Kitchen Garbage Disposals: a short guide for beginners

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A garbage disposal unit is a very convenient tool that shreds food waste into small pieces to make them passable through plumbing. It helps to reduce the amount of garbage going to landfill, which makes disposals a must-have for people who live in small households.

How kitchen garbage disposals work

Most of the time, disposals are installed under the kitchen sink. The device mounts to the drain hole — it does not take up too much space and it does not affect the looks of a sink. Inside of it, food or garbage waste are going through a small airtight container and are shredded to the state of small pieces (generally not more than 3 mm), so they can be washed down the drain without any problems.

Types of kitchen garbage disposals

The vast majority of modern disposal units are electric. There are still many mechanical models on the market, but they are becoming less popular with every year.

The grinding itself is performed by a special mechanism — usually, it consists of a metal rotating disc and a number of shredding plates. Each manufacturer uses unique technologies, so, if needed, you will have to buy specific spare parts for your device.


The rotational speed of a disk depends on the power of the motor. The higher it is — the faster will disposal work. Good models can easily handle fish scales, bones, nutshells, eggshells, and other waste products. They also have a defensive cover used during operation to prevent foreign objects (for instance, spoons or forks) from falling in.

Some companies offer kitchen disposals powered by water pressure. Such models do not need to be connected to electrical outlets. However, they require a rather high water pressure and work slower in comparison to their electric counterparts.

How to use kitchen garbage disposals

In order to use a disposal, turn on the water first, and then turn on the unit itself. Make sure that there are no foreign objects in food or garbage waste before loading them into the device. Leave the water open after the shredding for at least 20 seconds to wash away all the pieces. Most of the kitchen garbage disposals work like that, but we highly recommend you to read the manual of your device before using it.

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