5 EASY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL
When the kitchen garbage disposal is running properly, it is a great appliance. It keeps your kitchen smelling fresh and clean. It makes cleaning up after dinner easy. It even reduces the amount of garbage in the landfills. But when the disposal isn’t working properly, the decaying food remaining in the appliance can make your kitchen or even your whole house stink. It is easy to avoid this problem by regularly following five easy tips recommended by plumbers.
- Use plenty of water. Every time you run your disposal, turn on the cold water while the food is being chopped up. After you hear the grinding of the motor turn into a soft whir, turn off the device and let the water continue to run for about 10 to 20 seconds. The running water will carry any remaining particles out of the disposal and will more completely flush the pipes.
- Use cold water. While hot water won’t damage the parts, cold water is better while running the disposal. Hot water will liquefy greases and fats. When they are in liquid form, grease adheres to the blades and will build up on them.
- Avoid hard or fibrous foods. Disposals are for foods that grind into bits and pieces easily. Hard seeds, popcorn kernels, peach stones, apple seeds, or bones don’t grind very well, if at all. The smaller pieces can get wedged underneath the blades causing them to jam. Fibrous foods should be avoided, also, because the fibers tend to wrap themselves around the blades causing them to jam, too. Therefore, avoid onion skins, egg shells, celery stalks, corn husks, etc.
- Clean the inside. Over time, it is natural for sludge to build up on the sides and blades of your appliance. It is best to avoid using harsh chemicals since they can damage the parts of your device. You can get a natural chemical reaction by putting baking soda down the drain and pouring vinegar on top of it. Another easy method is to combine the sharpening with the cleaning by putting about a cup of rock salt down the drain when you grind up your ice cubes.
- Don’t put your hands in the disposal. When wedged food is removed, the sudden release of tension can make the blades spring into action and cause injury. Try using pliers. If that doesn’t work, call a plumber to come and fix the appliance.