Tips for Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals are highly convenient when it’s time to clean up after dinner. Instead of dumping small bits of food into the trash where they can produce foul odors over time, you can rinse the particles directly off of your bowls and plates and allow your garbage disposal to dissolve them, making dish duty a much quicker and easier process.

However, it’s important to remember that garbage disposals aren’t magic and they can’t safely and effectively handle everything that might end up in your kitchen sink. In fact, a garbage disposal that’s poorly maintained or used without careful consideration can quickly change from a modern convenience into a big headache.

To keep your garbage disposal operating at its best—and to avoid accidentally creating a smelly science experiment in your kitchen sink—keep the following tips from Aqueduct Plumbing Company in mind when it’s time to wash your dishes:

  • Use your disposal sparingly and only for certain food items.
    Although garbage disposals may initially seem like they can chew through anything that ends up inside of them, they are actually only designed to break up and dissolve certain food items. Food that can be safely rinsed off of plates and bowls into garbage disposals includes:

    • Small scraps of chicken, fish, pork, and beef
    • Small bones
    • Bread
    • Fruit, including apple and orange slices, bananas, berries, and grapes
    • Vegetables (excluding vegetable skins and husks)

Items that should never be placed inside your garbage disposal include pasta, rice, grease, nuts, shells, peels, and any non-food products like glass, paper, and metal.

  • When using your garbage disposal, run cold water before, during, and after its operation.

Although you probably use hot water when doing your dishes, cold water is better for your garbage disposal. Hot water can melt fats and greases, causing them to congeal inside your drain or pipes, potentially causing a blockage. Cold water keeps the greases and fats solid so that they can be chopped and dissolved by the garbage disposal blades.

In addition, cold water also helps prevent the motor and other mechanical parts inside the disposal from overheating—a common cause of disposal malfunctions.

  • Clean your disposal frequently by grinding ice cubes and citrus rinds.

While ice cubes may sound like they’re doing a number on your garbage disposal, they’re actually great for cleaning the blades and removing any built-up grease or food particles that prevent them from properly chopping and dissolving food items.

Citrus rinds from oranges, limes, and lemons are another great way to clean your disposal. Chop them into small pieces before dumping them inside your disposal to prevent jams. Run cold water while your disposal is on and enjoy a fresh citrus scent in your kitchen after the process is complete.

Garbage Disposal Problems? Call Aqueduct Plumbing Company

Following the tips above can help keep your garbage disposal running at peak condition for longer periods, but it can be difficult to maintain a perfectly operating disposal 100 percent of the time.

If your disposal just isn’t working like it used to, you may need a professional to make adjustments, repairs, and part replacements. At Aqueduct Plumbing Company, we can get your disposal up and running again in no time. Call us today to find out how we can help.

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