One of the most important appliances in the kitchen is the garbage disposal. It simplifies kitchen duties by making it easier to dispose of food remains without blocking the drainage.
However, it’s important to keep your garbage disposal clean. If food fibers are trapped in the disposal, they may lead to emergency plumbing problems such as clogged blades, a burnt motor or blocked drains.
You can easily prevent problems with your garbage disposal by observing proper preventive maintenance measures. It’s simple and easy to maintain a garbage disposal.
We’ve prepared a list of dos and don’ts that you should follow to keep your disposal at its best condition without experiencing stressful plumbing emergencies.
The dos of a garbage disposal
- Always keep it clean. You can clean it with baking soda and vinegar. To do this, pour 1½ cup of regular baking soda into your kitchen drain. Next, add 1 cup of vinegar (white). Allow the two products to settle in the drain for some minutes. Once done, pour some hot water into the drainage. Alternatively, pour one gallon of clean water into a container and add a tablespoon of chlorine bleach (liquid). Pour the mixture into the kitchen drain. Next, run cold water to flush the mixture down the drainage.
- Ground food remains with running cold water to solidify oils and grease so as to have them sliced before they can reach the trap.
- Keep your kitchen and drain smelling fresh by grinding the skin of citrus fruits and ice cubes. The skin of citrus fruits will add a fresh scent whereas ice cubes will clean the disposal blades.
- Run the disposal regularly to prevent corrosion and rusting. Besides, running it regularly will prevent clogs from accumulating.
The don’ts of a garbage disposal
- Avoid pouring hot water into the disposal when it’s grinding. Doing so will liquidate oils and grease such that they may end up accumulating in the drain and block it.
- Don’t pour non-food or non-biodegradable waste down the disposal. This includes paper, plastic, and metallic waste. Such waste matter can damage the blades.
- Avoid pouring fats, oils, and grease down the disposal. Their buildup may make the grinder less efficient and clogs may form in the drainage.
- Avoid grinding excessive amounts of potato peels. They can release a lot of starch that’ll form a thick, sticky paste. The paste may stick the blades together and render them inefficient.
- Avoid grinding fibrous materials such as onion skins, artichokes, celery stalks, and corn husks. Fibrous materials may wrap around the blades and jam or burn the motor.
- Avoid using chemical drain cleaners since they may damage the blades and drain pipes.
- Avoid turning off the water supply and motor immediately after grinding. You should allow the water and motor to continue running after grinding. Once you turn off the disposal motor, allow water to continue running for at least 15 seconds to flush any trapped food matter.
These preventive measures are quite easy to put into practice. Besides, observing these dos and don’ts of a garbage disposal will lower the chances of experiencing plumbing problems that may demand costly emergency repairs.