Garbage disposals are a very handy appliance to have in your home. They offer a quick and easy solution for getting rid of unwanted liquids and some soft foods. They also help to reduce the amount of waste per household, which is environmentally beneficial.
How to Properly Run Your Disposal
Garbage disposals are installed adjacent to the kitchen sink and are activated by using a switch or button. The disposal does all its work of grinding and breaking down food, while running water flushes down the pipes. However, there are very specific do's and don'ts, when it comes to operating your disposal.
Run your disposal with cold water. Do not use hot water, as this can cause both fats and greases from the food to go into their liquid state and hold fast to the blades. Over time, this could create a buildup that can cause blades to malfunction or lose their ability to chop up food. As a rule, you should never pour grease down the disposal.
Flush with Running Water
Make sure to use plenty of water every time you run your garbage disposal. This means the water should be running before and well after you have switched the disposal on and off. Once the grinding has minimized to a soft whir, turn off the disposal and continue to run water for 10-20 seconds. This allows the broken down food to be flushed out of the disposal and down the pipes.
Avoid Certain Foods
Generally, any food that is hard or fibrous can be harmful to your appliance. Small, hard pieces of food can become wedged under the blades, which can cause your disposal to jam. Similarly, fibrous foods can wrap themselves around the blades and jam your system that way. Some foods to keep out of your disposal include:
- Corn Husks
- Potato Peels
- Big Bones
- Seeds or Pits from foods
- Expandable Foods, such as pasta or rice
Food should be the only thing being chopped up in your garbage disposal. Avoid pouring materials such as grease or oil into the appliance, because it can create clogs both in the pipes and in the device. Homeowners should never place glass, plastic, metal, or paper down the disposal, as they can cause a jam and ruin the blades.
Maintain & Clean Your Disposal
Your disposal, like any other appliance in your home, needs proper care. Food and sludge will build up over time, causing the disposal to require a proper cleaning regularly. Not cleaning your disposal on a regular basis may lead to malfunctions due to clogging from the sludge and debris. Additionally, you will stand a good chance of bad smells seeping into your home.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Use a blend of baking soda and vinegar to clean out your garbage disposal. This mixture creates a natural chemical reaction and avoids the rough treatment that your appliance and pipes can receive from certain chemical cleaners.
Go the Citrus Route
Citrus is a great cleaning agent and has the added bonus of leaving behind a fresh scent. Grind citrus fruit in your disposal periodically to clear waste and eliminate odors. Citrus peels that work best for this purpose are orange, lemon, and lime.
Be Smart When it Comes to Your Disposal!
Follow these tips to ensure the longevity of your garbage disposal and to help prevent unnecessary clogs and jams, whether in the machinery or your pipes. Be cautious and smart when operating your disposal. Never stick your hands in the disposal and never stick a tool in the disposal. Steer clear of any accidents or injuries by contacting a professional plumbing company, like True Plumbers & AC. Call us at (863) 667-6364 for your garbage disposal maintenance needs.
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