Skip to Content

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Get a FREE assessment of your rental property. Start here!

Garbage Disposals: What Can and Can NOT Go in Them

Sink with Water Flowing Down into a Garbage DisposalIf your San Tan Valley rental property has a garbage disposal, you may have strong feelings about it. Some people adore them, but others hate the way the disposal always seems to break down, repeatedly giving rise to even bigger problems. The great news is that countless of these breakdowns can be avoided by first understanding how to use and clean a garbage disposal properly, preventing damage and expensive repairs. So while it’s accurate that disposals are prone to bad smells and clogs if not used and cleaned regularly, by fulfilling a few simple rules it is possible to keep yours clean and functional.

Garbage disposal is one of the most helpful kitchen appliances when it is managed correctly. Food scraps can be safely disposed of in a kitchen garbage disposal, a much better set-up than stinking up a garbage can. Nearly all biodegradable food items, such as fruit and vegetable scraps, scraps of meat, and small pieces of citrus rinds, can be put down garbage disposal without any problems.

On the other hand, there are certain big exceptions to that practice. Anything hard, like eggshells, bones, and fruit pits should never be put in a garbage disposal. The same goes for coffee grounds and popcorn kernels, which will bounce around everywhere and get stuck in the disposal’s blades. Other foods like celery, pasta, rice, and potato peels should also be avoided because their stringy, starchy fibers can easily clog garbage disposal. Putting any of these objects in your garbage disposal may cause your entire appliance to break down. Ultimately, grease should never be poured into the disposal. It coats the pipes and can lead to clogs and bad odors in your kitchen.

Occasionally, a garbage disposal may still end up smelling bad as a consequence of decomposing food and grease that can get trapped in and around the disposal. Mold and bacteria can also grow on rubber strainer flanges and other areas, causing odors. The pros at Mr. Rooter suggest keeping odors away by running cold water every time you use the disposal, which assists flush out accumulating food matter. They also encourage running the disposal a bit longer than when the grinding noises even out, about five extra seconds. To clean your disposal blades, try putting ice cubes and citrus peels in it from time to time. Both will help clean the blades and make your disposal smell fresh. With proper cleaning and maintenance, you can better evade extravagant overhauls and keep your rental property’s garbage disposal running well for a long period.

Even good preventative measures won’t help much unless you are cleaning the property’s garbage disposal regularly. To verify how, consider using a professional guide to clean your appliance, such as the one found on the Mr. Rooter website. Also, if you have questions about garbage disposal use and maintenance, be sure to seek information from your landlord, property management company, or plumbing professional. Asking a question could mean the difference between a functional garbage disposal and a greasy, soupy mess in your sink.

Are you looking for a great new rental property? If so, check out our available listings. If you are a property landlord scouring for management services, contact us online or call us at 480-981-7000.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.