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Waste King
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InSinkErator
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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Shopping Guide for Best Garbage Disposals

Think about how many times you empty your kitchen trash can each week. What if you could reduce the amount of waste you were throwing away and make cooking and cleanup more efficient?

With a garbage disposal, you can!

A garbage disposal system, which is installed under your kitchen sink, is a fuss-free way to simplify dishwashing, and it’s good for the environment, too. Just scrape leftover food into the sink and turn on the disposal.

But shopping for a garbage disposal is not so simple. With so many systems on the market, how do you find the right garbage disposal for you?

At BestReviews, we aim to answer all your shopping questions.

A garbage disposal reduces your trash output, which is good for the environment.

We do in-depth research, buy and test products, interview experts, and gather the opinions of real-life customers before we write our reviews.

And because we never accept free products or perks from manufacturers, what we have to say is honest and unbiased, always.

If you’re ready to purchase a garbage disposal, check out the matrix above for our five favorites.

For more on how to find a garbage disposal that is efficient, safe, and durable, just keep reading

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

InSinkErator Evolution Excel

Powerful Three-Stage Grind

The InSinkErator Evolution Excel has “Multigrind Technology.” The three-stage grind involves a GrindShear Ring, Tri-Action Lug System, and Undercutter Disk. You can put just about anything in this powerful disposal. Potato peels are notorious for clogging garbage disposals, so one owner tried a whole potato! His quote? “It disappeared.”

Do I Need a Garbage Disposal?

A garbage disposal is installed under your sink. When you turn it on, the garbage disposal’s blades spin and cut up any food in the sink’s drain into tiny pieces, so the food won’t clog up your plumbing.

There are many ways a garbage disposal can benefit your kitchen.

Advantages

Easy Cleanup

With a garbage disposal, most leftover food can be put down the drain. As a result, you’ll likely find yourself with less trash.

EXPERT TIP

Before you buy a garbage disposal, check that it works with your sink’s design.


Staff  | BestReviews
Advantages

Cost-Effective

No more calling a plumber with a garbage disposal, which won’t clog your drain.

Advantages

Odor-Free

Leftover food does not sit out but is disposed right away. With a garbage disposal, there is no need to spritz your kitchen with air freshener because of a smelly trash can.

CAUTION

Don’t put inorganic waste down a garbage disposal. A garbage disposal is for food only.

Advantages

Environmentally Friendly

Garbage disposals are low-energy devices, and they help reduce overall food waste.

If you’re not keen on composting, a garbage disposal is a good alternative.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Waste King Legend Series

Durable Value

An affordable option that offers outstanding value, the Waste King Legend Series comes backed by a solid five-year warranty. The stainless steel disposal is compact enough to install under most sinks. The continuous feed design means this disposal requires just a flip of a switch. It runs very quietly, but it is still powerful enough to grind food waste efficiently.

Types of Garbage Disposals

Types

Continuous Feed Garbage Disposals

The most popular type of garbage disposal, you only need to flip a switch to grind up your leftovers with a continuous feed disposal.

You can also add more food while the disposal is running since it does so continuously.

EXPERT TIP

A garbage disposal will take up space beneath your sink. Make sure there’s enough room under the sink for the system.


Staff  | BestReviews
Types

Septic Feed Garbage Disposals

A septic feed garbage disposal works with a septic system. The device breaks down food waste mechanically, along with the help of microorganisms.

Types

Batch Feed Garbage Disposals

This kind of garbage disposal is basically a food processor for your food waste.

A lid is required for a batch feed disposal, which keeps users safe. The unit will only work with the cover securely tightened.

A batch feed garbage disposal is a good option for households with children, since it requires a lid to work.

Staff
BestReviews

What to Look for When Buying a Garbage Disposal

Considerations

Noise

Newer models are a lot less noisy, but a garbage disposal isn’t going to be your quietest appliance. Higher-end models generally make less noise.

If you notice an unusual sound or buzzing coming from your unit, this could mean something is jammed inside or the device needs maintenance.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

General Electric 1/3-Horsepower Continuous Feed

Compact, Light-Duty

The General Electric 1/3 Horsepower Continuous Feed is a relatively small unit. One of the most important measurements with garbage disposals is the size of the grind chamber. In this case, it’s 26.5 ounces. Power, at 1/3 horsepower, is at the lower end of the scale, but this is a light-duty machine. The owners we surveyed were very happy with the General Electric’s performance.

Considerations

Price

Inexpensive garbage disposals are made of less durable materials like aluminum. More expensive units are made of stainless steel and are sturdier and more powerful.

Keep in mind that the cost of a disposal unit does not include installation. In most cases, a garbage disposal should be professionally installed.

DID YOU KNOW?

A higher-end garbage disposal requires less power and water to function, which is more eco-friendly.

Considerations

Durability

Most garbage disposal units will last at least five years. Sturdier, more expensive models can last up to 10 years or longer. Look for a garbage disposal with a good warranty.

Considerations

Build Material

What a garbage disposal is made of is important for its longevity. Stainless steel, for instance, won’t rust as quickly.

EXPERT TIP

Stainless steel garbage disposals are your best bet if you’re concerned about rust formation.


Staff  | BestReviews
Considerations

Power

The wattage of a garbage disposal’s motor determines how efficiently it can grind food waste.

A high-wattage motor can quickly and powerfully mash nearly any kind of organic matter you put down the drain.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

KitchenAid Continuous Feed

Good Reputation

The KitchenAid Continuous Feed also features “Multigrind Technology.” Some of the internal components are produced by InSinkErator, so you have their reputation to add to KitchenAid’s. The KitchenAid has numerous satisfied owners, including one who tested the disposal by feeding it ice cubes. It passed, but that practice is not recommended.

Considerations

Extra Features

Some garbage disposals have extra features to avoid clogging up the system.

Other models include safety features like auto shutoff.

A few garbage disposals can be hooked up to your dishwasher, so you don’t have to worry about rinsing and scraping off food residue before loading dishes.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Warning: Whatever you do, never put your hands down the drain to unclog your garbage disposal.

Don’t Do This: What to Avoid When Using a Garbage Disposal

Not everything can be put down a garbage disposal. Avoid putting any of the following down your garbage disposal:

  • Particularly tough vegetables (like celery)

  • Fruit pits

  • Oils, fats, grease (these can cause unwanted buildup and clog your system)

  • Bones

  • Anything that’s not food

It’s best to call a professional for installation of your garbage disposal.

FAQ

Q. Do I need to get a professional to install my garbage disposal?

A. Probably. A garbage disposal is a powerful device that grinds up food. You don’t want to grind up your fingers, and you’ll want to make sure your garbage disposal is properly installed to prevent leaks.

Q. Should I use hot or cold water when running my garbage disposal?

A. Using cold water reduces the chance of buildup inside the disposal and is more efficient at washing down debris and waste.

Q. How do I clean my new device and keep my fingers?

A. Never stick your hands in a garbage disposal. If you need to take the machine apart to inspect inside, make sure it is powered off, and you’ve cut the electrical supply. Otherwise, some natural ways to clean your disposal are by pouring ice cubes, lemon juice, or vinegar down the drain.

Q. What do I do if my disposal gets jammed?

A. First, troubleshoot a bit. You can stick something down the drain (not your fingers) to try and dislodge whatever may be causing the blockage. You can also try using a shop vac to unblock the drain. If these options don’t work, cut the electricity connection to your device before you go inside to try and remove anything that’s stuck. If you still can’t find the culprit, call a professional. Your unit may be damaged.

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