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Will Putting Ice Cubes into My Garbage Disposal Improve Its Performance?

You probably use your garbage disposal on a daily basis to help clean up in the kitchen. With an effective disposal in the kitchen sink, you can easily get rid of food particles without the hassle of putting them into a composting receptacle and then removing them to the trash. The disposal also helps keep large food debris out of your drainpipes, and this in turn gives your plumbing a longer life with fewer clogs.

At times you may feel that your garbage disposal isn’t living up to expectations, and that it no longer seems to grind food the way it should. What should you do in this case? The best option is to call for a professional plumber to look into the trouble and see if you need repairs, or possible a unit replacement. Count on The Sunny Plumber when you need work for your garbage disposal in Vail, AZ.

But won’t pouring ice cubes into the disposal sharpen the blades?

This is one of the most persistent myths about garbage disposals. It won’t necessarily lead to serious problems with your disposal if you do this, but discussing why the ice cube (or eggshell) solution actually isn’t helpful will give you a better idea of how your garbage disposal actually works.

The fallacy with the concept of “sharpening” the “blades” of a garbage disposal is that a garbage disposal doesn’t use blades at all. If you view a cross-section of a standard kitchen garbage disposal, you will see that inside the upper hopper chamber (the location where food particles first enter) is a flywheel with impellers on it. The impellers are responsible for grinding down the food when the disposal turns on and the flywheel rotates. These impellers are not sharp, but blunt. (Please take our word for it; don’t reach down into the garbage disposal to feel them.) The speed of the disposal takes care of grinding, not the sharpness of any blades.

Although a few ice cubes going down the disposal shouldn’t do any damage to it, don’t make a habit of pouring a whole tray full of cubes into the hopper, since this can cause too much wear on the flywheel.

If your garbage disposal seems to no longer be able to “cut it,” something else is wrong, and you will need to call on professional plumbers to investigate. Just contact The Sunny Plumber, and we will see that your garbage disposal in Vail, AZ gets back to working the way it should, or we can offer you options for replacing the unit.

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