How Long Do Garbage Disposals Last?

Garbage disposals have become an essential part of our modern kitchens. Just like the durability of any other appliance, garbage disposal’s durability or lifespan also has a limit. 

What is the average life span of a garbage disposal?

The average life span of any garbage disposal is from 12 to 15 years. The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors has calculated that the average lifespan of a garbage disposal is 12 years.

However, there are many factors that can impact a garbage disposal’s lifespan. So it’s better to be mindful of the positive ways to use it so that it lasts far beyond its average age. There are a number of questions that need to be answered before reaching a conclusion. Here is your guide to make it last; from purchasing to the end of it!

How to increase the life span of a garbage disposal?

Choose the right brand

We all know that the quality of any product depends on its brand or manufacturing company. When buying a garbage disposal, that is on average supposed to last more than a decade, one must compare and choose wisely. The warranties are the most important factor to consider. Usually, garbage disposals come with 2-8 years of warranties but some companies like Waste King provide a lifetime warranty. 

waste king L1001

Warranties can save a lot of money which gets spent on maintenance of garbage disposal. So always look out for the best warranty offers. Your garbage disposal will constantly need repair and maintenance.

Here are some garbage disposals with the best warranties;

Once you have bought one, minimizing the damage and maintenance are the significant factors to get the most out of garbage disposals. So, how to maintain it?

Do regular maintenance

Taking proper guidance on using a garbage disposal for its longevity can actually make it last for years. So, here are some ways to properly maintain a garbage disposal: 

  1. Garbage disposal is not a trash can. You can’t possibly put any or every kind of thing in it. 
  2. Avoid any solid contents that can damage the blades because remember, it is a garbage disposal, not a crusher. Avoid putting bones, coffee grinds and plastics, etc in it.
  3. Frequent use of garbage disposal prevents clogging. If you are using it carefully and frequently then, you need not worry about its maintenance. 
  4. A common and effective rule for garbage disposal is simply to use it as much as you can. Running plenty of water while it is working can prevent unpleasant odors, clogging, noises, and so on. It also enhances durability. 
  5. Don’t shy away from calling plumbing services whenever needed. Leakages can turn into serious issues. So get it under control before it gets out of hand.

The following are the preventive maintenance tips to maintain daily to keep it safe.

Regular Checks 

There are signs such as leaking, overheating, noises, etc that you can look for. These are signs telling you that your garbage disposal needs some attention. Check it thoroughly. Check the cause of all these malfunctions and try to find solutions. These regular checks are compulsory in order to keep garbage disposal working. 

Make sure the disposal doesn’t clog. You can just simply let the sink fill in with water and then unplug the sink plug to let the water wash down with pressure so that the clogging doesn’t happen. Frequent clogging can create many hurdles and will eventually damage the garbage disposal’s durability.

Clean the garbage disposal regularly

It goes without saying that keeping the disposal clean is an important and key factor for its lifespan. It can easily be cleaned by using liquid soap or a dishwashing product that has soap in it. You can do it once a week after grinding in order to get rid of grease and clogs. 

If your disposal stinks you can deal with it by using fragrant or deodorizing soaps. Although it’s pretty easy to do it yourself, you should take a professional’s help every couple of years to get a deep cleaning.  

There are simple alternatives as well. You can use baking soda, soap mix, vinegar, borax or citrus peels, etc. The use of strong chemicals is not advised. 

If you know that you are not going to use the garbage disposal for some time, then it is better to clean it after you stop using it for that particular time. It will keep the garbage disposal fresh and prevent it from stinking or clogging. 

Cleaning is important. Whether you choose to do it every week or for two weeks, you still have to clean it regularly. That’s the only way to ensure its well-functioning condition.

Don’t throw everything in It

The temptation to just leave everything in the sink is quite huge, I know. I am usually tempted to just drop everything at my disposal but DON’T do that.

Though the garbage disposal is meant to handle food wastes, you might be putting too much pressure on it, thinking it can actually handle all of it. In reality, garbage disposals can’t grind food wastes in bulk.

Grease is a bummer for garbage disposal- that’s just general knowledge. Avoid putting oils, grease, and fat in it. Hard and big bones are the most damaging for the disposal, they can totally harm the blades. Even if it grinds bones, still bones and fibrous food does the damage to the blades. 

Some of the peels are a big no. For example, pineapple, banana, and potato peels are big clogging components. Similarly, coffee beans and grinds are also bad for the disposer since they too clog it.

Avoid adding big chunks

Domestic disposals are not built to deal with a large amount of waste. They are neither that strong, nor capable of handling bulk food waste. This being said, you can just simply avoid stuffing it once with a lot of food waste. 

If the disposal is dealing with bulk amounts frequently, it will severely impact its ability to function, and also its lifespan would be terribly affected. The processing would eventually slow down and the impellers would be overworked. 

Therefore, break down the big pieces into smaller chunks and put them in the garbage disposal by taking into account their capacity. 

Ice Cubes/ Sharpening of blades

If the blades lose their sharpness, the grinder would become useless and would stop proper disposing of the garbage. This can be prevented by being mindful of the above-mentioned techniques. 

There’s a simple way to re-sharpen the blades. Take some ice cubes and switch on the disposal and put the ice cubes in the garbage disposal. The cubes would sharpen the blades and they would also clean the sides and the corners where water could not reach. 

Use repairing services when necessary

The garbage disposal is also part of the essential plumbing system of the house and it requires the same type of repairing services. Many times, a simple repair can make your garbage disposal last for the next several years. Therefore, longevity or durability is dependent on repair services and regular maintenance. 

So before making a decision to dispose of your existing garbage disposal or letting it run with its minor defects, take a professional plumber’s advice and get it repaired if possible. 


Garbage disposals can last up to 15 years and in some cases, more than that. It depends on the choice of your brand. Also, your regular usage habits of the disposals can make it work in perfect condition and for a longer period. By being mindful of maintenance, cleaning, and usage you can get the best of it. And, if nothing works you can cash on your warranty and get it repaired with good plumbing services. 

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