The Ultimate Guide to Proper Garbage Disposal Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Your garbage disposal plays a significant role in managing kitchen waste and keeping your sink clean and odor-free. Despite its importance, garbage disposal systems often go overlooked and neglected in terms of maintenance and proper usage. 

Proper garbage disposal maintenance is vital for preventing clogs, ensuring the longevity of your system, and maintaining a well-functioning kitchen environment. With the actionable advice provided in this guide, you will be able to enhance your disposal’s performance and lifespan by following our maintenance tips and addressing any potential issues before they escalate.

In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the best practices for using and maintaining your garbage disposal. We will also highlight common garbage disposal issues, their causes, and DIY troubleshooting techniques. Furthermore, we will outline when to call an expert for repairs and how Pulliam Plumbing’s team of highly-skilled technicians can assist you in maintaining a smoothly operating system.

1. Best Practices for Using Your Garbage Disposal

To ensure the longevity of your garbage disposal and avoid unnecessary repairs, it’s crucial to learn and follow these best practices for daily use:

  • Run Cold Water While Using the Disposal: Turning on the cold water when using your garbage disposal will help solidify food waste, making it easier to grind and flush through your pipes.
  • Feed Waste Gradually: Overloading the disposal can cause clogs or jams. Feed smaller amounts of waste into the system while the water is running to prevent issues.
  • Mind What Goes In: Avoid putting fibrous or tough food waste, such as bones, fruit pits, or potato peels, into the disposal. These items can cause jams and damage the blades.
  • Clean Your Disposal Regularly: To maintain a clean, odor-free disposal, use a combination of ice cubes, vinegar, and baking soda to deodorize and clean the blades.

2. Common Garbage Disposal Issues and DIY Troubleshooting Tips

Even with proper maintenance, there might come a time when your garbage disposal encounters a few issues. Here are some common problems and their easy DIY fixes:

  • Jams and Clogs: If the disposal stops working when switched on, turn it off, and unplug it. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a wooden spoon to remove any stuck items.
  • Overheating: If the disposal is switched on but doesn’t operate, it may have overheated. Press the reset button found on the bottom of the unit and allow it to cool down before using it again.
  • Leaks: If you notice water leaking from your disposal, double-check the connections and the sealing rubber gasket, ensuring everything is properly tightened and secured.
  • Unpleasant Odors: If your disposal emits a foul smell, deodorize it by running the cold water and adding ice cubes made from equal parts water and vinegar to the disposal.

3. When to Call a Professional for Garbage Disposal Repairs

Despite our best efforts, some garbage disposal issues require the expertise of a professional plumber. Consider calling a specialist if you encounter any of these situations:

  • Persistent Clogs or Jams: If your disposal continues to clog or jam despite proper maintenance and troubleshooting, it may need professional repair or even replacement.
  • Unresolvable Leaks: If leaks persist after tightening all connections and checking the gaskets, a professional can assess the problem and recommend appropriate measures.
  • Strange Noises: Rattling, screeching, or other unusual noises may indicate a damaged or misaligned component within the disposal. Professional assistance is necessary to assess and correct these issues.
  • No Power: If your disposal fails to turn on even after resetting it and checking for jams, this could hint at a more significant issue that warrants professional evaluation and repair.

4. How Pulliam Plumbing Can Help with Your Garbage Disposal Needs

As the highest-rated plumbing company in Boerne and Fair Oaks, Texas, Pulliam Plumbing offers top-notch garbage disposal repair and installation services. Our experienced technicians will accurately diagnose and resolve any issues with your disposal or recommend the best course of action, including replacement if needed. By choosing Pulliam Plumbing, you can rest assured that you’ll receive exceptional service, expertise, and support throughout the entire process.


Your garbage disposal is an indispensable household appliance that simplifies waste management in your kitchen. By following the best practices for using and maintaining your disposal, you can avoid many common issues that can lead to costly repairs or replacements. With Pulliam Plumbing’s expert guidance, you can ensure that your garbage disposal remains in peak condition, providing you with many years of hassle-free service.

In the event that you do require a professional to step in, know that you can rely on Pulliam Plumbing’s top-rated plumbers in Boerne, TX, to address all your garbage disposal repair and installation needs. Our knowledgeable team is dedicated to providing the highest level of service, helping you maintain a well-running disposal system that makes your life easier. Trust us to keep your garbage disposal running efficiently and avoiding common issues that may inconvenience your daily life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!