Dishwasher & Garbage Disposal 101

Garbage Disposal

Most modern homes in the U.S. are now built with an in-sink garbage disposal and dishwasher. While this convenience certainly can make our lives easier, it's one of the main causes of household and city plumbing problems. 


Many people assume that hot water and detergent break up grease from pots, pans, and dishes, but the effect is only temporary. While your dishes may come out of your dishwasher sparkling like new, underground, the grease hardens and builds up causing wastewater pipes to slowly grow smaller and smaller inside.

Any kitchen grease that enters your plumbing system can eventually cause clogs, backups, and overflows. Household wastewater and sewer water can enter your home, and all the hot water and detergent in the world can't stop it from happening. That's because once grease and hot water enter the pipes, the hot water begins to cool, the grease begins to congeal, and all of it sticks to and builds up on the inside of the pipes that carry wastewater away from your home.


Disposals are equally dangerous for plumbing. Many people rinse food off their plates into the sink before washing them, then use the disposal and hot water to wash it down the drain. While out of sight may be out of mind, the grease from the food doesn't just disappear - it takes up residence in pipes underground.

To prevent costly plumbing problems - put every drop of kitchen grease where it belongs: in the trash. Instead of feeding your garbage disposal, scrape leftover food directly into the trash can, then wipe dishes with a paper towel before putting them into the dishwasher.