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How To Upkeep Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage Disposal with Cucumber peel

While many homeowners across Hampton Roads have garbage disposals in their kitchens, few properly maintenance them. Garbage disposals are an incredible time-saver in swift clean-up in your kitchen. However, if you fail to care for your disposal then major repairs can be a major expense. With proactive maintenance to your garbage disposal, you can allow for increased system efficiency for years without costly repairs or replacement.

The 5 Garbage Disposal Do’s

1. Do Use Cold Water

When you are operating your garbage disposal, it is critical that you keep the food being processed smoothly passing through the system. Keep a flow of cold water running through the disposal while you are processing the food. Additionally, keep the cold water running for an extra fifteen minutes after processing to ensure that all food particles wash through the system. Make sure you use cold water, not hot. Not only is hot water problematic, but cold water also has the benefit of keeping your disposal motor from overheating while in use.

2. Do Clear The Drain

Take the steps to snake your drainage pipe once every two years (or as needed). Snaking the drain routinely will help to prevent clogs and ensure that your kitchen sink drains properly. A clogged sink and disposal drain will add up to costly repair bills. Proactively snake your kitchen sink drains to extend the life of your garbage disposal.

3. Do Clean With Ice

A simple and efficient way to clean your garbage disposal is with ice cubes. Place a small amount of ice in your disposal occasionally to clean and clear the line. Be certain to place the rubber stopper over the disposal entrance or you will be covered in flying ice chips!

4. Do Use A DeGreaser

Over time, even though you are refraining from placing harmful grease and oil in your disposal, a degreaser is necessary. Upon occasion, use a generic degreaser in your garbage disposal. Doing so will help keep fat from building up. It will also help your system run more efficiently and eliminate nasty odors.

5. Do Use A Natural Freshener

Occasionally spruce up your garbage disposal with natural citrus peels. Running lemon, lime, or orange peels through your disposal will keep it smelling fresh and the natural acid in citrus fruit has the added benefit of hampering the growth of bacteria.

The 5 Garbage Disposal Don’ts

The name garbage disposal is really a misnomer. Not all “garbage” should be “disposed of” in your system. The quickest way to cause your garbage disposal to malfunction is by letting harmful material go down your sink.

1. Don’t Grind Non-Food

Of course, use common sense on what items to refrain from entering your disposal. Don’t grind non-food-based items. Items such as paper, plastic, or non-edible materials should be tossed in the trash or recycled. Your garbage disposal is only equipped to handle food waste.

2. Don’t Grind These Foods

Monitor what food products pass through your garbage disposal as there are certain items that may harm your system. Not all food materials are safe for your garbage disposal. Avoid the following list of food items in your garbage disposal as they can create clogs and damage the blades of your disposal.

• Tough vegetables, especially high fibrous or stringy foods such as celery
• Oils and grease (these are harmful to your sink as well as your disposal)
• Eggshells
• Animal bones and fat
• Expandable carbs such as rice, pasta, or bread

3. Don’t Run Hot Water While Grinding Your Disposal`

Only use cold water when grinding your garbage disposal. Hot water may cause fats to congeal. When congealed, fats and oils can stick to the blades of your disposal and cause the system to work harder than necessary, impacting the motor. You can run hot water in the sink after you have completed the grinding process.

4. Don’t Fill Your Disposal

Run your disposal with the proper amount of food in one sitting. Pass a small amount of food completely through the processor before adding more. If you over-fill your disposal then the motor may overheat.

5. Don’t Use Harsh Chemicals To Clean Your Disposal

Refrain from using tough cleaning chemicals in your disposal. Heavy-duty chemicals can be harmful to your sink’s plumbing system. There are safe cleaning options to keep your disposal smelling fresh and running smoothly.

Call The Experts

Following these do’s and don’t with your garbage disposal should extend the longevity of your system and prevent a costly repair or replacement bills. If your system is having major malfunctions, don’t hesitate to contact a professional plumber. The Smith & Keene plumbers are at the ready to tend to all of your plumbing needs. Whether it be a repair or overall replacement of your garbage disposal, contact the experienced Smith & Keene plumber team to get your system running smoothly. Call 757-420-1921 or contact Smith & Keene today!

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