Can You Put Drain Cleaner In Garbage Disposal

Homeowners have many tasks when it comes to the maintenance of their homes. Unfortunately, many homeowners have such busy lives, they often forget how to perform basic maintenance on their home’s appliances and systems. For example, how to unclog a sink, garbage disposal, or even toilet can be a challenge. There are so many recommended ways to complete this task, oftentimes homeowners get confused about what actually works. Can you put drain cleaner in a garbage disposal? In some cases, you can use a specific drain cleaner. However, it is not highly recommended.

Let’s take a look below at why it might not be a good idea to use a drain cleaner in your garbage disposal.

How Bad Can Drain Cleaner Be

Believe it or not, not all drain cleaners are created equally. There likely are some products on the market available to you at your local hardware store, that can be safe for your garbage disposal. However, most cleaning products are created with some very destructive chemicals. The chemicals are meant to eat away at food and debris and act as a clog remover.

Unfortunately, using a chemical like a drain cleaning product, the inner lining of your pipes can begin to break down. As the chemicals cleans your garbage disposal drain clog, it also can eat away at your pipes, leaks and cracks can begin to form causing some major damage to your home. It is highly recommended that you look for an environmentally friendly way to unclog your garbage disposal drain.

You should never put food peels down the garbage disposal. This could clog your disposal.

How Can I Prevent A Clog

The idea of your garbage disposal getting clogged can typically be avoided. Homeowners must read up on what they should not pour into their garbage disposal so that they can avoid a clog. Additionally, you should understand the best maintenance for your garbage disposal. Let’s take a look:

What You Should Do

  • Ice and Salt – placing ice and salt into your garbage disposal for 10 minutes will do the trick. The ice and salt will create a solid that is easily removed from the disposal. Turn on the garbage disposal and the hardened food and debris such as grease will be rinsed out and into the drain pipes.
  • Use cold water – always run cold water into the garbage disposal drain when running it. Also, consider using a citrus fruit to rinse the garbage disposal and keep it smelling fresh.
  • Baking Soda and Vinegar – to keep your garbage disposal clean you might also use baking soda and vinegar. This chemical reaction works to clear all loose debris and food from your disposal walls and grinders. As the water flows from your kitchen faucet the particles wash away.
  • Use a plunger – using a plunger on the sink side could release the pressure buildup that is causing the garbage disposal to clog.

What You Should Not Do

  • Forget to use water – not using water to rinse food around while your garbage disposal is grinding away will cause the food particles to get clogged.
  • Don’t dispose of certain foods – never put eggshells, coffee grinds, potato peels, banana peels, or other food shavings down a garbage disposal. These foods when ground can get trapped in the walls of the grinder and under the blades of the disposal. If this occurs, clogging can occur.

Other Recommended Maintenance

Now that you understand why pouring drain cleaner into your garbage disposal is bad, you can begin to read up on how long garbage disposal will last. This allows you to determine if, over time, you have caused too much damage to your disposal. Knowing when to replace it will save you money and frustration from too many clogs.

Next, if you have a clog in your garbage disposal it is a good idea to read up on the electrical components of your garbage disposal. It is possible that your garbage disposal is not getting the required amps to work properly. Hire an electrician to take a look to determine if this is the cause of your clogging.

Lastly, if you have low water pressure in your kitchen sink, this is likely due to a clog. So, while you are working to repair a garbage disposal clog, you are likely fixing your low water pressure issue. This might be a good time to reach out to a master plumber for some assistance.

Hire a professional master plumber to assist you in repairing or replacing your clogged garbage disposal.

When Do I Call A Professional

The moment you hear your garbage disposal making noises, smelling bad, or clogging too much, it might be time for a replacement. If your home remedy of unclogging the garbage disposal does not work, reach out to a master plumber. Also, read up on if certain drain cleaners can actually help your garbage disposal clog. Reach out to your local home inspection team for a plumbing system inspection. Do this before using any chemicals. Also, they can recommend a reputable master plumber.


When it comes to garbage disposal clogs and what you should or should not use in your plumbing system is important to read up on them. There are so many options offered to homeowners that you want to make sure you aren’t damaging your system. The best way for you to avoid using drain cleaners is to maintain your garbage disposal. Also, consider using environmentally friendly options. Reach out to your local home inspection team for a plumbing inspection and recommendations. Call on Advantage Inspections to have a plumbing inspection conducted here in West Central, Florida.