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Simple Steps for Maintaining Your Garbage Disposal: A Complete Guide

June 15th 2023

Garbage disposals are a handy appliance in any kitchen, helping to eliminate food waste and keep your kitchen clean and odor-free. However, like any other appliance, they require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. In this blog, we will discuss simple yet effective steps to maintain your garbage disposal and keep it in excellent working condition.

  1. Use Cold Water: Always run cold water when using your garbage disposal. Cold water helps solidify grease and oils, preventing them from clogging the disposal and pipes. It also aids in flushing away food particles more effectively. After using the disposal, continue running cold water for an additional 10-15 seconds to ensure thorough rinsing.
  2. Cut Food Waste Into Small Pieces: To prevent overloading the disposal, cut large food waste into smaller pieces before grinding. This helps the blades chop the waste more efficiently and reduces the risk of clogs or jams. Avoid disposing of hard items like bones, shells, or fruit pits, as they can damage the disposal’s blades.
  3. Avoid Fibrous Foods and Starchy Substances: Fibrous foods like celery, corn husks, and artichokes can wrap around the disposal blades, causing clogs and reducing its effectiveness. Similarly, starchy substances like potato peels and rice tend to expand when exposed to water, leading to blockages. Dispose of these items in the regular trash or compost them instead.
  4. Use Citrus Fruits or Ice Cubes for Odor Control: Over time, garbage disposals can develop unpleasant odors. To combat this issue, toss a few citrus fruit peels (lemons, oranges, or limes) into the disposal and run it with cold water. The natural oils from the peels help freshen up the unit. Alternatively, you can use ice cubes to clean the blades and remove any food residue.
  5. Regular Cleaning: Cleaning your garbage disposal is crucial to maintain its efficiency and prevent the buildup of grime and odors. One effective method is to mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda and pour the solution into the disposal. Let it sit for a few minutes, then flush it out with hot water while running the disposal. This helps remove debris and neutralizes any unpleasant smells.
  6. Be Mindful of Non-Food Items: Ensure that only food waste enters the garbage disposal. Avoid disposing of non-food items like plastic, glass, metal, or paper, as they can damage the unit and cause blockages. Always double-check before running the disposal to avoid any accidents.
  7. Schedule Professional Maintenance: While regular maintenance can significantly extend the life of your garbage disposal, it’s advisable to schedule professional maintenance periodically. A trained plumber can inspect the unit, clean hard-to-reach areas, and address any underlying issues to keep your garbage disposal in optimal condition.

Proper maintenance of your garbage disposal is essential for its longevity and efficient operation. By following these simple steps, you can prevent clogs, keep odors at bay, and ensure that your kitchen remains clean and functional. Remember to use cold water, cut food waste into small pieces, and avoid fibrous or starchy substances. Additionally, regular cleaning and professional maintenance will go a long way in ensuring the smooth functioning of your garbage disposal for years to come.

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