This can be a messy headache for homeowners. Here are several tips to keep your unit in good working order.
First, always run cold water when grinding to move the waste all the way down the drain lines. Fats and grease congeal and harden in cold water and can be flushed through the system. Hot water should not be used because it can dissolve fats and grease, which may then accumulate in the drain line.
Almost all biodegradable food waste can be fed into disposals. However, they should not be used to grind clam or oyster shells, cornhusks or other material with high fiber content. Under no circumstances should you put glass, plastic or metal non-food materials though a disposal. This includes bottle caps, tin covers or aluminum foils which are some of the items service technicians commonly find in clogged or broken disposals.
Maintenance is easy. Grinding small bones and eggshells actually helps clean the disposal by scraping away stubborn deposits. Grinding a little ice or citrus peel is another way to clean deposits and get rid of odors. For the most part, though, disposals are self-cleaning.