Keeping Your Disposal Up and Running

by Tip Hero David Glenn
A garbage disposal can be a very handy thing. It makes washing dishes and handling basic household tasks a whole lot easier, and you don’t have to worry about as much stinky trash. It’s important to keep your garbage disposal in good condition if you want it to work properly for years to come, however, so remember these tips to keep yours up and running with minimal issues.

Have it Repaired When Issues Arise

If you notice that your garbage disposal is making odd noises or isn’t working properly, it’s a good idea to use your home warranty or hire someone to come out and take a look at it. There could be a minor issue with your garbage disposal, but ignoring the problem will just make it get worse. This can lead to more costly repairs or the need for a replacement.

Have it Installed By a Professional

Don’t be tempted to install your own garbage disposal if you have never done it before. Otherwise, you could wire it or connect it wrong, which can cause problems later on. Instead, ask a professional to come out and put it in for you.

Be Careful What You Put in It

Although a garbage disposal is great for disposing of a lot of things, you can’t put just anything in it. These are a few things that you should toss in the trash rather than in your garage disposal:

  • Cooking Grease or Fat – It can harden up as it cools, which can clog up your disposal and your plumbing drain. Don’t assume that it’s acceptable to flush cooking grease down your disposal with hot water, either; even though most of it might go through the drain, it only takes a little bit to start a clog.
  • Coffee Grounds – Coffee grounds can stick together easily, which can cause a clog in your drain.
  • Potato Peels – Potato peels release starch when they get wet. This can cause your disposal to become “gluey” in texture, which can be rather unsanitary, can lead to odd smells in your kitchen and can also cause other foods to stick to your disposal and drain.
  • Pasta – Pasta swells up when it gets wet, which can cause a clog.
  • Rice – Like pasta, rice also swells up when it gets wet. Since it comes in tiny pieces, these small and swollen pieces can become trapped in various parts of your disposal or plumbing system. Even though they might be small, these little grains can cause serious issues as they accumulate.

Sharpen it Up

Tossing a few ice cubes in your garbage disposal and turning it on can help you clean it out and naturally sharpen the blades. A good time to do this is when you drop ice cubes on the floor and toss them in the sink for disposal, or when you are dumping out a glass of water and ice.

Keep it Clean

Make sure that you keep your garbage disposal nice and clean if you want to keep it in good condition. Consider pouring a little bit of baking soda into the drain and then pouring vinegar on top; this will create a chemical reaction that will help clean out the disposal and get rid of any excess debris. You can also grind up a cut-up lemon or orange in your garbage disposal if you want to give it a nice, fresh smell while also disinfecting it the natural way.

It’s critical to take good care of your garbage disposal if you want to keep it working well for as long as possible. Remember these tips (and check out a few more that should be on your checklist) and you can keep your garbage disposal working at its best for a long time to come. Not only will you be able to save yourself some hefty replacement and repair costs, but you can also ensure that keeping your kitchen neat and clean is as easy as possible.