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Appliances 3 myths about garbage disposals

Published on March 29th, 2013 | by Terry Spencer


Three garbage disposal myths

The handy garbage disposal (a.k.a. garbage disposer) has an important role in the kitchen. Here are three common myths associated with  it:

1.) Myth: You can put any kind of food down a garbage disposal.

No, fibrous foods such as potato skins and corn husks can cause problems because the disposer cannot properly break down the food. Never put such food in a disposal; you will regret it To avoid clogging in your disposal, ALWAYS run the water and try not to overload the disposer with too much food to process at once.

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2.) Myth: You can easily sharpen disposal “blades.”

While ice cubes may assist with removing food from the “blades” and the interior of the unit, there’s really no efficient way to sharpen garbage disposal blades. Over time, they dull. If you find that your disposal is no longer operating properly, you may need to replace the entire disposal. After 10 years or so, it’s best to just replace the disposal.

3.) Myth: Regular use of bleach to clean and deodorize your disposal is a good idea.

Bleach is powerful. Frequent use of this chemical is not advised, as it can erode the disposal.

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We frequently use these biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning pellets to eliminate disposal odors naturally and keep it smelling fresh.

Garbage disposal cleaning pellets 00666036

However, if you find that you have a major disposal odor problem: While running the disposal and the faucet, pour in a solution of one gallon of water and one half cup of bleach. This will destroy odor-causing bacteria. It is not advised that you use bleach alone.

Your disposal’s splash guard is a bacteria haven. Some disposal models enable you to remove the splash guard and clean it by hand. Let it soak in vinegar or bleach for 20 minutes. Then rinse and return to the disposal. You should do this once per month. Consider replacing it if you have difficulty eliminating odor.

Garbage disposal not working? We’ll help.

RepairClinic has free troubleshooting and how-to repair help information for common problems associated with garbage disposals such as blades not turning, water leaking and others. With your model number handy, visit our repair help. RepairClinic has garbage disposal/disposer replacement parts including splash guards, stoppers, gaskets and more.

Additional garbage disposer maintenance tips

Related videos:

Learn how a garbage disposer/disposal works

How to find your garbage disposal (disposer) model number


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Since its founding in 1999, has helped three million do-it-yourselfers save 225 million dollars in repair costs by successfully repairing appliances and outdoor power equipment on their own.

RepairClinic’s free online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with major home appliances, outdoor power equipment, HVAC equipment, water heaters, floor care, and more. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct, recommended part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, snowblowers, leaf blowers, edgers and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.™ return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States and Canada.

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About the Author

Terry Spencer is an in-house appliance and HVAC expert for He has 29 years of expertise in appliances and HVAC equipment repair. Prior to joining RepairClinic in 2011, Terry was a respected, well-known technician at one of metro Detroit’s top residential appliance and HVAC repair businesses. Enthusiastic about fixing things and helping people, Terry enjoys his position with RepairClinic. He has a leading role in the development of RepairClinic’s how-to repair videos and repair help content. He’s also frequently called on for technical advice and press information for journalists and bloggers. He regularly completes extensive manufacturer training for appliances, HVAC equipment and outdoor power equipment. Terry has a refrigeration license and holds multiple certifications for an array of products. As a child, Terry was known to take appliances apart simply to see how they worked. While growing up on a farm, he taught himself how to repair small engines. Terry enjoys creating content that reaches and helps so many people solve problems on their own. In collaboration with colleagues, he develops and leads frequent Customer Care staff training programs for appliances, HVAC equipment and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not at RepairClinic, Terry spends time with his wife and children. An avid outdoorsman, Terry also enjoys Michigan’s seasons. He and his family reside in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

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