Any homeowner who appreciates the value of kitchen gadgets prizes the insertion of a home garbage disposal. Developing good daily routines and managing what goes into the disposal unit is key to ensure good maintenance of your unit for a long service life. Here are some top tips.
Garbage Disposal Maintenance Tips
One can understand the hassle of fixing a garbage disposal when it stops working all of a sudden. To avoid this little appliance from breaking down, there are a few simple things you can do. Here, we discuss the basics of maintaining a garbage disposal for a clean and clog-free drain.
Things that Clog your Garbage Disposal
If you’re just pouring everything down the drain, that’s a definite recipe for disaster. There are some specific items that you can and can’t put down in a home garbage disposal.
Fibrous or starchy food such as potato peelings, banana peels, pasta, coffee grounds, celery and eggshells can clog your drain because the fibers have the tendency to get tangled or expand with moisture.
Hard food waste such as shellfish, fruit pits, and large bones should be thrown in the trash as well, because they contribute to the dulling of the blade.
The amount of food waste you put in your garbage disposal also matters. If you put more than what can fit in a drain strainer, it will likely overfill the disposal and jam it.
It’s also important to note that some garbage disposals are specifically built to help prevent clogs. InSinkErator, as featured on this page, has several models with three-stage grinding systems that are almost impossible to clog.
How to Keep your Garbage Disposal Clean
When you’re operating the garbage disposal, run cold water during and 30 seconds after all the waste has been drained away. It’s important to not use hot water as the food is grinding because this will cause fatty foods to melt and stick inside the drain line and the grind chamber.
The only time you can use hot water to rinse the garbage disposal is when it’s not grinding food.
Routines for home garbage disposal maintenance
On a daily basis, it’s enough to rinse the garbage disposal with soapy waste water after you’ve washed the dishes.
Weekly, you should flush it with cold water. Just fill the sink with cold water, pull the drain stop, and let it drain. This works great for flushing out some loose food waste left in the disposal.
You should also deep clean your garbage disposal once a month. Treat it monthly with a few handfuls of baking soda and a half cup of vinegar. Put the mixture in the hopper and make sure the unit is turned off. Rinse it down the drain with hot running water once the foaming is done.
After that, you can grind lemon peel, orange peel, or ice cubes in the garbage disposal to make sure it’s clean and fresh. Ice cubes are a double whammy because they help sharpen the blades too.
Other Don’ts When Using a Garbage Disposal
Aside from the tips above, you should also remember not to use harsh cleaning chemicals such as bleach when cleaning your garbage disposal. They are harmful to the plumbing system and the environment as well.
Lastly, only grind food in your garbage disposal. A fundamental of home garbage disposal maintenance is manage what goes down into the unit. Keep non-edible materials such as rags, paper towel, and plastic away from the appliance to keep it in good working condition.