A garbage disposal is one of the most helpful appliances you can add to your kitchen. Garbage disposals are the most convenient way to get rid of expired and leftover food. However, because they are so convenient, they often risk being overlooked and left uncared for. It is necessary to practice proper maintenance to keep the machine working properly and ensure it has as long a life span as possible. Failure to maintain the appliance can lead to clogs or the machine breaking down completely. Here are some simple tasks that will help keep your appliance running smoothly for a long time.
Regular use of your garbage disposal helps keep it in good working condition. You can run the machine without anything in it. Just run water and let the machine move as if you were disposing of something. This helps to prevent rust and corrosion. Failing to use the appliance regularly can lead to its deterioration. Leftover food in the disposal can also harden into a clog and cause unpleasant odors.
Run It After Using It
Run your garbage disposal for a few seconds after disposing your food and let cold water run down your drain. Water helps the machine clean itself and push food through the drain. Some people also use a small amount of dish soap with cold water to clean the sides of the device. Run the machine with cold water a bit longer at least once a day.
Run Cold Water
When using your garbage disposal, run cold water down it. Hot water can melt the food that you are trying to dispose of and contribute to clogs. Cold water hardens food so that the disposal has an easier time grinding it up and pushing it through the drain.
Cut Food to Size
Make sure to put small pieces of food into the disposal. Especially large pieces of food can overwhelm the machine’s blades. Cutting up food to make it easier for the disposal to manage or simply inserting a little bit of waste at a time helps prevent clogs, jams, and damage to the parts.
What Not to Dispose
There are certain things that should never be put into a garbage disposal because they can damage the machine. These include grease and oil, potato peels, plastic, metal, paper, glass, large bones, seeds, egg shells, or starchy foods that expand (like rice or pasta). These foods can gum up blades and cause clogs by clinging to the pipe. Harder materials can dull or break the blades.
When in Doubt
If your garbage disposal malfunctions and nothing seems to be solving the problem, it is time to call a professional plumber. Plumbers have the expertise and tools to fix more complex problems resulting from wear and tear, improper maintenance, or other defects. If simple fixes do not make a difference, never try to take apart the machine or put fingers or tools inside it. Doing so can cause bodily harm and further damage the appliance.