Garbage disposals may be one of the handiest appliances in your entire house, or at least we think so! If you disagree, you can at least admit they make things much easier in the kitchen. That is…as long as they are maintained and used properly. When not maintained and used properly, garbage disposals can easily break down, clog and block your drains. Unfortunately, these break downs and clogs can cause a long list of expensive plumbing problems. Don’t worry – we have put together a few Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts to keep our favorite kitchen appliance running problem-free!
Garbage Disposal Don’ts
DON’T just throw everything in it
A garbage disposal is NOT a trash can. You should only use your garbage disposal for small table scraps. Adding too much food at once can result in some serious clogging.
DON’T grind the following items:
- Cigarette butts
- Non-food items
- Large bones
- Banana peels
- Fruit Pits
- Coffee Grounds
Foods that have a lot of strings or fibers such as, corn husks, onion skins and artichokes are also bad for your disposal. If any one of these items from the above list falls into your disposal, turn it off at the circuit breaker and retrieve it safely.
DON’T pour any grease in it
Oils, fats and grease are not good for your disposal. They do not drain properly and will accumulate around the blade system and clog your drains.
Garbage Disposal Do’s
DO use it regularly
Frequently using your garbage disposal will help prevent it from rusting and will keep things from getting stuck down there.
DO sharpen the blades
Small chicken bones and fish bones are good for keeping your garbage disposal blades sharp. Running these items through the disposal will help clean grease and other debris from the inside walls of the unit as well. Ice cubes are also a good option for keeping your disposal blades nice and sharp.
DO remember that size matters
How you put things into your garbage disposal and how much you put in your garbage disposal is just as important as what you put in there. To keep your disposal running smoothly and to avoid clogging, just remember to toss your larger food pieces in the trash or chop them up small enough so that the disposal can grind them more easily.
DO flush the disposal every time you use it
Any time you have your garbage disposal running you should have your water running. It is also best to continue running the water for 15 seconds (or more) after the disposal is done grinding so that the water can flush the food down the drain.
DO clean it
Running a little dish soap through your disposal and flushing it with cold water for about 15 seconds after each use should keep your garbage disposal nice and clean. Freezing vinegar in ice cube trays and placing the frozen cubes in the disposal while it runs with cold water will also clean your disposal.
If you are looking for a more heavy-duty clean you can let 1/4 cup of baking soda sit overnight in your disposal, then in the morning (or a few hours later) pour vinegar into the garbage disposal. The combination should bubble and clean the inside of the unit for you.
DO know when to get help from an expert
If you are still having garbage disposal problems, it may be time to call the professionals at Eastern Plumbing. We are available 24/7 for your plumbing emergencies; just give us a call at 252-758-7579 for Greenville, NC and surrounding areas or at 252-514-0002 for New Bern, NC and surrounding areas.