Get the most use out of your garbage disposal by taking good care of it. Here are five tips that will help ensure that you enjoy over 10 years of trouble-free use from it. The first thing to remember is don’t put anything fibrous down the disposal. This means keep banana peels, corn husks, celery, potato peels and broccoli out of the disposal. Make sure everyone in your family knows this garbage disposal food rule. These foods must be disposed of in your kitchen trash or used in a compost. In addition to fibrous foods, keep out large bones and eggshells. And, while they may seem harmless enough, coffee grounds can actually clog your sink pipes, so keep them from the disposal, too.
The second thing to keep in mind is don’t put too much down the disposal at once. Even if you only put the right types of food waste down the disposal, too much of a good thing can cause the unit to jam. If you have a good deal of food to put through the disposal, add a little bit at a time and run cool water into the drain for a few seconds afterward. Remember to flush the disposal weekly. Fill the sink up with cold water and pull the stopper so that the water goes down the sink drain. Flushing water down the sink cleans out the drain line of any remaining loose debris.
Also clean the disposal thoroughly once a month. To clean the unit thoroughly you can empty a whole tray of ice cubes into the disposal to grind them into a slush. Once the cubes become slush, run cold water. At first, there will be a water backup in the sink but once the slush melts, the water drains away. The ice sharpens grinder blades and gets rid of any accumulated food bits. Freshen your disposal. Use small slices of lemon to freshen your disposal any time smells start to build. Feed one slice into the disposal at a time, then run cold water for several seconds. If you do not want to use lemons you can take a tablespoon of bleach and put it in a gallon of water. Gradually pour the mixture into the disposal to enjoy a fresh smelling kitchen.
In the event of a clog, always turn the unit off. Never put your hands into the disposal drain even if it is off, however. Use the special s-shaped wrench that comes with it to dislodge anything that has started to block the disposal blades. Make sure to always turn the disposal on to grind up food waste immediately. Do not let the food sit and also make sure to use cold water with the disposal when getting rid of food waste. Hot water can cause fatty food to melt and then become stuck to the inner line of the grinder or drain line. These five tips will keep your disposal running smoothly for many years. If it ever needs repairing, contact a plumber.