What Are the Pros and Cons of an in-Sink Garbage Disposal?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 August 2019
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An in-sink garbage disposal is a convenient way to dispose of food scraps and other light objects, and it can save time on clean-up after meals. There are several disadvantages of an in-sink garbage disposal unit, however, starting with the price. Homeowners considering a kitchen remodel may want to consider this unit for convenience and ease of use, but they will need to remember that the budget for the remodeling will need to be extended for the cost of the unit as well as proper installation. The homeowner may also want to consider future repair costs for the unit, which can become clogged.

One of the most common complaints about an in-sink garbage disposal involves the maintenance required for the unit. While clogs happen infrequently, they can be difficult to diagnose and fix, and this process may require partial disassembly of the unit to remove old food, solid objects that could not be disposed of by the unit, and so on. If the unit starts to clog but still functions, the homeowner is likely to notice an unpleasant odor coming from the disposal. Chemical cleaners may need to be used to get rid of the smell and the rotting food or objects causing it, or citrus fruit peels may be used to help clear up the smell.


Many homeowners like having an in-sink garbage disposal for convenience and less time doing dishes or cleaning the kitchen. Food scraps can be dumped directly into the sink rather than into a garbage can, cutting down on the risk of rotting food and bad smells from food sitting in a garbage can. It is important to note, however, that not all foods can be dumped into the in-sink garbage disposal. The homeowner should read the operator's manual to find out what types of food and scraps cannot be put into the unit without clogging it or otherwise damaging it.

These units are also not the most environmentally friendly option for disposal of food and scraps. The sink's faucet will need to run constantly while food is being disposed of in the unit, which can lead to water waste. The unit will also require an electrical connection, meaning electricity bills can rise depending on how often the unit is used and for how long it is used during each instance. Some modern models cut down on electricity use and require less water, but these tend to be more expensive than traditional units.


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Post 2

@Soulfox -- You know what clogs up in sink garbage disposals more than anything else? Potato peels. Never, never dump potato peels down a garbage disposal.

Apparently, those kind of float around and get sucked through the garbage disposal before they can be hacked up efficiently with the blades. Throw those things in the trash or the compost pile.

Post 1

If that in-sink garbage disposal turns stinky on you, just try dumping powdered lemonade mix down the drain (don't use the kind with sugar in it -- get the mix). Let that sit for about 30 minutes and then turn on the water and garbage disposal. Let that run for a bit, and that should take care of the smell.

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