While your garbage disposal is certainly a tool you can use for a long time, it doesn’t mean that it’s invincible. You might be surprised to learn that they are pretty prone to clogs.

The problem is that the culprit behind a garbage disposal clog is hard to determine because it could be just a single item or an accumulation of several items over a period. The issue may also come from the blades, the construction of the garbage disposal itself, or the sink drain. 

In this post, we are going to discuss some of the most common causes of garbage disposal clogs and what you can do to avoid them.

Hard to Chop and Grind Food

Grinding and chopping food doesn’t always clean up after itself. Take chicken bones, for example. From our experience, these are the biggest culprits of clogged-up garbage disposals.

Generally, you should avoid putting these kinds of food in your garbage disposal. However, if you do, remember to cut them up into smaller pieces so that the disposal can easily grind them.

Too Much Grease and Fat

Fat, grease, oil, and other greasy foods also easily clog garbage disposals. Unfortunately, they are also the ones that you can’t control. Frying fatty pork chops for example, leads to leftover grease that is hard to dispose of.

It is best to avoid putting foods like that down your disposal. 

Non-Food Items

The garbage disposal is designed specifically for food waste. Nonetheless, you may be tempted to flush down some non-food items as well.

We want to remind you that non-food items such as plastic, aluminum, and heavy objects can easily clog your garbage disposal.

Hot Water

Hot water could indeed help dissolve food and grease. However, it can also melt the mechanisms of your garbage disposal and cause a clog.

Hot water has the potential to damage your garbage disposal. In this case, you should avoid cleaning your garbage disposal with hot water.

Cleaning your garbage disposal with hot water can be dangerous.

Instead, use lukewarm water if you need to.

Forgetting to Wash Away Leftover Waste

What happens if you forget to wash away leftover waste directly into the garbage disposal? This is more likely to occur if you leave the food sitting in your sink overnight.

If this happens, the food could go bad and end up rotting the inside of your garbage disposal. The result is clogging.

It’s best to wash away leftover food waste as soon as possible to not harden and clog your garbage disposal.

Improper Installation

Not all garbage disposals are created equal. Some garbage disposals are better than others.

For example, some disposals are designed for a specific type of sink. They might not be able to fit correctly in your sink. If your garbage disposal is not installed correctly, it’s more susceptible to clogging.


Those are the most common causes of garbage disposal clogs. However, there are other possibilities, too.

For example, the clog may be caused by the construction of the garbage disposal, the blades, or the sink drain. The clog might also result from a bird or animal dropping or a hard-to-grind food.

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