The kitchen sink garbage disposal is probably the most overlooked appliance in your kitchen. Yet, replacing or repairing one can be burdensome and costly. By following these quick, simple tips, you can keep your disposal working effortlessly for years to come.
- Think small. When using your garbage disposal, remember that it is made to handle small quantities of food at a time. Do not allow your sink to fill up with large amounts of food that can clog or break your disposal.
- Use cold water. Whenever your disposal is running, make sure there is also a steady stream of cold water. Hot or warm water can soften fats and oils, causing them to stick in your drainpipes. Make sure to continue to run the cold water for a few seconds after you turn off the disposal as well, as this will help clear your pipes of any food remnants.
- Avoid hard items. Keep in mind your garbage disposal is meant for food only. Items such as glass, bone and rubber should be kept out of the disposal as well as peach or cherry pits. These hard items can cause damage to the disposal as well as drainage problems.
Maintaining a Healthy Garbage Disposal
- Do not use bleach or other drain cleaners. If your drain is clogged, the proper way to clear it is to remove the disposal and use a rooter system. Chemicals can harm your disposal, pipes and the environment. Contact a professional for help.
- Sharpen your blades with ice. Periodically running ice cubes through your garbage disposal helps clear the blades of any debris and actually sharpens the disposal blades.
- Freshen up with a slice of citrus. A common complaint of many disposal owners is the odor that can develop. An easy way to keep your disposal smelling clean is to run a few lemon or orange slices through it. If your drain continues to smell, you may need to contact a plumbing professional.
- Watch out for celery. Fibrous materials such as celery, artichoke husks or cornhusks should be thrown in the garbage and not put through the disposal. The small fibers in these vegetables can become tangled around the blades, causing your disposal to fail.
Caution: It is never recommended to reach your hand or fingers into a disposal for any reason. If you need to remove an item from the disposal, use long pliers or contact a plumbing professional.
By following these simple disposal maintenance steps, you can keep your drain clear and make sure your disposal continues to run worry free.