Your garbage disposal is something you just might take for granted. But when it's broken? You sure notice! Here are some tips to help keep your disposal in good condition.
Use Cold Water
That sounds weird, but it's true. When running your garbage disposal, using cold water can prevent blockages from forming in the pipes and on the blades. When running hot water and washing greasy food, the fats and oils are liquefied and will stick to surfaces easier than when cold water is used. After you are done washing the dishes and the grease, fats, and oils cool down they will harden on to your blades and pipes. Over time, it creates a nasty buildup. Be sure to let the cold water run for 10-20 seconds after you turn your garbage disposal off in order to flush out any remaining food particles left behind.
Be sure to run your disposal every 2-3 days even when you don't have anything to run down the disposal to avoid rust from forming, and to clean out any food that might have been left behind from the previous use.
Clean Your Disposal
Sludge can buildup over time on your blades or in your pipes, and we don't want that! So every few months, pour a little bit of dish soap and run your disposal using cold water to clean off any sludge that could be forming. If you notice any smells coming from your drain, turn the disposal on and drop citrus fruit peels to freshen things up. Be mindful of chemical drain cleaners. They are often not the best products to use for cleaning connected drains, and over time it can cause more damage to the blades and pipes
Sharpen Your Blades
If you would like to sharpen your blades, put several handfuls of ice cubes into the disposal, and run cold water to sharpen the blades as it cuts up the ice.
Cut the Power
When doing any work on your disposal be sure to turn the power off from the circuit breaker in the kitchen to avoid any unwanted injury. Remember safety first!
Not All Foods
Contrary to popular belief, not all types of food should go through your garbage disposal. Anything that cannot easily be broken down into smaller pieces should be thrown in the trash. Along with any foods that expand when put in water because they can get caught and create a clog. Here's a list of foods and products not to put in the disposal:
- animal bones
- grease, fats, oils
- glass, plastic, metal
- popcorn kernels
- fruit pits
- coffee grounds
- egg shells
- potato peels
If your motor isn't turning over, some models of garbage disposals have reset buttons under the sink. If the button is popped out, try popping it back in and running the disposal. If it still won't run, check (carefully) that nothing is stuck by the blades. Seek your owner's manual if you still have it handy for any troubleshooting tips.
NEVER Use Your Hands
When there is a clog or something stuck in the blades, NEVER stick your hands near the blades to try and get it out. Use a wrench to knock debris loose or pull it out. If that doesn't work, call ONE Service Pros! Our professional plumbers are trained and ready to handle your sink and disposal issues carefully.