5 Garbage Disposal Dos & Don’ts

A garbage disposal close-up

Did you know one of your smallest household appliances generates more calls for service than nearly any other? The humble garbage disposal is a major headache for homeowners. 

Invented in 1927, disposals now appear in almost every American home. They are incredibly convenient appliances, but they can be hazardous to your kitchen if you aren’t careful when using them. 

Here are five tips to help keep your garbage disposal functioning appropriately:

Do run the garbage disposal regularly.

A lot of people think that they only need to run the garbage disposal when it’s full, but that’s not the case. It’s actually best to run it every day using cold tap water, even if you don’t have any food scraps to put down it. This practice will help keep the disposal’s blades sharp and prevent rust.

Do stick to softer foods.

Softer foods are easier on your disposal unit and will help it last longer. Avoid putting hard items like bones, fruit pits, and corn husks down the disposal.

On that same note, be sure to put cold water down the drain. The cold water helps solidify grease and oils, making them easier for the garbage disposal to chop up. Plus, it can help prevent clogs by washing away food particles.  You might also want to include ice cubes every once in a while.

Do cut up foods into small pieces.

You should always cut up food into small pieces before putting it in the disposal. This will help ensure that the food doesn’t get stuck in the blades and cause a clog. Plus, it will make the disposing process quicker and easier on your unit. 

Do clean out the garbage disposal regularly.

You should clean out your garbage disposal regularly to prevent bad smells and food build-up. You can do this by running it with hot water and dish soap, using a disposal cleaner, or grinding up citrus peels. Just don’t go overboard on the citrus peels.

Don’t use large amounts of citrus, fats, or fibrous materials.

If you use large amounts of citrus, fats, or fibrous materials, it can clog your disposal. Citrus peels can be particularly troublesome because they can tangle around the blades and cause corrosion. 

Fats and oils may solidify in the cold water of the disposal and create a seal that prevents the blades from moving. Fibrous materials like celery or corn husks can also get caught in the blades and cause jams.

Bonus Tip:  Disconnect your disposal if you plan to repair a jam yourself.

If you try to do things right, your garbage disposal should last you up to 8-12 years, often with no real worries. However, a busy night or an inattentive teenager eager to finish their chores could clog up your disposal. Don’t worry. It’s probably an easy fix.

Often, you’ll be able to see the obstruction and can extract it with your hand or a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Do yourself a favor first, though, and disconnect the disposal at the breaker. You can restore power when you’re done with this task. 

Take care of your disposal, and you might be surprised how much you’ll save on home repairs! If you are in need of a garbage disposal service or repair, Ace Plumbing is here to help. Call us today at (864) 210-5814 or schedule your service here.

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