the like may seem soft enough, but any hard food waste will break down the disposal’s components.
  • Foods with strings: Celery, corn husks, banana peels, and other stringy material will bind your garage disposal and damage it significantly.
  • Tough peels: Potato peels and materials like them are difficult for your garbage disposal to break down.

Garbage disposals perform well when breaking down soft foods, the kind that you would be able to chew. If you cannot break it down, you can assume your disposal cannot break it down.

Even if you are not beholden to any of these myths, your garbage disposal will eventually require maintenance and repair. That is where Appliance Pro Unlimited can help. For over a decade, we have been performing appliance repair for everything thing from refrigerators and dishwashers to garbage disposals. If you have a garbage disposal or other appliance that is on the fritz, contact Appliance Pro Unlimited for help. We work on most major brands except LG and Leibherr.