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Garbage Disposal Care – The Dos and Don’ts

December 20, 2018

A garbage disposal makes kitchen cleanup easier, simpler, and quicker. Instead of scraping food into your garbage can and having to take the trash out every night so it won’t stink up your home, you can get rid of it down the drain. To keep your disposal working properly and smelling fresh, you’ll need to give it active and preventative care.

How to maintain your garbage disposal

Run your disposal at least once a week so the parts don’t freeze up or rust. When rinsing food off your dishes, use dishwashing detergent to break down grease so it doesn’t clog up the drain pipes. Always run cold water when grinding waste, as it will harden grease and oil so the grinder can chop it up and dispose of it completely.

How to clean your garbage disposal

Use soap and a dish scrubber to clean the visible part of the disposal. Then, plug the sink, fill it with water and soap, and unplug the drain while running the garbage disposal. The soapy water will flush any unwanted residue down the drain.

For a deeper clean, grind kosher salt and ice cubes in the disposal. You can also deep clean it using baking soda and vinegar, but only use this method sparingly because vinegar is acidic and can damage the rubber components inside the disposal. Don’t use bleach and water. Bleach can damage your plumbing and the grinder blades.

How to get rid of odor

If your disposal starts to stink, put lemon, orange, lime, or grapefruit peels and ice cubes in it. The citrus fruits will eliminate any stench and leave your kitchen smelling fresh.

What not to put in your garbage disposal

Your garbage disposal is not bulletproof. Don’t put large chunks of food in it. Cut food into smaller pieces if necessary or just toss the large chunks in your garbage can.

Don’t put starchy foods like potato peels, expandable foods like rice and pasta, and fibrous foods like celery and banana peels into your garbage disposal. Coffee grounds, eggshells, bones, seeds, and pits can get stuck in the gears or damage the blades. Do not allow excessive amounts of grease or oil or any plastic, metal, or paper to run through the disposal.

Some homeowners pour crushed glass in their garbage disposal because they think it will sharpen the blades. This is a myth. Ground glass could damage your disposal and will not easily drain.

What to do if you do run into problems

If you notice a bad smell coming from the drain, know that the odor is not permanent, and it can be fixed easily. You can easily keep your garbage disposal smelling fresh every day just by regularly cleaning it. If your garbage disposal stops working or gets clogged up, turn the power off at the circuit breaker before attempting to remove a clog, and call Hanson’s Plumbing & Heating. Our team is available 24/7 for emergency plumbing services throughout central Minnesota. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for garbage disposal service.

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