Nobody wants rotting, leftover food, discarded fruit peels, and expired food carelessly thrown around the kitchen. Apart from the stench, this can also attract insects and animals that spread infections. Garbage disposals are great for getting rid of kitchen waste; however, we often forget to do maintenance on garbage disposals until they clog or totally break down and stop working. Then we have to cough up unexpected costs for repairs. Here are five tips for preventing jams and clogs in your garbage disposal, and giving it an extended lease on life:
1. Regularly run the garbage disposal.
It is very important to run the garbage disposal at least once every few days. It doesn’t matter whether you have kitchen waste to dispose of or not. Turning on the water and letting the disposal run once every few days keeps the parts moving so that they don’t rust, freeze up, or corrode. Think of it as regular exercise for the garbage disposal.
It also clears any leftover waste that may have stuck on the disposal. Running the water prevents them from hardening on the disposal and clogging it up and making it stink.
2. Use cold water to run the garbage disposal.
Are you confused between running cold or hot water down the garbage disposal? The answer is cold water. Hot water is great for cleaning everything else except the garbage disposal. But isn’t the point to get the stuck-up garbage off the disposal? Yes, that’s the point, and that’s why you shouldn’t use hot water. The garbage disposal grinds up waste before pushing it out through the drain pipe. Cold water will make the waste harden for the grinding to take place. Hot water only melts the waste and makes them cling to the sides of the disposal.
3. Run the disposal a little longer.
Keep the water and the garbage disposal running for a minute longer after it has finished grinding up the waste so that all the waste gets flushed out. This will prevent any clogging. After the waste has been flushed, run a little dish soap and cold water down the drain to clean out the disposal.
4. Cut the waste into small pieces.
Throwing large pieces of waste down the garbage disposal will only damage it. The disposal can only handle so much garbage as the blades and the motor aren’t that powerful to handle everything thrown at them. Besides, it can only accommodate a certain amount of waste. You may have to make its work easier if you want it to serve you for longer. Ensure that the waste is in smaller pieces, and feed the garbage into the disposal a few pieces at a time. If you are hurrying somewhere, it is better to leave the job for later than risk budgeting for repairs or worse, installing a new garbage disposal.
5. Grind citrus fruit peels into the disposal
Citrus fruit peels help in eliminating unpleasant odors and clearing excess waste in the disposal. Consider this a treat to give your garbage disposal every now and then.
What to keep off the garbage disposal
Avoid putting the following items in your garbage disposal because they don’t grind up easily:
- Greasy or oily. They clog up the drainage when they solidify.
- Potato peels and expandable foods, such as rice and pasta. The starch in them makes them cling to the sides of the disposal. Water can also make the expandable foods to expand and clog the disposal.
- Plastic, glass, paper, big bones, pits, or metals. They dull the blades or lodge in the drainage.
- Eggshells. They usually stick to the pipes.
These tips will not only help keep your garbage disposal clean but also functional for a long period of time. Whenever you want to remove any jams or clogs in the disposal, remember to turn off the power supply from the main switch first. Any garbage disposal repairs should, however, be handled by a qualified plumber. This way, you will avoid any injuries and damaging the disposal any further.