How Long do Garbage Disposals Last? 4 Tips to Keep it Running Longer

How Long do Garbage Disposals Last? 4 Tips to Keep it Running Longer


How Long do Garbage Disposals Last? 4 Tips to Keep it Running Longer

Thinking about how long a garbage disposal will last isn’t something we consider every day. Garbage disposals are great for cleanup during food prep, getting rid of unwanted peels, expired food, or even unwanted leftovers. Almost daily, homeowners take advantage of the luxury a garbage disposer provides. That is until it stops working. If you’re in that boat, don’t worry. Licensed plumbers on Great Pros are ready to provide price quotes and solve your problem. If you’re experiencing issues with your garbage disposal, click here and we’ll get it taken care of.

How Long do Garbage Disposals Typically Last?

The life cycle of your garbage disposal is going to depend on how often it’s being used, whether or not it’s a modern model, or if it’s being properly maintained. Typically, you can expect your garbage disposal to last anywhere from 8-15 years. I know that time frame is broad, but because of the number of contributing factors, it’s almost impossible to pinpoint a specific timeframe. Before we take a look at tips to keep it running longer, here are a few things that will either wear down your blades or kill your garbage disposal’s motor altogether.

Things to Avoid Putting Down a Sink Drain

  • Avoid grease and oil. Grease and oil have the potential of solidifying at room temperature. This is going to cause major problems in your pipes, garbage disposal, and decrease drainage. If you put grease and oil down the drain, you can expect it to eventually clog and cause issues.
  • Potato peels belong in the trash. It’s common for homeowners to flush potato peels down the drain during food prep. If that’s you, stop doing this! Since potato peels contain starch, they can cling to the side of the disposal making it tough to flush down the drain.

    potato peels in the sink

  • Speaking of starch, avoid expandable food. Foods like rice and pasta also contain starches and can even expand when exposed to more water. Just like the potato peels, they belong in the trash.
  • Make sure you are clear of glass, metal, plastic, or paper. Items like glass and metal can jam your blades and dull them down. If either of these happens, you can expect to replace your garbage disposal soon.
  • Avoid bones, pits, and seeds. Just like metal and glass, other items like bones, pits, and seeds will cause similar problems. Avoid these items to prevent dull blades and jamming your garbage disposal.

4 Tips to Extend the Life of a Garbage Disposal

  1. Use the disposal frequently. Even if there is nothing in the garbage disposal, it is important to turn it on for a few seconds every once in awhile. Even running it for up to a minute can be beneficial. Garbage disposals can rust, corrode, collect hardened food, or even freeze. Running it frequently will help mitigate the potential damage these elements can cause.
  2. Use cold water. When cleaning dishes, it makes sense to use hot water. Not when running your garbage disposal. Hot water will melt and soften food making it difficult to be ground up by the blades. Cold water helps harden the food making it easier to grind up and push it out of the drain pipe.
  3. Cut your waste into small pieces. Your garbage disposal isn’t a heavy duty food processor so don’t treat it like one! It will only be able to handle so much food and the smaller the pieces, the longer it’s going to last.
  4. Grind up some citrus fruit. Citrus fruit is great to keep your garbage disposal clean. If you eat a grapefruit, orange, or lemon, don’t hesitate to throw it in the drain to grind it up. Not only will it help clear excess waste, but it will also make your drain smell a lot better.


    orange in sink


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