What’s Down Your Garbage Disposal?

What’s Down Your Garbage Disposal?

Eggshells and moldy leftovers. Ever wonder what happens when you send your food down the garbage disposal? Many believe it operates like a blender, but it actually liquifies food particles using a shredder ring. Once the particles are small enough they can wash down the drain. See more about how it works here. However, as convenient as garbage disposals can be, over time all those food particles can form a film or begin to grow mold and start to smell. Below, we have a few general tips on what you should and shouldn’t put down your garbage disposal and how to keep it clean.


The first step is to make sure you read up on your unit’s manufacturer instructions. Garbage disposals are designed to dispose of biodegradable food products. So, small amounts of the following are usually fine to send down the drain.

Fruit scraps
Citrus rinds
Coffee grounds


It’s generally a good rule of thumb to stay away from the following items. Again, make sure to check the garbage disposal’s manufacturer guidelines.

Grease, fats and oils
Starchy foods like pasta or rice
Paper products
Fruit pits

How to clean

Routine maintenance is good practice to keep your garbage disposal from getting jammed up or developing a foul odor. All it takes is a few easy steps to keep your unit in tip-top shape. Begin by scrubbing down your sink and sending any lingering food particles down the drain. Next, prep your garbage disposal by turning the unit on and running water for one minute. Then reduce water to a slow stream and drop in Arm & Hammer Garbage Disposal Cleaner. This little magical ball has a unique formula that combines the power of baking soda with a citrus scent to clean and deodorize your garbage disposal. We recommend using these up to twice a week or as needed to keep your garbage disposal free of grime and foul odors.