Keep Your Garbage Disposal Running Properly
Posted on November 7, 2017 by Susie Coss in Plumbing
Garbage disposal maintenance is key to keeping it running properly. A garbage disposal provides a great convenience, especially when it involves the messy chaos of cooking. Unfortunately, that convenient appliance can break easily without the proper maintenance. It’s nice to have something that saves you trips to the garbage can, but there’s a good chance that most of the food you’re putting down your garbage disposal, shouldn’t be put down in the first place.
How to Keep Your Kitchen and Your Garbage Disposal Happy
There’s a long list of foods that shouldn’t go down your disposal, partially due to how they can damage the blades, or worse, completely clog your plumbing with stinky rotting food. Clogged plumbing is a frustrating nuisance and repairs can be costly, but luckily there are several easy methods to avoid a clogged kitchen sink. Here’s how you can keep your garbage disposal running properly.
- Run the disposal frequently. It’s important to run your garbage disposal on a regular basis, even if you have nothing to grind. Regularly running your garbage disposal prevents it from freezing up, rusting, or corroding due to a lack of use, and any excess food that is left inside can lead to foul odors and clogs. Trying running your garbage disposal once at least every other day.
- Use cold water. Hot water works best for cleaning drains and surfaces, but not your garbage disposal. Running hot water down the drain while the disposal is in use melts the food that the disposal is working to grind up and it can cause food to cling to the sides. Running cold water while using the garbage disposal helps to harden whatever food waste needs to be ground down, and makes it easier to flush any unwanted food waste down.
- Run the disposal longer. It never hurts to be a little cautious, especially if it prevents clogged plumbing. Running your garbage disposal a little longer, even after the food waste is ground down, helps to ensure that there’s nothing left to flush down. You can also try flushing down some cold water and soap after use, to keep your kitchen drain clear of food waste.
- Cut food waste into smaller pieces. A garbage disposal is a wonderful thing, but it can only handle so much. Hefty chunks of food can not only overwhelm your disposal or clog your plumbing; it could break your disposal entirely. Don’t let your garbage disposal overwork itself, make sure any food waste that’s going down the disposal is cut into small enough pieces. Sprinkle a few food waste pieces at a time, not the entire cutting board, as even an avalanche of small food pieces can overwork your disposal.
- Grind some citrus peels. Citrus works as a fantastic cleaning agent, especially for your garbage disposal. Soap and cold water can go a long way toward keeping your disposal and kitchen drain clean, but the occasional citrus peel can help tremendously. Tossing in the occasional orange, lemon, or lime peel helps to clear any excess waste inside the disposal and eliminate any foul odors.
- Clean regularly. You want to treat your garbage disposal like the rest of your plumbing, and that means frequent cleaning. One of the best ways to prevent clogged plumbing is with routine cleaning. Try cleaning your garbage disposal once a week, using a bottle brush to scrub inside the disposal. Freezing vinegar in an ice cube tray and grinding the vinegar ice cubes down the drain helps to eliminate odors.
- Be mindful of what goes down the disposal. One of the best ways to guarantee your garbage disposal runs properly is to avoid flushing down foods that can damage the blades and your plumbing. Fats, greases, and oils can solidify inside the disposal and cause major clogs. Starchy foods like potato peels can cling to the sides of the disposal, making it almost impossible to flush down. Bones, seeds, and pits can dull the blades, jam the disposal, or get lodged somewhere inside the drain pipe. It’s best to avoid starchy foods altogether, especially expandable foods like pasta and rice, which can expand under the running water and cause a clog. Stringy vegetables like celery and asparagus can tangle themselves around the blades and stop your disposal from working. Lastly, do not flush your coffee ground down the disposal, as they will pile up inside your drain, creating a sludgy sediment that can cause some serious clogs.
Give Your Kitchen’s Plumbing the Treatment it Deserves
Nobody wants to deal with a broken garbage disposal and the plumbing repairs that come with it. Most plumbing problems can be avoided with proper care and maintenance, but that doesn’t always guarantee you’ll have a functioning garbage disposal. Your plumbing is complicated, and it can dangerous to work with without the proper tools and training. If you suspect something is wrong with your disposal, then it’s time to call a licensed plumber. Don’t wait until your kitchen reeks of rotting food, have a plumber inspect your garbage disposal today.
Call Lake Cook Plumbing today to learn how to properly care for your garbage disposal!