Think before you flip that disposal switch. Garbage disposals are for getting rid of, well, garbage, right? Yes, but not all of it. Some things are better off composted or thrown away. Here's what you should never put in your garbage disposal.
I'm going to assume you wouldn't put utensils into your disposal on purpose, but sometimes they make their way down there anyway. Before using your disposal, make sure that it's clear of obstructions, like spoons, forks or miscellaneous items your kids tossed in the sink.
Many vegetables can wreak havoc on your garbage disposal. You shouldn't put fibrous vegetables in the disposal as they'll bind up around the blade. Watch out for rhubarb, asparagus, celery, chard, artichokes, kale and lettuce.
It's okay to dispose of potatoes and potato peels as long as you only put in a little at a time. Potatoes can break down in a disposal and create a sticky starch paste that can gum up the mechanics of the unit.
It would seem like turning on the hot water while using your disposal would help the disposal by softening up the food with heat, but it's not true. Horizon Services advises to only use cold water so that any oils or fats that are in the foods you're disposing of can solidify and be chopped up.