Though small and not visible, the garbage disposal is a favorite kitchen appliance. Garbage disposals can last for a long time with proper care and maintenance. Recommendations from Vista plumbers fall into three categories: things to do, methods for cleaning, and things to avoid.
Use cold water when you are using your disposal. Too much hot water can add to the heat of the appliance and may cause it to overheat. Moreover, hot water melts fats and greases. When they are in a liquid state, the fats adhere to the blades of the appliance and can build up over time.
Use the disposal often. Run the disposal every time food is put into the drain. This will prevent the food from decaying and smelling. Moreover, continual use keeps the blades from rusting.
Keep spoons and other utensils out of the sink when using the disposal. The utensils can easily slide down the drain and into the rotating blades. Not only does this ruin your utensils, but it is hard on the blades as well.
One of the favorite methods for cleaning a disposal is to grind up orange, lemon, or lime peels. It is best to cut the peels into smaller pieces when putting them into the disposal since they are hard to grind.
Another great method for removing sludge is to grind up a disposal full of ice cubes with about a cup of rock salt. When you do this make sure you have the cold water running, too.
A third effective method for removing grime and bacteria is to dump baking soda down the drain and pour vinegar onto it. The natural chemical reaction is safe and fun for kids to watch.
Don’t stuff your disposal full of food before turning it on. Rather, turn on the device and the running water first. Then cut the larger chunks, such as melon rinds, into smaller pieces and feed them in small portions into the appliance.
Avoid fibrous, starchy, or hard items. Fibrous items, such as celery stalks, onion skins, or egg shells, can tangle around the blades and make them jam. Starchy things like potato peelings will mesh together and cause your blades to jam or even clog your pipes. Hard food items don’t grind very well and can damage the parts or cause them to get wedge. These include popcorn kernels, seeds, bones, and nuts.
When food is jammed in the blades, don’t reach your hands into the appliance to try and free it. Instead, use pliers to pull it out or call a Vista plumber to come and fix your appliance.
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