How to Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades (3 Best Ways)

  • By: Promise
  • Time to read: 5 min.
I'm a passionate writer, a blogger and a web designer. I spend most of my time surfing the internet and writing quality articles.

Oftentimes, the garbage disposal does not process food waste as quickly as it used to. Sometimes, it might be noticed that the blades of the garbage disposal are dull and not efficient. This is normal, a machine needs to be maintained to stay efficient.

The dullness of the disposal’s blades is caused by constant usage. Effects of dull garbage disposal blades include large food items going down the disposal without the blades grinding them properly. This can lead to blockage in the pipes.

The best way to sharpen garbage disposal blades is to use citrus water and ice cubes. You can also make use of a rubber stopper and hot water or eggshells to sharpen your garbage disposal blades.

Do Garbage Disposal Blades Wear Out?

Quite frankly, yes. The blades of garbage disposal wear out with time and use. The more the machine is used, the more the blades wear out without constant maintenance.

When the blades are worn out, the signs will be obvious. The machine will not be able to grind food items properly, it will take a longer time to process food waste, the sink gets full due to the long time to process waste, the machine will make a rustling sound.

So, the wearing-out of the blades is perfectly natural but it should not be overlooked.

It is common to see garbage disposals attached to sinks in many households. Garbage disposal has become one of the most important gadgets in the kitchen.

In the event that the blades stop grinding properly and the food waste keeps clogging up in the pipes, creating a blockage in the sink, the whole purpose of having a garbage disposal is defeated.

What then should be done to avoid this sad scenario? The blades of the garbage disposal should be sharpened and maintained regularly.

Can Garbage Disposal Blades be Sharpened?

No, you see, the garbage disposal is not composed of blades as we describe it to be. It comprises “teeth” which move against each other to pulverize and grind food items in motion.

So, these teeth can get quite greasy and oily, due to the nature of food passed through them. When greasy, the motion will be slow and the machine will be inefficient.

However, instead of sharpening, cleaning can be done to the teeth of the garbage disposal.

With time, it might be noticed that the odor generated from the garbage disposal is unpleasant. This is due to the rotting and decomposing of food items left unprocessed inside the garbage disposal.

Cleaning is quite essential in maintaining the full functionality of the garbage disposal.

How to Sharpen Garbage Disposal Blades

This article will show you how to sharpen your garbage disposal blades and maintain the full functionality of your garbage disposal.

To sharpen your garbage disposal:

Solution 1: Make use of Citrus fruits and Ice Cubes

This is probably the most popular solution for sharpening the blades of garbage disposal. To do so,

  • Put a spoonful of salt into the garbage disposal
  • Add some ice cubes into the disposal as well
  • Run cold water into the disposal.
  • Leave the disposal on and allow it to run for 45 seconds before turning it off
  • Run cold water into the disposal for 30 seconds
  • Put in your citrus fruit e.g., lemon, oranges

The ice cubes will disintegrate in the disposal and along with the salt, scrub the edges and walls of the inner teeth. The citrus fruit is put at the disposal to give it a pleasant, fresh scent.

Solution 2: Make Use of the Rubber Stopper and Hot Soapy Water

A simple, yet effective method to sharpen the blades of garbage disposal is the use of hot soapy water.

  • Block the drain with the rubber stopper put in place
  • Run hot water into the sink and add a bit of soap.
  • As soon as the sink is full of hot soapy water, remove the stopper.
  • Allow the water flow into the disposal and fill it up.
  • Turn ON the disposal and turn on the cold water. Let the water flow for some minutes

This simple process will wash away the remnant of food stuck in the blades of the garbage disposal. The blades will be sharpened.

Solution 3: Make use of Egg Shells

This is personally unadvisable but for the sake of information, eggshells can be used to make the blades of your garbage disposal more efficient. Use this as the last DIY resort and it should be done sparingly.

  • Put eggshells down the garbage disposal
  • Turn on the cold water
  • Turn on the garbage disposal

This method will scrape off food particles on the blades and make the blades more efficient.

So that is it. Three solutions for dull garbage disposal blades. These methods are quite inexpensive and simple to achieve.

Furthermore, if the blades do not work well after these steps have been taken, it will then be expedient to get a plumber to change the blades or maybe the garbage disposal; blades need to be replaced.

To avoid having dull garbage disposal blades, some foods should not be put into the garbage disposal:

  1. Oil, fats, and grease
  2. Potato peels
  3. Banana peels
  4. Animal bones
  5. Vegetable peels
  6. Onion skins
  7. Starchy food like rice and bread
  8. Fibrous materials
  9. Non-food items

It is important to adhere to this because such foods will affect the blades by clogging the pipes.


Over time, the blades of the garbage disposal might get slow and rusty. This is because of the normal usage of the machine.

Sometimes, it might be due to the kind of food items being passed through it. Watch out for what you pass through the garbage disposal. Some foods are meant for the garbage can and not the garbage disposal.

Also, when you notice an unpleasant odor being generated from the garbage disposal, it might be a sign that the garbage disposal blades are not grinding effectively.

The odor can be from remnant food items stuck under the blades. Regularly run cold water down the disposal while it is turned ON, to wash away food items from the blades. The garbage disposal blades should be tightened as well if it is too loose.

Sharpening of the garbage disposal blades should not just be done when the need arises. Personally, I do it every two weeks. This ensures my disposal’s blades are at optimal performance all the time.

How to Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades

Previous Post

How to Tighten Garbage Disposal Blades (10 Best Ways)

Next Post

13 Worst Foods For Garbage Disposal (You Must Avoid)

Worst Foods For Garbage Disposal