Why Is My Garbage Disposal Clogged?

July 15, 2023

Why Is My Garbage Disposal Clogged?

Having a clogged garbage disposal can be a frustrating experience. Not only does it prevent you from efficiently disposing of food waste, but it can also lead to unpleasant odors and even potential damage to the disposal unit itself. So, why does this problem occur? In this blog post, we will explore some common reasons why your garbage disposal may become clogged and provide tips on how to prevent and solve this issue.

1. Food Debris Accumulation

One of the most common causes of a clogged garbage disposal is the accumulation of food debris. Over time, small food particles can get stuck in the blades or the inner walls of the disposal unit. This can hinder the proper functioning of the unit and lead to clogs. Foods like potato peels, coffee grounds, and fibrous vegetables are especially prone to causing clogs.

To prevent food debris accumulation, it is important to always run water while using the garbage disposal. This helps wash down the food particles and prevents them from sticking to the unit. Additionally, avoid overloading the disposal with too much food at once, as this can overwhelm the blades and increase the chances of clogging.

2. Lack of Water Usage

Insufficient water usage is another factor that can contribute to the clogging of your garbage disposal. When you use the disposal, it is crucial to run a generous amount of water throughout the process. This helps in breaking down the food particles and ensures that they can flow smoothly through the drain pipes. Without enough water, the food debris may become stuck in the disposal or the pipes, leading to clogs.

Make it a habit to run water for at least 20-30 seconds before and after using the garbage disposal. This will help clear out any remaining debris and keep the unit clean and unclogged.

3. Grease and Oil Buildup

Grease, oil, and fats should never be poured down the garbage disposal. When these substances are washed down the drain, they can solidify and accumulate on the walls of the disposal unit and the pipes, causing blockages over time. Additionally, grease can coat the blades of the disposal, making it less effective in grinding and disposing of food waste.

Instead of pouring grease down the drain, collect it in a container and discard it in your regular trash. To prevent grease buildup, it is advisable to wipe greasy pans and plates with a paper towel before rinsing them in the sink.

4. Hard and Non-Food Items

Garbage disposals are designed to handle only food waste. Unfortunately, some people unknowingly or mistakenly put hard objects or non-food items down the disposal, causing clogs and damage to the unit. Items like fruit pits, eggshells, coffee filters, and small bones should never be disposed of in the garbage disposal.

Always be mindful of what goes into your disposal. Avoid putting anything other than food waste down the unit to prevent clogs and maintain its proper functioning.


A clogged garbage disposal can be a major inconvenience, but understanding the reasons behind it can help you prevent and solve the issue. By avoiding food debris accumulation, using enough water, avoiding grease buildup, and being mindful of what you put down the disposal, you can keep your garbage disposal running smoothly and efficiently. Remember, regular maintenance and proper usage are key to a clog-free garbage disposal and a clean and functional kitchen.

Got questions about your garbage disposal? Let us help! Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!

Categorised in:

Rooter Express