Garbage Disposer FAQs

My disposer smells really bad. What can I do to get rid of it?
Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning pellets to eliminate disposer odors naturally and keep it smelling fresh. 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.
What can I put into my disposer?
What shouldn’t I put into my disposer?
When I run my disposer, should the water be a certain temperature?
Do I have to run the water while using the disposer?
How do I un-jam my disposer?
My garbage disposer won’t run when I turn it on. What’s wrong?
My disposer smells really bad. What can I do to get rid of it?
Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning pellets to eliminate disposer odors naturally and keep it smelling fresh. 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.
What can I put into my disposer?
Most disposers can handle the following - regardless of whether you have a city sewer or a septic tank: • Soft food particles • Ice cubes, most softer bones, fruit pits and peels • Coffee grounds • Disposer cleaner, degreaser or deodorizer
What shouldn’t I put into my disposer?
Highly fibrous foods such as corn husks and dry onion peels should not be put into a disposer. These can cause clogs in the disposer or drain pipes.
When I run my disposer, should the water be a certain temperature?
Yes, cold water is ideal. Do not use hot water.
Do I have to run the water while using the disposer?
Yes. Run a full stream of cold water through the disposer while it’s in operation. After the disposer is turned off, let the water run for another five to 10 seconds.
How do I un-jam my disposer?
For most disposers, a disposer wrench can generally handle most jams. A disposer wrench is a quarter-inch Allen wrench that fits into the bottom center of most disposers. If your disposer is jammed, insert the wrench and wiggle the grinding plate black and forth to loosen jammed particles. If there’s a grinding sound when you wiggle the plate, there could be something caught in the disposer. Common items to get caught are coins, earrings, soda can tops, twist ties, toothpicks and others. Use a flashlight to inspect the inside of the disposer.
My garbage disposer won’t run when I turn it on. What’s wrong?
Your garbage disposer’s start switch or motor may be defective. Or the wall switch that powers the disposer may be faulty. Enter your garbage disposer’s model number in our repair help for troubleshooting information.