Garbage disposals are an extremely common feature that most of us have in our kitchens. They are convenient and super easy to use but many of us don’t know a whole lot about our disposal other than, well, they dispose of scrap foods. To get the most out of your garbage disposal there are some do’s and don’ts that you will want to be aware of. Read on for tips to help maintain your disposal and extend the life of the unit.
DO: Run water for a few seconds before turning your disposal on and leave the water on for another few seconds after turning it off. This will help ensure that any loose food scraps are rinsed from the side walls of the disposal, chopped up, and flushed through the drain. If you find that you don’t use your disposal very often, we recommend still turning it on once in a while to ensure it is in proper working order for when you do need it. Regular use can help prevent the blades from seizing up and rusting.
Don’t: Run hot water for long periods. Hot water can soften the scraps and cause them to break down and become mushy which can lead to them getting stuck inside the disposal and not being rinsed out.
Do: Feel free to put citrus peels such as orange or lemon peel down the disposal. The disposal will chop the soft peel and the peel will help your sink smell citrusy fresh!
Don’t: Do not put cooking oils or grease down your sink! This can clog your line and cause a full plumbing back up. Also avoid putting things like egg shells, cooked pasta, and coffee grounds down your disposal. If a small amount gets down the drain, it should be fine, but try not to make it a regular practice. Potato skins and vegetable peelings also fall under the don’t category. They are thin and can easily get stuck to the inside walls of the disposal and cause a nasty smell as they decompose.
Do: Unjam your garbage disposal from the bottom. Got a jammed up disposal? The good news is it might be an easy fix! Clear out any items from around the disposal underneath your kitchen sink. Look under the bottom of the disposal, there should be a socket for an allen wrench. You can use an allen wrench to turn the blades manually and hopefully free them up from the jam they’re in.
Don’t: Do not put your hands down a jammed or clogged garbage disposal! If manually turning the blades didn’t work, give us a call to schedule one of our expert plumbing technicians to come out and take care of the backup.
If you are having troubles with your garbage disposal, feel free to reach out to us for assistance! We are happy to schedule an appointment to repair or replace your garbage disposal when and if it is needed.