Garbage disposals are a modern convenience in most kitchens. If you had a garbage disposal for a long time and suddenly it breaks, you will quickly realize it is a valuable tool in the kitchen. While garbage disposals are created to consume and destroy most food items, homeowners often overwhelm the disposal causing clogs and other plumbing issues. The following garbage disposal do’s and don’ts will help you treat your disposal with care.
Garbage Disposal Do’s
- Keep it Clean – Garbage disposals are very easy to maintain. Keep it clean by pouring a 1 ounce of dish soap down the drain and allow hot water to run from the faucet for one minute. Dish soaps that contain citruses such as lemon or orange are helpful since the acid is capable of cleaning pipes.
- Always Flush with Water – One mistake homeowners make is not using water to flush the item out of the disposal. Make sure you use cool water from the faucet every time you use the disposal.
- Use Cool Water – If you tend to pour oil or grease down your drain, use cool water on a regular basis to clean the disposal. Cool water solidifies the oil or grease and makes it easier to remove.
- Dispose of Hard Items – This might be a surprising “do” to accept. However, egg shells and small fish bones easily grind up in disposals creating small particles to clean the walls of the garbage disposal.
- Dispose of Small Sized Pieces – The garbage disposal is strong and mighty. It might be a time saver to put half a carrot down the disposal, but it’s best to cut large food items into smaller pieces to avoid clogs.
Garbage Disposal Don’ts
- Never grind anything that can combust.
- Don’t grind hard items such as metal, plastic or glass. These items can destroy the garbage disposal as well as fly out of the drain into the air and strike you causing injury.
- Don’t use hot water when disposing of greasy items. The hot water will cause the grease to liquefy and drain the clog by accumulating.
- Avoid putting items such as celery stalks, corn husks and onion skins in the disposal. These items contain fibers that can clog drains and tangle around the garbage disposal motor.
- Never turn off the water before grinding is complete.
- Don’t put large amounts of food down the drain at one time. For example, if you are putting a large amount of any item in the disposal you will need to place it into the disposal in small amounts.
- Avoid putting large bones such as port and beef down the disposal.
- Avoid putting rice and pasta in the disposal. Both of these items have the ability to expand when exposed to water which can cause clogs in your drain.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals such as bleach and other cleaners. The chemicals could damage the garbage disposal blades causing them not to work properly, which leads to buildup and clogs.
Garbage disposals are a common household tool that makes life easier by saving time. If your disposal is not working properly it could lead to expensive plumbing repairs. Follow the do’s and don’ts listed above to avoid harming your garbage disposal. If your sink is clogging, backing up or has a harsh odor you should contact a plumber immediately for assistance.
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