Garbage disposals are quickly changing from nice-to-have appliances to must-have features that homeowners are looking to integrate into their kitchens. However, they're also becoming one of the most used and abused kitchen devices because many people don't fully understand how to take care of them. Clogs, blockages and odors are all typical problems that you may experience with your disposal, but there are a few tips that you can follow to keep your garbage disposal running like new:
Understand the basics
Operating a disposal seems easy at first glance, but many homeowners don't use it as they should. It's important to run water for 15-30 seconds before turning on the disposal. With the water and disposal still running, feed the food into the drain and wait until the grinding has stopped. After you turn off the disposal, the water should be run for another 30 seconds. It's common for people to turn the water off right away, or not use water at all, causing build up within the disposal system. Something as simple as following these basic operations will help save you a lot of headache down the line and extend the life of your garbage disposal.
Know what not to put down the drain
Just because it's a "garbage" disposal, that doesn't automatically mean that you can put all manner of materials through the appliance. Trash like cigarettes, twist ties, fabric and hair, as well as certain foods should never be put down the garbage disposal. For example, onion skins can wrap around the shredder ring, causing a blockage; egg shells can clog pipes; and rice or pasta will swell in water, closing the trap. These are significant problems that can call for an expert plumber to handle, but it will be easier to avoid these situations in the first place by simply understanding what not to put down the drain.
Clean it regularly
We all know that garbage disposals can start to smell after prolonged use. But how exactly should it be cleaned when it's inside the drain? All you really need to clean your disposal is ice, salt and cold water. Grinding the salt or baking soda with ice can help the disposal get rid of waste that stick to the blades and the inside of the drain. For odor issues, grinding citrus peels will help not only clean your disposal, but also get it back to smelling fresh and new. It's important to clean your system regularly in order to keep it in tip-top shape and ensure that waste isn't building up.
Garbage disposals are becoming the norm in many households, but do you know how to properly care for one? By following these tips, you will be able to keep your garbage disposal like new and ensure you get full use out of its lifecycle. Contact your local Roto-Rooter expert if you're having issues or questions about your garbage disposal.