Common Myths and Misconceptions About Garbage Disposals

Are you finished with that chicken? Just throw the bones into the sink and the garbage disposal will take care of it, right? Well, no, wrong. Chicken bones and many other things that people put into the jaws of garbage disposal do not belong there, like, at all. And that’s just one thing.

dirty kitchen sink

So, let’s take a closer look at the seven most common myths and misconceptions that we have about garbage disposals.

1. Garbage Disposals Have Blades: The Kitchen Jaws

Contrary to popular belief, your garbage disposal isn’t hiding a set of spinning, razor-sharp blades that could rival a horror movie. In reality, disposals use impellers (not blades) to grind up food waste.

I know, the shock, your life will never be the same now.

  • The Real Deal: Garbage disposals have impellers, which are blunt and spin at high speeds to break down food particles.
  • The Takeaway: You’re not dealing with a kitchen-based serial killer. Just be careful, though, because those impellers can still cause some damage if you’re not cautious.

2. You Can Put Anything in a Garbage Disposal: The Indiscriminate Eater

This is my favorite and at the same time, the most hateful topic about garbage disposals. I mean… how can someone possibly think that you can put every single household waste item into a garbage disposal?

These beloved machines are not magical portals to another dimension that can make anything disappear. Some items can cause clogs, damage, or even make your disposal smell like a science experiment gone wrong.

  • Off-Limits Items: Bones, coffee grounds, eggshells, and fibrous vegetables are all on the no-go list. Oh, and definitely don’t put your hopes and dreams in there either.
  • The Takeaway: Treat your garbage disposal with the respect it deserves, and it’ll reward you with years of faithful service. Or at least, it won’t clog and overflow.

3. Lemons Are the Ultimate Deodorizer: Citrus Sorcery

And… of course, when life gives you lemons… They make lemonade, add zest to your cooking, and apparently work miracles on garbage disposal odors. But don’t be fooled by the sweet, citrusy scent.

  • Short-Term Fix: While lemons can help with odors temporarily, they’re not a long-term solution. That lemon-fresh scent won’t last forever, and the citric acid can corrode your disposal over time.
  • The Takeaway: For a more permanent solution to odors, try a thorough cleaning with baking soda and vinegar. Sorry, lemons. You can’t win them all.

4. Hot Water and Grease Are BFFs: A Slippery Misconception

If you’ve ever heard that hot water can help wash grease down your garbage disposal, you’ve been misled, my friend.

Actually, hot water and grease are more like frenemies than BFFs.

  • Fat Chance: Hot water might liquify grease for a moment, but as soon as the water cools, the grease will solidify and cling to your pipes like a stage-5 clinger.
  • The Takeaway: Always use cold water when running your garbage disposal, especially if you’re dealing with grease. Leave the hot water for your tea or coffee.

5. Garbage Disposals Require Constant Maintenance: The Needy Appliance

Some people think garbage disposals are like high-maintenance partners that require constant attention and care. Well, I have good news for you, your disposal is more independent than you think.

Not to mention that if you are taking proper care of your disposal and you stuff down its throat only what is meant for it, it will reward you with years of uninterrupted service.

  • Low-Maintenance Love: Generally, garbage disposals don’t require much maintenance. So, keep it clean, avoid harmful items, and occasionally give it a good cleaning with baking soda and vinegar. That’s all she wrote.
  • The Takeaway: Your garbage disposal is a self-sufficient member of your kitchen appliance family. It won’t demand constant attention or late-night emotional support.

6. Running the Disposal Without Water: The Dry Grind

Some folks out there may think running their garbage disposal without water is totally fine.

Well, no.

Dry grinding is a big no-no.

  • Lubrication is Key: Water helps lubricate the impellers, ensuring smooth grinding action and preventing damage to your disposal.
  • The Takeaway: Always run cold water while using your garbage disposal. Save the dry grinding for your dance moves at the next family wedding.

7. All Garbage Disposals Are Created Equal: The One-Size-Fits-All Myth

All garbage disposals are exactly the same, so just buy the cheapest on the market, right?


Just like people, not all garbage disposals are the same. Different models have different features, power levels, and noise levels. A little research goes a long way!

  • Know Your Options: Consider factors like horsepower, continuous vs. batch feed, and noise levels when shopping for garbage disposal.
  • The Takeaway: Don’t just buy the first garbage disposal you see. Do your homework, and you’ll find the perfect match for your kitchen and your waste disposal needs.

In Conclusion

I actually believe that once you read these seven misconceptions, your garbage disposal will be smiling just because of that fact alone. Now you understand its purpose in more precise detail. Give your garbage disposal a nice pat on its back and respect it. You will be rewarded with another happy appliance.