A garbage disposal makes doing the dishes a breeze. The garbage disposal will remove food waste, after crushing it to prevent clogs, through the drain. You need to maintain your disposal and use it properly in order to keep it working like new. This post details some helpful tips.
Tip #1: Use It or Lose It
Use your disposal often in order to keep it working properly. If you don't use it often enough, you run the risk of food sitting inside which can mold or begin to smell. You also run the risk of your disposal corroding, which will cause it to not to run as it should.
Run water through your disposal and turn it on at least once per week, just to keep moving the food through it, to ensure the moving parts aren't rusting away.
Tip #2: Sharpen the Blades
You can keep the blades on your disposal sharp by placing ice cubes in your disposal and turning it on. If you add baking soda or salt to the ice cubes, it will help remove anything stuck on the blades.
Tip #3: Remove Smells
When foods build up inside the disposal, it can cause a foul odor over time. Remove these smells and clean up your disposal by placing citrus peels, such as oranges, lemons or limes inside the disposal and then turning it on.
Another way to get rid of gross smells is cutting up citrus wedges and adding them to an ice tray. Add water to the citrus wedges and freeze the tray. The frozen citrus peel ice cubes will freshen the smell and sharpen the blades at the same time!
Tip #4: Run Cold Water
Water needs to run through your garbage disposal when you're using it, and the temperature of the water matters. You should use cold water, not hot water when using your disposal. Hot water may melt some of the food you're trying to get rid of, and then the foods can harden inside your drain pipe and clog the drain over time.
Only run cold water, and be sure it's a strong stream of water. Your disposal needs water to run properly. Run water while you're using the disposal, and once you stop using the disposal allow the water to run for at least 30 seconds to ensure the food particles are being sent down the drain and out of your disposal.
Tip #5: Watch What Goes Down the Disposal
You should never put anything other than food items into the disposal and you shouldn't put just any type of food down the garbage disposal. There are a lot of food items and other items that might cause damage to the disposal and therefore they shouldn't be tossed into the disposal. Here are some of these items:
- Garbage. Even though it's called the garbage disposal, garbage commonly found in the kitchen like twist ties, hair, and other items should be kept away from the disposal, or you could end up with a problem.
- Hard items. Items such as bones, cutlery and fruit pits should not be put into the disposal. They are all too hard for the disposal and you could damage your blades.
- Peels and husks. Potato peels are too tough to put into the disposal and can get caught inside. Celery, corn husks or cobs should not be put into the disposal because they are stringy and can get caught up around the blades.
- Coffee grounds. Coffee grounds will get stuck on the sides of the disposal and are too small to be ground down. Put these into the garbage or in a compost bin instead.
- Grease and oils. Grease and oils can accumulate in a regular kitchen drain causing clogs, and the same goes for garbage disposals. Never place these items down your drain or your disposal.
It is also a good idea to keep little ones away from the garbage disposal, so toys or even small hands don't end up near or in the disposal. If you have an issue with your disposal, call AAA Home Services for help with repairs or other maintenance tips to keep it working as it should.